Organizations are under growing pressure to conduct their business more sustainably. Approximately two-thirds of people worldwide believe the planet is currently experiencing a climate emergency.
The demand for corporate responsibility is rapidly growing as the long-term effects of climate change are becoming more apparent. Environmental and social campaign pressures are befalling businesses to improve their actions, and the United States Postal Service (USPS) is no exception.
In response to public pressure to electrify its fleet, USPS has announced plans to go electric. The U.S. Postal Service will buy at least 66,000 electric delivery trucks out of the 106,000 vehicles over the next five years. The new cars will gradually replace the existing 220,000-strong fleet of USPS.
Image credit: USPS
USPS has faced lawsuits from environmental organizations and even states to perform better in terms of ecological footprint. Adrian Martinez, a senior attorney with Earthjustice, one of the organizations that filed a lawsuit against the Postal Service, said, "every neighborhood, every household in America deserves to have electric USPS trucks delivering clean air with their mail, and today's announcement brings us almost all the way there." According to Katherine García, director of the Sierra Club's Clean Transportation for All campaign, "instead of receiving pollution with their daily mail packages, communities across the U.S. will get the relief of cleaner air." The Sierra Club is also among the lot urging the delivery giant to switch to electric vehicles.
About $10 billion in total investments are anticipated to electrify USPS' old fleet, $3 billion of which will come from the Inflation Reduction Act. It will cover constructing a cutting-edge charging infrastructure at hundreds of postal facilities across the country. According to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, the investment will assist the Postal Service to develop what might end up becoming one of the biggest electric vehicle fleets in the nation. The purpose, according to DeJoy, is to fulfill a regulatory duty that requires us to carry mail and deliveries to 163 million addresses six days a week while still making a profit. "As I have said in the past, if we can achieve those objectives in a more environmentally responsible way, we will do so," he added.
According to the White House, the latest USPS announcement "sets the bar for the rest of the federal government and, importantly, the rest of the world."
To paraphrase white house official John Podesta- the new plan sets the postal fleet on a course for electrification, significantly reduces vehicle miles traveled in the network, and places USPS at the forefront of the clean transportation revolution.
Read the official USPS statement here.