October 1, 2008

U.S. Postal Service ‘Unplugs’

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Unplug. Turn off lights. Close doors. Adjust thermostats. Report HVAC problems. Turn off unused equipment. Become personally responsible for conservation. Simple steps that, taken collectively among the 685,000 employees at the U.S. Postal Service and throughout its 34,000 facilities, will have a dramatic impact on the environment.

That was the message from Postmaster General John Potter, launching a year-long campaign to increase awareness and create results for energy conservation. Potter called on employees, suppliers and partners in the mailing industry to increase efforts to "go green." His statements came during a special "unplugged" event at Postal Service corporate headquarters, recognizing October as National Energy Awareness Month.

The Postal Service has a stated goal of reducing energy use 30 percent by 2015, he said, a further demonstration of the organization's commitment to environmental stewardship. Scheduled capital investments will be made annually in energy conservation measures, primarily for lighting and HVAC upgrades.

"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 Postmaster General hosted a special "unplugged" event that included acoustic performances by several musicians, provided demonstrations of photovoltaic equipment used throughout the Postal Service, showed off some alternative-fuel vehicles, including the T3, a three-wheeled vehicle that runs on electricity being tested as a possible replacement for traditional fuel delivery vehicles in Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.

"We are building on a strong history of environmental stewardship," said Sam Pulcrano, vice president, Sustainability. "Every day brings a new challenge and a new opportunity to reduce our impact and improve our operations and systems."

Efforts include a Utility Management System pilot project which began earlier this year to capture consumption and cost data for electricity, natural gas and fuel oil. The pilot has successfully gathered bills for 600 sites and processed payments. The project provides greater visibility into cost and consumption information, allowing the Postal Service to better manage energy resources.

Detailed energy audits are ongoing at 500 of the largest energy-consuming buildings in the postal inventory. These buildings represent approximately 40 million square feet of facility space (40 percent of all facilities) and approximately 60 percent of the Postal Service's energy consumption. More than 1 trillion BTUs of potential energy reductions already have been identified.

A national energy management plan is being reviewed by Postal Service leadership, identifying goals and standards for energy reduction and consumption for facility energy management, fleet management, fuel use and energy consumption.

   Other energy and conservation programs include:    --  Incorporating energy efficient requirements into mail processing       equipment designs. New standards such as power consumption now are       being reviewed as part of postal procurement procedures. ENERGYSTAR(R)       and Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)-designated products will       be used.    --  The Denver Post Office was honored with Leadership in Energy and       Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the U.S. Green Building       Council. LEED certification is a nationally accepted rating system       that measures the environmental attributes and sustainable features of       buildings. All LEED-certified buildings reduce water use by 37       percent, energy use by 30 percent and use at least 15 percent of       recycled materials for construction. LEED certification is pending for       a postal facility in South Hampton, NY.    --  Lighting and lighting controls in processing plants are being upgraded       to include energy-efficient fluorescent track lighting, creating 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, geo-thermal panels and wind turbines.    --  With the largest civilian fleet of alternative fuel-capable vehicles       (43,000), the Postal Service used more than 1 million gallons of       alternative fuel and increased E85 fuel consumption by 40 percent last       year.   

For more information on green initiatives and consumer products can be found at usps.com/green.

An Audio News Release and fact sheet are available for this press release. Please visit the newsroom on usps.com or contact [email protected] for copies.

Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/welcome.htm.

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.

U.S. Postal Service

CONTACT: Joanne Veto of USPS, (O) +1-202-268-3118, (C) +1-202-285-2168,[email protected]

Web Site: http://www.usps.com/