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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service recently reported it had reduced total facility energy consumption by nearly 26 percent, or 8.6 trillion BTUs, since 2003. Robust energy measurement systems and practical steps, including actions such as the steps noted by the Go Green Forever Stamps, Adjust the Thermostat and Turn off Lights Not in Use, contributed to the reduction, which is about the same amount of energy used annually by 90,000 households.
“Postal employees are enthusiastic about reducing energy use at Post Offices, mail processing facilities and in all our buildings,” said Tom Samra, vice president, Facilities. “Energy-saving projects in 2011 reduced costs by $22 million annually or about 1 trillion BTUs.”
The Postal Service operates 33,000 buildings, totaling 280 million square feet. The agency uses cutting-edge tools, including its own Utility Management System and Enterprise Energy Management System to measure energy use and identify ways to cut costs.
“It takes a lot of energy to run America's largest retail network,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Thomas G. Day. “The Postal Service's audit systems enable us to monitor and manage our energy use and improve our ability to optimize future cost-saving opportunities.”
The Postal Service's first green roof opened in 2009 atop the Morgan Mail Processing and Distribution Facility, and is New York City's largest. The Morgan green roof, combined with other facility energy-saving enhancements, including window replacement and new lighting, contributed to $1 million in energy cost reductions and a 40 percent reduction in energy use in the first year.
The agency's second green roof, also in New York, is being built atop Syracuse's Colvin-Elmwood Post Office at no cost to the Postal Service through an innovative sustainability Save the Rain partnership with Onondaga County, NY. The 11,300 square-foot green roof will consist of a new membrane, layers of drainage sheet, indigenous vegetation and a wind blanket.
The Postal Service’s two green roofs — each with an expected lifespan of up to 50 years — will help reduce the amount of contaminants in storm water runoff flowing into municipal water systems, and are part of the agency’s commitment to create sustainable spaces and facilities wherever possible.
Energy-conservation actions at the Postal Service are part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce facility energy use by 30 percent by 2015 and greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020. Details of the Postal Service's energy savings results can be found in its 2011 Annual Sustainability Report and on Slideshare at:
The Postal Service has won numerous environmental honors, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WasteWise Partner of the Year award in 2010 and 2011, the EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities award in 2011 and The Climate Registry Gold award in 2011.
USPS participates in the International Post Corporation’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, the global postal industry’s program to reduce its carbon footprint 20 percent by 2020 based on an FY 2008 baseline.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office™ Boxes. The Postal Service™ receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.