As a new letter carrier on the job for about three months in 1990, I was told you can expect to work every holiday no matter what. So when it was December 24th and I had returned to the station in Lima, Ohio, after running my assigned route in eight inch deep snow, I was informed that needed to run Express Mail that had arrived late on this day.When I made the call to my wife, she and my family were gathered with others waiting for me to come home so we could celebrate Christmas. I could hear the disappointment in her voice but she understood because this was my job.At that time, Lima served as a hub that delivered Express Mail to a number of counties and of course, being low on the seniority roster, I was given the farthest reaching destinations to deliver. When I left the station, the snow had increased intensely and was blowing up drifts that the plows could not keep up with.The very last article I had to deliver was a single rose that someone had sent from Florida to a rural address about 73 miles away. When I had turned down the last road after getting directions from two different sources, I was stopped by the local Sheriff and asked where I was going. When I gave the name and address, he said don’t bother, the road is blocked with snow and they are in Florida as well.It was a very long and said ride back home in that cold LLV for I had driven well over 150 miles round trip for what seemed like nothing, missed our Christmas celebration and felt I had let everyone down. As I left the Post Office that night, I was exhausted by the 15 hour day I had just endured. All I watned to do was just go home.So when I pulled down the street to come home, something didn’t seem right. In fact, the whole neighborhood was bright with porch lights lit and the brightest was… my home.When I walked through the door, my entire family, Mother and Father were all thre waiting for my return so we could all celebrate Christmas at midnight. And to help light the way home, my family had asked all of our neighbors to be sure to keep their lights on knowing I was out there, doing my job no matter the cost, no matter the loss.It did matter, and was worth every tireless effort that was made that day.That is what still drives me today to give that same service to each and every customer, every day.Lest we forget.Paul JosephPostmasterCelina, OH
While we work year-round to reduce our environmental impact, we enjoy taking a day each year to celebrate our accomplishments and remember what we still want to achieve.We recently released our 2014 Annual Sustainability Report. This report is key to ensuring transparency and tracking our organizational progress. We encourage you to take a look!This year, we kicked off the report with a special interview featuring our Postmaster General Megan Brennan and Chief Sustainability Officer Tom Day.See the first few questions and answers below, and stay tuned for part two! Q. The Postal Service created the Office of Sustainability in spring 2008. What has the department achieved since then?A. Megan Brennan: First, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of my predecessors, Jack Potter, who created the Office of Sustainability, and Pat Donahoe, who championed its efforts. I, too, am proud of and support the initiatives that promote a culture of conservation within the Postal Service. Given the scale and scope of our organization, we believe there is an obligation to be a sustainability leader. Since 2007 we have achieved a 15 percent reduction in our scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions. During the same period we reduced facility energy use by more than 31 percent. I would like to thank the employees who did their part and took action to make these accomplishments a reality. Q. What are some key initiatives that are helping the Postal Service become more sustainable?A. Tom Day: Several initiatives have contributed to our success. Our belief is that in order to achieve change, one must measure, set targets and report results. We assemble and report three separate greenhouse gas inventories. The first is with our federal peers through the Greenhouse Gas Comprehensive Inventory and Energy Reporting initiative. The second is with our industry peers at the International Post Corporation, and lastly with our business peers at The Climate Registry. In addition, we also report progress in a Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan, the Office of Management and Budget Scorecard and the Global Reporting Initiative index. Each of these efforts furthers our transparency. Beyond measuring and reporting, we are committed to change by implementing specific programs that will make a difference. The national recycling operation will standardize the trash removal and recycling efforts of the Postal Service. When completed, we will move our diversion from landfill to recycling from less than 50 percent to over 90 percent. Our underground storage tank program is addressing the single greatest environmental risk of the Postal Service.We are removing, and where financially justified, replacing our inventory of underground storage tanks, a process necessary to ensure that we are properly storing gasoline and diesel fuel. Finally, we are addressing the issue of climate change through a cross-functional climate change adaptation plan to make sure our plans and policies account for the impact of climate risk. Q. How does sustainability fit within the Postal Service?A. Megan Brennan: The Postal Service’s mission is to provide trusted, affordable and universal mail service to the people of the United States. Delivering to every home nearly every day means doing our part to take care of communities in which we live and work. Sustainability initiatives are a great example of how we can reinvigorate the way we serve our customers and the public by constantly looking forward as an organization, anticipating the changing needs of our customers, and adapting as quickly as we can to an evolving world.
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