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Green-ribbon projects

Sustainability Excellence Award winners announced

The 2023 Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award trophy was presented to the Recycling Education Delivered team for its work to incorporate standardized, on-package labeling to clearly communicate recycling instructions for envelopes and boxes.

Five projects have been chosen for the 2023 Sustainability Excellence Awards, which honor exemplary efforts to reduce the Postal Service’s environmental footprint.

One of the five — an initiative to incorporate How2Recycle labeling on Priority Mail boxes and other USPS items — received the top honor, the Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award.

“The How2Recycle labeling project was another example of our enterprise-wide sustainability efforts,” said Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in announcing the award. “Ensuring we provide our customers with the information necessary to properly recycle products at end of life decreases waste to landfills and reduces our impact on the earth.”

Here are the five winning projects, the USPS executive team member who chose it and a brief description of its results:

The postmaster general and chief financial officer awards went to the Recycling Education Delivered team. USPS is a member of How2Recycle, a nationwide group that helps companies incorporate standardized, on-package labeling to clearly communicate recycling instructions. The team changed all contractual specifications for applicable envelopes and boxes and obtained proof approvals and labeling formats from Environmental Affairs and Corporate Sustainability to achieve this end.

• The general counsel award went to the Law Department team that provided legal support and guidance to stakeholders involved in the procurement of next-generation delivery vehicles. The team also helped ensure that USPS complied with the National Environmental Policy Act.

• The chief processing and distribution officer award went to a Lean Mail Processing Auditing project in Southwest Division. The audits pinpointed issues that were addressed by teams in the division’s 23 sites. The result was reduced waste in all its various forms — from time lost looking for misplaced items to recycling errors — and increased employee engagement.

• The chief logistics officer award went to the Route Optimization team for its continued success at route consolidation. Using enterprise analytics and a special tool developed for the team, they identified “opportunity lanes” underused by up to 35 percent where consolidation would not compromise service. A total of 7,556 origin-destination First-Class Mail and First-Class Package Service routes were switched from air to surface transportation, resulting in a financial savings of $104,932,091, and a reduction of 186,531,407 pounds in carbon dioxide emissions.

• The chief retail and delivery officer award honors the GEMBA mobile app project, an initiative that uses smartphone technology to reduce the use of paper and increase efficiency. The app, which was introduced in fiscal year 2022, has already seen 84,940 entries, saving consumable resources.

The winners were announced May 1.

The winner of the Postmaster General Sustainability Excellence Award will be invited to dine with the DeJoy.

The Sustainability Excellence Awards Blue page has more information on all the winners.

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