While "save" and "Postal Service" are words rarely used together these days, and it did lose another $5.2 billion during the last three months, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) managed to save $22 million on its facilities energy costs during 2011.
By practicing what it preaches on its Go Green stamps, the USPS reports having cut energy use at its more than 33,000 buildings nationwide by nearly 26%, or 8.6 trillion BTUs, since 2003.
"Postal employees are enthusiastic about reducing energy use at Post Offices, mail processing facilities and in all our buildings," said Tom Samra, USPS vice president of facilities in a press release. "Energy-saving projects in 2011 reduced costs by $22 million annually or about 1 trillion BTUs."
The USPS uses its own custom-designed utility and energy management monitoring systems to measure energy use and identify ways to cut costs.
"It takes a lot of energy to run America's largest retail network," said USPS chief sustainability officer Thomas G. Day. "The Postal Service's audit systems enable us to monitor and manage our energy use and improve our ability to optimize future cost-saving opportunities."
The USPS' long term conservation plan calls for a reduction of its nationwide facility energy use by 30% by 2015 and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Results achieved so far can be found in the USPS' 2011 Annual Sustainability Report
How Green is My Roof? A highlight of the USPS' energy saving initiative is its Green Roof project, which has now created landscaped, park environments featuring native trees, shrubs and ground cover on the roofs of two of the services largest facilities.
According to the USPS, the 2.5 acre Green Roof of its Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in New York City now saves the 79 year old facility will save the 2.2 million square foot facility at least $30,000 a year in heating and cooling costs. The USPS' second Green Roof was recently installed atop the Colvin-Elmwood Post Office in Syracuse, New York.
Through all its years of financial woe, the Postal Service has won numerous environmental honors, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WasteWise Partner of the Year award in 2010 and 2011, the EPA's National Partnership for Environmental Priorities award in 2011 and The Climate Registry Gold award in 2011.