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‘We’re making progress’

Q&A with Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day

Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day
Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day and his team are helping USPS become efficient while reducing the organization’s environmental impact.

You hear a lot about sustainability, but do you know why it’s important? To help mark Earth Day, Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day recently sat down with Link to discuss his team’s work and why it’s essential to the Postal Service’s future.

Let’s start with the basics. What does sustainability mean from a postal point of view?

Our focus on sustainability has been to become more efficient while reducing our impact on the environment. We’re making progress on that front, which I think bodes well for our future.

Talk about that for a moment. What are the organization’s key sustainability efforts?

Our work is focused on several areas. Through the National Recycling Operation, we’re standardizing how the Postal Service recycles. We’re also working with Facilities on solar energy projects that will both reduce costs and improve continuity of operations.

Fuel efficiency is also a major opportunity for the Postal Service, isn’t it?

Since I’ve been in this job, we’ve tried to reduce fuel usage across the board. That’s really the biggest opportunity because our fuel consumption continues to rise each year. We continue to add miles with almost 1 million new delivery points each year while operating with an aging fleet.

Where else do we have work to do?

The Postal Service is an energy consumer — lights, heating and cooling. Those are costs we have to continue to decrease. We’re working with Facilities, Supply Management and Network Operations to manage our contract transportation costs and install newer energy-efficient systems.

How can employees be part of the change?

I always encourage employees to work with management and their local lean green teams. These teams have access to some of our best data, are they’re able to share materials with co-workers who want to participate in front-line energy reduction and recycling efforts. We’re proud to honor employees with the Postmaster General Excellence Awards.

This is all interesting. So what does a typical day look like for you?

Well, the best thing about the job is there really is no typical day. We touch so many areas of the organization on a daily basis, and that always makes any job rewarding.

The Sustainability Blue page has more information, including details on how employees can contribute to the Postal Service’s sustainability efforts.

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