USPS Aims To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 2030

The U.S. Postal Service is preparing to deploy its first electric delivery vehicles in 2024; plans to reduce $5 billion in operating costs will result in significant carbon reductions.

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste at every level of its operations, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has launched new sustainability targets for fiscal year 2030. The goals are the latest in a series of actions USPS has taken to enhance sustainability across its network and day-to-day operations: The Delivering for America (DFA) plan focuses on specific initiatives to reduce $5 billion in operating costs.

“The improvements we need to achieve in sustainability are an integral outgrowth of the broader modernization efforts we have undertaken through our 10-year Delivering for America plan,” said Postmaster General and CEO Louis DeJoy. “As we transform our operating processes and invest in new automation, new technologies, and upgraded facilities and vehicles, we will generate significant efficiencies that reduce our costs, minimize waste across all functions of our operations and slash our carbon footprint.”

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PMG Louis DeJoy speaks to local press at the USPS Electric Vehicle and Charging Station Infrastructure Launch, held January 22, 2024 at the South Atlanta Sorting and Delivering Center (S&DC). At left is John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation. (Photo: United States Postal Service)

The initiatives will reduce carbon emissions by eliminating wasteful and unnecessary operating activities that have been deployed for almost two decades. While accomplishing these operational cost and sustainability initiatives, the USPS plans to grow its business by several billion dollars.

“Our customers and partners expect the Postal Service to be efficient and environmentally responsible and I’m proud that our leadership team has developed meaningful sustainability goals and aligned them with our operational efficiency, service improvement and revenue growth initiatives,” said Jennifer Beiro-Réveillé, USPS senior director of environmental affairs and corporate sustainability. “These new targets help advance our commitment to being the greenest way for customers to mail and ship across the country.”

New Environmental Targets For FY 2030

USPS’s new sustainability targets are centered around three core areas: climate action, the circular economy, and environmental awareness.

1. Taking climate action: USPS is reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the organization by moving freight from air to ground transportation, optimizing delivery routes for trucks and carriers, and procuring reduced-emission and zero-emission vehicles. By fiscal year 2030, USPS seeks to:

    • Reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent¹
    • Reduce Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent²
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An aerial image of the S&DC electric vehicle fleet. (Photo: United States Postal Service)

2. Supporting the circular economy: USPS is focused on strengthening the circular economy by diverting waste from landfills and through the sustainable acquisition of materials. Additionally, USPS will increase its procurement of on-site renewable energy and renewable energy certificates. By fiscal year 2030, USPS seeks to:

    • Divert 75 percent of waste from landfills
    • Increase recycled content of packaging to 74 percent
    • Increase package recyclability to 88 percent
    • Increase renewable energy use to 10 percent

3. Expanding environmental awareness: Throughout its work to create a greener Postal Service, the organization will continue to educate its 640,000 employees, local communities and federal, state and local partners on its progress.

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The new USPS electrical vehicle fleet at the S&DC. (Photo: United States Postal Service)

Rolling Out A New EV Fleet

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These targets are the latest in a series of actions USPS has taken in the past three years to enhance sustainability across the organization, including beginning the rollout of the nation’s largest electric vehicle (EV) fleet, establishing the USPS Environmental Council, and aAdvancing a network transformation focused on sustainability.

Late last month, USPS unveiled its first set of EV charging stations at its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center (S&DC). Similar charging stations will be installed at hundreds of new S&DCs across the country throughout the year, and will power what promises to be the nation’s largest EV fleet.

Starting in early 2024, USPS will begin adding at least 66,000 battery electric-powered delivery vehicles to its fleet: 21,000 commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) electric delivery vehicles and 45,000 battery-electric Next Generation Delivery Vehicles (NGDVs). This represents one of the largest commitments to vehicle electrification in the nation, and USPS is exploring the feasibility of achieving 100 percent electrification for its delivery vehicle fleet.

Notes

¹ Scope 1 emission sources consist of stationary combustion including building heating (natural gas, fuel oil and propane) and generators, mobile combustion including owned fleet vehicles and small equipment, on-site wastewater treatment, and fugitive emissions such as refrigerants. Scope 2 emission sources include purchased electricity and purchased steam.

² Scope 3 emission sources include contract transportation, employee business travel, employee commuting, contracted solid waste disposal and wastewater treatment, buildings with fully serviced leases, and transmission and distribution losses from electricity purchases.

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