UPS cut its greenhouse gas emissions in 2012, despite an increase in the number of packages shipped, according to the company’s latest annual Sustainability Report.
The Atlanta-based shipping giant said its environmental achievements last year included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1m 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 bn miles driven by alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicles – more than double the previous 400 million 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 6m square feet (557,000 square metres)
- A Global Forestry Initiative to plant more than 1m trees by the end of 2013
- Humanitarian relief efforts in 35 countries, with related in-kind donations valued at US$2.6m
- Total Charitable Contributions and United Way donations of US$97.5 million, up from 2011 by US$4m
- 1.8m volunteer hours donated by UPS employees, friends and families, a new record
UPS said that in 2012 is that UPS Airlines, which represents 57% the company’s carbon footprint, reduced its fuel use and carbon production. Air shipping volume rose 4.8% year-on-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 295m miles with an ambitious new goal of 1bn miles set for 2017. In 2012, this growing fleet drove 49m 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 206m minutes of engine idling time last year, saving more than 1.5m gallons of fuel. Routing technology increased pickup and delivery stops per mile, saving 12.1m miles of driving which equates to approximately 1.3m gallons of fuel.