August 5, 2020 (RISC-WP-20-005) 

  • A majority of U.S. customers are concerned about the environmental impact of deliveries and many factor in these concerns when choosing a delivery company. 
  • To respond to customers’ expectations the Postal Service — like competitors and international posts — could consider offering optional carbon compensation offsets for its letters and parcels, as well as reusable packaging solutions. 

An OIG survey found that 56 percent of Americans are concerned about the environmental impacts of deliveries, and 41 percent state that environmental practices play a major role when choosing a delivery company. 

Options such as reusable packaging present exciting opportunities for the Postal Service: 76 percent of the U.S. consumers surveyed expressed support for this emerging solution. In addition, 52 percent said they would be willing to pay an average of 32 cents per package to support carbon offsetting efforts — should the Postal Service decide to offer this option. Carbon compensation would entail, for example, the planting of new trees to help compensate for greenhouse gas emissions caused by operations. Thirteen of the 18 international posts surveyed by the OIG, as well as large U.S. competitors, already offer some kind of carbon offset program. 

Furthermore, the Postal Service has many natural advantages when it comes to reducing environmental impact, such as optimized delivery routes and fuller delivery vehicles. By adopting environmentally-friendly products and better communicating the sustainable features of its delivery network USPS can meet customers’ expectations for sustainable deliveries and establish an advantage over its competitors.

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  • anon

    I ordered stamps @ USPS online, 20 "forever"... They arrived-- the 5 In. X 5 in. slip of stamps, in a 9X12 " envelope, with an 8X11" invoice. Added was a 9X12" piece of cardboard. Now-- tell me about your "Green, sustainable, Footprint-reducing measures ??!!!!!!!!!!!! And then tell me why postage will be increasing this fall??????????

    May 30, 2021
  • anon

    How about you do something about the insane amount of exhaust your vehicles are polluting the air with???? Get a tune-up or new vehicles that won’t kill the ozone.

    Oct 15, 2020
  • anon

    It’s time we started utilizing the technology available in the electric vehicle. Besides the obvious reduction in carbon footprint , look at the hundreds of millions in money it will save . This is a chance for the USPS to stand up and be a leader in the industry. Thank you for all you do . Know you are appreciated by us !

    Aug 27, 2020
  • anon

    Go all green use electric vehicles!!!! I heard of a company called work horse that has all electric delivery vans that might be perfect for the USPS!!!!

    Aug 27, 2020
  • anon

    ELectric vehicles would cut down on fuel and maintenance costs ... there’s tons of stop and go... saving millions and millions of $$$$ if not billions

    Aug 13, 2020
  • anon

    That is a total lie. Most customers are not concerned about the carbon footprint of getting their mail. They just want their packages delivered on spot and ON TIME. That is all we are worried about.

    Aug 10, 2020
  • anon

    Im not sure What I need to do. About thi

    Aug 10, 2020
  • anon

    I am all for sustainability and would love to talk to people about something that I've been working on for a long time that addresses "junk mail" and changing that to Electronic Mail Inboxes, it seems to make even more sense now that covid-19 is affecting our lives, the concept is multifaceted and addresses e-waste as well.

    Aug 06, 2020

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  • Jean Philippe Ducasse, David Neu, Jake Soffronoff, Christopher Backley and Jeffrey Colvin contributed to this report.