How UPS and USPS teamed up to create a new industry standard

The United States Postal Service and United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) have teamed up to deliver a special sustainability package aimed at reducing the carbon footprints for the world's largest postal and delivery companies.

Specifically, the companies will share carbon data information that will help track their transportation and delivery emissions. As a result, both will benefit from understanding how they can operate more efficiently.

"This collaboration will not only help us be more cost effective, it will also help us reduce our carbon footprint," said Thomas G. Day, chief sustainability officer for USPS.

The creation of this measurement is huge because along with FedEx, the companies represent the vast majority of the postal and delivery sector.

The United States Postal Service is the world’s largest mail service, delivering nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail to more than 151 million addresses in the United States.

In 2011, UPS delivered more than four billion packages and documents to more than 220 countries and territories.

Kara Gerhardt Ross, a spokeswoman for UPS, said in an email that her company is excited about the possibilities of the project.

"While the Postal Service and UPS remain competitors, customers get lower prices and new products. Our planes and trucks can minimize empty space and across our supply chain, less fuel is burned, and less carbon is emitted," she said.

In a joint video address, U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General and Chief Executive Patrick Donahoe and UPS Chairman and Chief Executive Scott Davis underscore the strength of the partnership between both organizations.

The two companies have a long history of working together.

"We take advantage of the UPS transportation network and they benefit from our ability to deliver to all addresses in the U.S.," Day said. "It's actually more effective for UPS to give us packages to deliver to rural or suburban areas because we go everywhere."

Last year, UPS carried millions of pounds of USPS letter and package mail across the country and around the world.

Image of packages and earth provided by Franck Boston/Shutterstock

Next page: How the project was conceived