WASHINGTON, DC, October 1, 2008 (ENS) - Postmaster General John Potter today showed the greener side of the U.S. Postal Service at an event to increase awareness and create results for energy conservation. Potter called on employees, suppliers and partners in the mailing industry to step up their efforts to "go green."
"We need to take whatever steps we can to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future," Potter said. "Today is another step toward a culture of conservation here at the Postal Service."
The event at Postal Service corporate headquarters showcased acoustic musical performances and demonstrated solar photovoltaic equipment used throughout the Postal Service.
On display were alternative fuel vehicles, including the T3, an electric three-wheeled vehicle being tested as a possible replacement for traditional fuel delivery vehicles in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.
The Postal Service has set a goal to reduce energy use 30 percent by 2015. Scheduled capital investments will be made annually in energy conservation measures, primarily for lighting and HVAC upgrades.
To help achieve that goal, Potter is asking the 685,000 employees at the U.S. Postal Service's 34,000 facilities to turn off lights and unused equipment, close doors, adjust thermostats and especially become "personally responsible for conservation."
"We are building on a strong history of environmental stewardship," said Sam Pulcrano, USPS vice president for sustainability. "Every day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to reduce our impact and improve our operations and systems."
A Utility Management System pilot project to capture consumption and cost data for electricity, natural gas and fuel oil was started earlier this year to enable better energy management.
Detailed energy audits are ongoing at 500 of the postal buildings that consume the most energy. These buildings encompass 40 million square feet of facility space - about 40 percent of all postal facilities - and consume about 60 percent of the energy used by the postal system.
More than 1 trillion BTUs of potential energy reductions already have been identified, postal officials said.
Lighting and lighting controls in processing plants are being upgraded to include energy-efficient fluorescent track lighting, creating what officials are calling "a cleaner and whiter environment."
The Postal Service is exploring several energy saving systems in facilities around the country, including the use of photovoltaic cells, solar panels, geothermal energy and wind turbines.
The Postal Service has already has some conservation success. It is the only shipping company that has earned Cradle to Cradle Certification for the environmentally-friendly design and manufacturing of its boxes and envelopes.
In the future, the Postal Service will purchase EnergyStar energy-efficient products, and the agency is incorporating energy-efficiency requirements into mail processing equipment designs.
With 43,000 alternative fuel-capable vehicles on the road, the nation's largest civilian fleet, the Postal Service used more than one million gallons of alternative fuel and increased E85 fuel consumption by 40 percent last year.
A national energy management plan is being reviewed by Postal Service leadership. When implemented, it will identify goals and standards for energy reduction and consumption for buildings and vehicle fleets.
An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week.
It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services, not tax dollars, to pay for operating expenses. The Postal Service has annual revenue of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.