UPS released its annual Sustainability Report announcing that while the total number of packages shipped in 2012 increased, the company reduced its total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Environmental achievements included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1mn miles from ground deliveries.
“UPS also set a new alternative fuel goal,” said David Abney, UPS Chief Operating Officer. “By 2017, the company will reach one billion miles driven by alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicles – more than double the previous 400mn mile goal.”
For the second year in a row, UPS earned superior credentials for reporting transparency: A Sustainability Report that fulfills the Global Reporting Initiative’s requirements for an A+ level as well as third-party assurance of its report and greenhouse gas data from Deloitte & Touche LLP. Less than 20% of all GRI Sustainability Reports are A+.
“Our industry-leading accomplishments showcase innovative technology and global operational efficiency gains as well as world-class credentials for rock-solid data,” said Scott Wicker, UPS Chief Sustainability Officer. “The report’s theme, More of What Matters, sharpens UPS’s focus on how to make the most measurable positive impact through sustainability business practices and logistics expertise.”
Highlights of the 2012 report include:
Reduction in the absolute amount of global greenhouse gas emissions from operations and purchased energy of 2.1% compared to 2011
Rapid expansion of UPS’s dedicated global healthcare infrastructure to more than 6mn square feet (0.557mn m2)
A Global Forestry Initiative to plant more than 1mn trees by the end of 2013
Humanitarian relief efforts in 35 countries, with related in-kind donations valued at US$2.6mn
Total Charitable Contributions and United Way donations of US$97.5mn, up from 2011 by US$4mn
1.8mn volunteer hours donated by UPS employees, friends and families, a new record
Noteworthy in 2012 is that UPS Airlines, which represents 57% of UPS’s carbon footprint, reduced its fuel use and carbon production. Air shipping volume rose 4.8% year over year, while fuel use dropped 1.3%.
One of the cornerstones of UPS’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. Vehicles represent approximately 35% of UPS’s carbon footprint. UPS is accelerating its testing, purchase and deployment of new-generation vehicles. Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet has logged 295mn miles with an ambitious new goal of 1 billion miles set for 2017. In 2012, this growing fleet drove 49mn miles, a 43% increase compared to 2011.
Earlier this year, UPS announced plans to add nearly 1,000 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tractors in the next two years, expanding its current fleet of 2,700 alternative fuel and technologically advanced vehicles. The fleet today includes all-electric, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, natural gas (LNG, compressed natural gas), propane, biomethane, and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.
The new Sustainability Report also cites the greenhouse gas reductions, fuel savings and miles avoided through the innovative use of technology. For example, telematics data fed through vehicle sensors helped UPS cut more than 206mn minutes of engine idling time last year, saving more than 1.5mn gallons of fuel. Routing technology increased pickup and delivery stops per mile, saving 12.1mn miles of driving which equates to approximately 1.3mn gallons of fuel.