The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) saved $11.7 million in fuel costs through a mix of route optimization, alternative-fuel use, purchasing fuel in bulk, and by encouraging employees to adopt more fuel-efficient driving practices.
Government Fleet contacted the USPS and received responses from the organization’s Chief Sustainability Officer Thomas G. Day about these efforts.
The USPS formed 850 "green teams" that focused on driver education and other “no cost” measures as one way to reduce fuel use in addition to promoting other sustainable practices at USPS facilities nationwide. The teams tracked “eco driving” efforts by USPS drivers and focused on spreading awareness of those techniques across the organization. USPS uses a tool called the Green Initiative Tracking Tool (GITT), which reports the amount of petroleum fuel used and related costs, Day said.
In promoting “no cost” fuel-reduction measures, the green teams focused on five key areas: employee education about fuel-saving driving habits (limiting jackrabbit starts, anticipating stops, driving at speeds optimal for fuel economy, using overdrive, and for manual-transmission vehicles, shifting up a little sooner); proper tire inflation; reviewing detailed mileage reports; encouraging use of shared rides and public transportation; and promoting virtual meetings, according to Day.
In In FY-2012, the USPS operated 212,530 vehicles. This number includes delivery, administrative, trailers, and support vehicles, according to the organization. The USPS’ goal is to reduce its fleet’s petroleum fuel consumption by 20% by 2015.
In 2012, the organization was able to reduce its fuel use by 2.2%, according to Day. USPS spent a total of $517 million on petroleum fuel in 2012. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions reduction, USPS’ Day stated that in 2012, it produced 6,000 fewer metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions through its 41,000 alternative-fuel vehicles (the same number as operated in 2011) than if it had been operating gasoline- or diesel-fueled vehicles.
By Greg Basich