USPS 2021 Annual Sustainability Report

Committed to Service. Committed to Sustainability.

The United States Postal Service plays an essential role in delivering for America, with a universal service obligation to deliver mail and packages to 161 million address points in the United States, six days a week. USPS has 644,000 total career employees and an extensive network of 34,451 facilities and 231,541 vehicles in all 50 states and U.S territories. Their first annual sustainability report is divided into six key sustainability topic areas: operations, environmental management, emissions, energy, water, and recycling and minimizing waste.

The Postal Service operates a fleet of 37,391 alternative fuel-capable vehicles.


USPS has a solar power generation system consisting of more than 38,000 solar panels at its Los Angeles mail processing facility.


The Postal Service achieved its existing goal of decreasing Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions 25% from FY2008 by FY2025 several years early, so they have created a new goal to decrease Scope 1 and 2 by 25% by FY2030 compared to FY 2019.


USPS’s Scope 1 emission sources include: stationary combustion including building heating and generators, mobile combustion including owned fleet vehicles and small equipment, and fugitive emissions such as refrigerants. To manage Scope 1 emissions, USPS is focused on improving building and vehicle fuel efficiency.


Their Scope 2 emission sources include purchased electricity and purchased steam. To manage Scope 2 emissions, USPS is focused on installing and purchasing renewable energy.


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


The USPS BlueEarth Carbon Accounting service is an online report designed for major mailers that provides the emissions for their mailing and shipping activity that can be used for their corporate inventory or to purchase carbon credits to offset and provide carbon neutral shipping for their customers.


The Postal Service’s approach to reducing energy consumption and intensity focuses on monitoring energy consumption and increasing facility renewable energy and energy efficiency.


They rely on their Utility Management System (UMS) and Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS) to closely monitor facility energy consumption.


In FY2020, USPS added to its on-site renewable energy production with a solar installation at the Bellmawr, New Jersey, processing and distribution center. This project includes the installation of over 13,000 solar panels and is expected to generate 7,150 megawatt hours (MWh) annually, enough electricity to power over 856 homes each year.


In addition to on-site renewable energy production, the Postal Service has begun purchasing renewable energy in the form of credits.


On Feb. 23, 2021, the Postal Service announced the award of a 10-year contract for their Next Generation Delivery Vehicle: U.S.-built postal delivery vehicles that will drive the most dramatic modernization of the USPS fleet in three decades.


The new vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies.


As a self-funded entity, the Postal Service is strongly incentivized to track vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, accidents, and fraud.


Approximately 40,000 of their over 200,000 current vehicles can be powered with alternative fuel, including electric, compressed natural gas, liquid propane, and hybrid.


The Postal Service generates waste consisting primarily of paper, cardboard, and clear shrink/stretch wrap, but also including batteries, used oil, and other hazardous and regulated wastes. They achieved their existing goal of a 50% diversion rate by 2025 several years early, so set a more aspirational goal to challenge postal employees to do their best to reduce waste and the cost of landfill disposal.


To encourage more customers to recycle, the Postal Service has joined forces with How2Recycle, a consumer-oriented package labeling system that uses Federal Trade Commission guidance to help customers properly recycle.


of USPS’s current vehicles can be powered with alternative fuel


letter carriers deliver mail entirely on foot

Our goal is to make a positive impact and take a leadership role in paving the way toward a sustainable future.

Judy de Torok

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

With compliance and changing customer expectations in mind, the United States Postal Service strives to create a culture of conservation by integrating sustainable business practices among their employees, across their organization, and with suppliers and customers. To continue to fulfill their mission over the next year, USPS plans to use technology and innovation to optimize and adapt all their operations to futher reduce their environmental impact — from retail and delivery to logistics and transportation, to mail processing, administrative, and support functions.


The Postal Service achieved many of their existing sustainability goals before their target date of 2025. As a result, USPS set new goals that used 2019 as a higher baseline to continue their progress and positive impact.



solar panels installed in FY2020

Sustainability is a core commitment of the Postal Service. As we invest in new vehicles and technology, we will champion sustainable and environmentally focused solutions.