APRIL 2012

Postal Service recycled 215,000 tons of material

The U.S. Postal Service saved more than $34 million and generated $24 million in 2011 by reducing energy, water, consumables, petroleum fuel use and solid waste to landfills, conservation efforts encouraged by the Go Green Forever stamps.

The Postal Service recycled 215,000 tons of material, which saved $14 million in landfill fees and yielded $24 million in new revenue. Employee lean green teams were key to helping the Postal Service achieve the savings and revenue, part of which included more than a $20 million decrease in supplies spending from the previous year.

Lean green teams help identify and implement low- and no-cost sustainable practices to help the Postal Service meet the following goals by 2015:

  • Reduce facility energy use by 30 percent.
  • Reduce water use by 10 percent.
  • Reduce petroleum fuel use by 20 percent, and
  • Reduce solid waste by 50 percent.

The Postal Service plans to deploy lean green teams nationwide in 2012 to help achieve these goals.

The Postal Service buys sustainable materials and works to reduce the amount of supplies it purchases. The agency first developed a “buy green” policy more than 13 years ago, and has a goal to reduce spending on consumables 30 percent by 2020. Additionally, the Postal Service is working to increase the percentage of environmentally preferable products it buys by 50 percent by 2015.

In its shipping supplies, the Postal Service uses post-consumer recycled content materials, which are diverted from the waste stream, benefiting the environment and helping customers go green.

USPS is the first federal agency to publicly report its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and receive third-party verification of the results.