As Kermit the Frog sang, it’s not easy being green. Well, Kermit, try achieving corporate sustainability. It’s more than just “going green.” It generally means giving consideration to the environmental, economic, and social impact of a company's business practices.

While it’s not necessarily easy, it’s the responsible thing to do. It’s also good business as more consumers demand that companies be good stewards and corporate citizens. And that includes the Postal Service.

“Corporate sustainability recognizes the value of people, planet, and profit – the triple bottom line.” That’s a quote from USPS Chief Sustainability Officer Thomas Day in the agency’s 2014 Annual Sustainability Report. USPS has been issuing a sustainability report since 2008, and over the past few years the report’s focus has expanded from just green initiatives to the broader concept of working to improve the Postal Service’s economic, environmental, and social practices to make a positive impact on operations and communities served.

Included in the Postal Service’s 2016 Sustainability Report are not just its performance toward goals of reducing facility energy intensity, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption, but also its performance toward corporate goals, such as achieving controllable income gains and increasing customer service satisfaction. The report indicates USPS is on target in all areas except for its goal to reduce fleet-wide, per-mile greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025.

In addition, this year’s report includes stakeholder survey results identifying 13 social, economic and environmental material aspects that are critical to USPS success. Five were determined to be significant: financial stability; optimize delivery and network operations; digital and physical security; government relations/legislative and regulatory reform; and customer service and satisfaction.

For this year, USPS is identifying measurable goals, objectives, and targets that will help. “We’ll continue to identify metrics for those aspects that are within our control and report progress toward the goals in future report,” it notes.

What do you think is the most important aspect of sustainability? Should it be focused primarily on green initiatives or on the full breadth of a company’s practices? How is this kind of report different from a strategic plan? 

Comments (3)

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  • anon

    Although the Postal Service puts out a rather sophisticated report on a yearly basis since FY 2008, the question becomes how serious their leadership is in integrating sustainability concepts into their strategic plan and throughout their operations? One example of this is their ageing vehicle fleet (~227,000+) which pours greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, yet they claim they are making significant progress in addressing the situation. The PMG has yet to sign an official statement saying that the service is committed to Sustainability which most corporations have as the standard.

    Feb 22, 2018
  • anon

    Calling yourself a business is a cruel joke. The USPS is a taxpayer subsidized sinkhole of wasted money. You could not exist without intervention. Lazy, inefficient, overpaid, indolent workers that cannot be fired. The continuing cycle of getting a raise, breaking even, taking a loss- over and over. The USPS is not a business. You probably consider the IRS a business, also.

    Aug 23, 2017
  • anon

    My mail is not going to my po box this has been going on for months I reported it to the station clerk they said they don't know why it's happening

    Aug 21, 2017

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  • 17 hours 31 min ago
    BINGO...Mark you win the prize... real and realistic coordination of flow between plants and delivery units is non-existent in the postal system...OIG reports always note this but never do anything...

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