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UPS Travels Further, Emits Less Thanks to Alternative Fuels and Technologies

UPS today released its 2012 Sustainability Report, which announces that, while the total number of packages shipped in 2012 increased, the company reduced its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Other achievements included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1 million miles from ground deliveries.“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,” said Scott Wicker, UPS’s Chief Sustainability Officer. Highlights of the 2012 report, which earned an A+ rating from GRI, include:

UPS today released its 2012 Sustainability Report, which announces that, while the total number of packages shipped in 2012 increased, the company reduced its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Other achievements included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1 million miles from ground deliveries.

“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,” said Scott Wicker, UPS’s Chief Sustainability Officer.

Highlights of the 2012 report, which earned an A+ rating from GRI, include:

• Reduction in the absolute amount of global GHG emissions from operations and purchased energy of 2.1 percent compared to 2011

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• Rapid expansion of UPS’s dedicated global healthcare infrastructure to more than 6 million square feet (0.557 million m2)
• A Global Forestry Initiative to plant more than a million trees by the end of 2013

• Humanitarian relief efforts in 35 countries, with related in-kind donations valued at US$2.6 million

Also noteworthy in 2012 is that UPS Airlines, which represents 57 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint due to transport, reduced its fuel use and carbon production. Air shipping volume rose 4.8 percent year over year, while fuel use dropped 1.3 percent.

“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 400-million-mile goal.”

Since vehicle transport represents roughly 35 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint, one of the cornerstones of the company’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. In 2012, UPS’s growing alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet drove 49 million miles, a 43 percent 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 company says it will continue to accelerate its testing, purchase and deployment of new-generation vehicles.

The new report also cites the GHG 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 206 million minutes of engine idling time last year, saving more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel. Routing technology increased pickup and delivery stops per mile, saving 12.1 million miles of driving which equates to approximately 1.3 million gallons of fuel.

Late last year, UPS announced it was teaming up with its rival, the U.S. Postal Service, on an initiative to cut the carbon and fuel costs associated with mail delivery.

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