USPS’s sustainable BlueEarth® Secure Destruction (SD) Mail Service, which was first offered to mailers back in November of 2014, is running strong for the seventh consecutive year. SD is an opt-in mail service that provides a cost effective, secure, and convenient way to manage mail with personally identifiable information (PII). SD allows mailers that use Address Change Service (ACS) and Intelligent Mail® barcodes to have their letter and flat-sized First-Class Mail®, that would otherwise be returned to the sender (RTS), securely shredded by the Postal Service at a USPS facility at no additional cost. The SD Service lowers mailer in-house mail-handling costs and reduces carbon emissions associated with the reverse logistics process for RTS mail. As a part of the SD service, participating mailers can securely track destroyed mailpieces by accessing daily automated notifications on the USPS Electronic Product Fulfillment (EPF) customer portal website.

The steady seven-year growth trend in SD mailer enrollment and participation is one example of how this sustainable service is producing the benefits mailers are looking for. We have heard from some SD mailers realizing RTS mail reductions of 95% or more from their SD mailings. Today there are over 206 different major mailers enrolled in the USPS BlueEarth SD Mail Service. While this number may be small relative to the overall number of business mailers, the active participating mailers represent many of the largest mailers from the financial, healthcare, telecommunications, insurance, mail service providers/marketing and government industry sectors. By the end of FY21, the USPS expects to reduce the total amount of projected First-Class Presort UAA RTS Mail by 15% overall (i.e. approx. 98.1 million pieces). Since the SD mail service began, close to a half billion pieces RTS mail have been intercepted and securely destroyed.

As part of USPS’s efforts to be more sustainable today and into the future, we invite all mailers to learn more about the USPS BlueEarth® SD Mail Service at Together we can help make the entire mailing industry safe, secure and more sustainable.