In its first-ever sustainability report, the U.S. Postal Service showed a decrease in total energy use of 9 percent from 2005 to 2008. In 2008 the agency used 123 million gigajoules, compared to 131 million GJ in 2007, 134 million GJ in 2006 and 136 million GJ in 2005.
The USPS reduced energy use at its facilities by 18 percent from 2005 to 2008, or about 14 percent per piece of mail delivered, according to the 2008 Sustainability Report: “Delivering a Greener Tomorrow.” (PDF)
Overall vehicle energy use, however, rose by 5 percent during the period, while the agency’s use of alternative fuel rose by 61 percent.
The USPS did not release 2008 GHG emissions from Scope 1, 2 or 3 sources.
Last year, the agency generated 455,000 metric tons of municipal solid waste, while recycling 232,000 metric tons.
The agency succeeded in increasing by 79 percent the metric tons of electronics reused or recycled from 2005 to 2008. Last year, the agency reused or recycled 1,348 metric tons of electronics, compared to 755 metric tons in 2005.
The agency is also increasing opportunities for the public to recycle junk mail and other paper. The agency now has nearly 4,000 post offices with lobby recycling, up from about 3,250 in 2005.
In October, USPS released an inventory of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to establish a baseline for future annual evaluations to help meet its goal to reduce GHG emissions 20 percent by 2020. The Postal Service also has set goals to reduce energy use 30 percent and petroleum fuel use 20 percent by 2015.
According to the report, based on an analysis of emissions in 2007, the Postal Service’s direct GHG emissions totaled 5.3 million tons, which is 1 twentieth of 1 percent of the total GHG emissions in the U.S.