Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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Delivering the mail has a large carbon footprint, so when the twenty largest postal services in the world get together to tackle their greenhouse gas emissions, it’s good news for the environment. Last week the International Postal Corporation (IPC) issued a report detailing the sustainability initiatives its members have already taken and their targets for the future. Those twenty postal services deliver 80% of the world’s mail, delivered by 600,000 transport vehicles through 100,000 mail facilities.
The USPS was a major contributor to the report. Vice President of Sustainability Sam Pulcrano told CSRwire that the goal, both of the USPS and the international postal group as a whole is to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020. One way to do that is by taking vehicles off the road by consolidating routes and reducing idling times through better planning of vehicle trips. Another is to improve the energy efficiency of postal facilities. The USPS does energy audits on 25% of its facilities every year. It pays off: last year, $22 million was saved in energy costs.
Using alternative fuel vehicles is also key. The USPS has the largest alternative fuel fleet in the world -- 43,000 vehicles. It’s testing everything from gas electric hybrids to all electric to compressed natural gas and propane to three wheel electric vehicles. And it’s set an ambitious goal: to use 100% alternative fuels in ten years. Sustainability is important to the USPS, according to Pulcrano. “We're one of the nation’s largest workforces, we have the largest civilian fleet in the world, we have the largest facility inventories in the world, so we have an obligation to all the communities that we serve to work in a sustainable way for the future,” he told CSRwire.