The U.S. Postal service has won the first Environmental Achievement of the Year award presented by Postal Technology International magazine, thanks to several sustainable initiatives including a recycling program, green facilities and a fuel-efficient vehicle program.
The Post Service’s mail recycling program is currently in 16,000 post offices and has diverted an estimated 24,000 tons of recyclable paper from landfills.
The Postal Service is also transitioning to fuel-efficient vehicles. Most recently, the agency announced it will replace 6,500 vehicles with 1,000 E-85 ethanol-capable and 900 gasoline/electric hybrid vehicles for its delivery fleet, and the balance with fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicles. The Postal Service has a goal to reduce its petroleum use by 20 percent by 2015.
The Postal Service also has set a goal to reduce energy use by 30 percent by 2015, and has reduced overall building related energy consumption by 17 percent since 2003. The agency is exploring or installing several renewable energy systems in facilities around the country, including solar energy and geothermal HVAC.
In terms of greener facilities, the Postal Service is integrating environmental business practices into day-to-day operations. The agency also opened its first and New York City’s largest green roof atop a large mail processing facility. It’s expected to save the facility $30,000 annually on heating and cooling costs and reduce the amount of polluted storm water runoff into the New York municipal water system by as much as 75 percent in summer and 40 percent in winter, according to the Postal Service.