UPS accelerates progress toward sustainability goals

By: |
August 07, 2015 9:32 AM

Nearly tripled number of miles driven by alternative fuels and advanced technology fleet in 2014 UPS released its 13th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting its growing investment in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and commitment to log 20 million hours of volunteer time by the end of 2020. With its ‘Rolling Laboratory’ approach, UPS accelerated […]

Nearly tripled number of miles driven by alternative fuels and advanced technology fleet in 2014

UPS released its 13th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting its growing investment in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and commitment to log 20 million hours of volunteer time by the end of 2020.

With its ‘Rolling Laboratory’ approach, UPS accelerated its investment in an alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles last year, increasing the number of vehicles by 61 per cent over 2013 and adding 1,100 natural gas vehicles. According to the report, UPS logged 154 million miles in 2014 toward its goal of driving one billion miles with the fleet by the end of 2017 – an almost threefold increase from 2013.

Jean-François Condamine, President Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA), UPS, “It took 13 years to drive the first 350 million miles with our alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. In just one year we were able to build dramatically on that number and we are now more than halfway to our 2017 goal. With continued investments in this fleet, we are doing our part to help transform the transportation industry.”

UPS reported that 5.4 per cent – or 25 million gallons – of its total gas and diesel purchased in 2014 was displaced with alternative fuels including natural gas, propane, ethanol, biomethane, renewable diesel, and electricity. The commitment to alternative fuel and advanced technologies will allow UPS to reduce its annual use of gasoline and diesel 12 per cent by the end of 2017.

The report also highlights two global trends facing the transportation and logistics industry: an increase in consumer e-commerce and growth in urbanisation. E-commerce shipments are typically business-to-consumer (B2C) and fewer packages per stop, compared to business-to-business (B2B) deliveries. This means carriers may be driving more miles and using more fuel to deliver fewer goods.

While e-commerce drove a 6.8 per cent increase in package volume globally in 2014, UPS emitted fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per package, with total carbon emissions growing just 3.3 per cent. The 14.1 per cent reduction in carbon intensity achieved since 2007 is equal to removing more than 380,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

With consumer deliveries expected to grow to half of UPS’s US business volume by 2019, the company deploys innovative strategies and technologies to address this challenge, including the ORION routing system, UPS My Choice service and UPS Access Point locations. These services give consumers control over when and where they receive deliveries, which helps UPS avoid unnecessary miles.

Global population shifts from rural to urban areas translates into more congestion, noise, and pollution in cities. UPS works closely with its customers, government leaders and other stakeholders to develop new delivery methods to reach dense urban areas. For example, UPS has 28 electric trucks operating in London and expects to add another 40 within the next few years to reach its goal of having an all-electric fleet in London’s city centre. UPS also operates 80 electric vehicles in cities across Europe including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg and in some urban centres the company is using bikes for deliveries.

“Urbanisation and e-commerce growth create unique challenges for us, our customers and the communities we serve,” continued Condamine. “UPS is committed to meeting those challenges, minimising our impact on the environment and paving the way for a more sustainable future.”

UPS also continued its long history of giving back to the community with a 2014 pledge to commit 20 million volunteer hours by the end of 2020. UPS employees and retirees, friends and families logged 7.2 million volunteer hours since 2011. The company expects the 20 million hours of volunteer work to translate into nearly a half-billion dollars in economic impact to non-profit organisations around the world.

Assuring humanitarian relief reached those in need around the world as quickly as possible continues to be a UPS priority. UPS employees and the global logistics network coordinated more than 263 humanitarian relief shipments of food, health and emergency goods in 43 countries. The effort provided funding and logistics support to areas affected by the Ebola epidemic, the Syrian refugee crisis and severe weather in the Philippines and the US.

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