Published 7 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
An evolving approach to sustainability reveals how everyone has a seat at the table.
Patrick Browne | UPS
We’re all familiar with today’s I-want-it-now culture. That mindset, however, is also seeping into the problem-solving strategy employed by leaders tackling some of the world’s most daunting dilemmas.
We can ill afford to leave today’s issues to the next generation, especially the challenge of conducting global commerce efficiently and responsibly. More and more people see this task as necessary rather than aspirational.
There is increasing awareness of issues such as growing populations and congestion in cities, as well as how these trends are impacting the planet. There is a growing urgency surrounding climate concerns and pollution. And there’s a movement to get ahead of the root causes of these issues.
Coupled with a growing demand for immediate results, driven largely by advances in technology speeding up data and delivery capabilities, immediacy is now aligning with practicality.Companies and consumers are becoming more aware of their role and their ability to be part of the solution. And businesses understand the importance of playing to their strengths in such endeavors. For companies, sustainability pushes should build upon their core business competencies – and sooner rather than later.
A New Model for a New World
The world will never be without challenges, such as instability and environmental and human disasters. The question becomes: What can each of us bring to the table?
As we prepare for dramatic urban growth around the globe, sustainable practices will become the sparkplug, not a deterrent, to broader prosperity.
For UPS, logistics, technology and innovative ways to leverage data have led to breakthroughs in efficiency. This strategy has served everything from retail companies reaching customers in urban environments to healthcare companies connecting with patients in urgent need to NGOs managing relief on the front lines of disasters.
Collaboration Fuels Sustainability
As a company that creates connections on a global scale, UPS is inherently about collaboration. UPS brings commitment and expertise, which combined with the scale of the world’s largest transportation and logistics company, fosters unprecedented efficiency. When paired with the commitments and expertise of other organizations, the result is forward movement in sustainability that transcends the ability of each individual.
Businesses, customers, providers and NGO partners all must be in unison for these types of missions to succeed. One example of such a partnership is between UPS and The Conservation Fund.
Though motivated by different missions, the two organizations jumped on the opportunity to do something important together.
UPS sought to reduce the climate impact of operating a massive transportation and logistics network. The Conservation Fund aimed to conserve America’s working forests. Through collaboration and innovation, we engaged and inspired customers and employees to protect and conserve forests, which trap carbon dioxide, maintain wildlife habitats and water sources, and create jobs for local economies.
UPS is continuing to reduce carbon emissions through alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Innovative shipping and delivery options also offer customers a way to collaborate on further reductions.
For what remains, UPS can identify the amount of carbon dioxide generated by customer shipments with pinpoint accuracy. With UPS carbon neutral, UPS customers can choose to offset the exact amount of carbon emissions resulting from their shipments.
The offsets are purchased from organizations such as The Conservation Fund, which uses conservation and sustainable forest management to not only address the carbon emissions, but to create even greater results.
Through collaboration with organizations such as The Conservation Fund, not only can that remaining carbon dioxide be mitigated, habitats for at-risk species such as the spotted owl and Coho salmon are preserved.
Support from UPS carbon neutral shipping has enabled the capture of 160,250 metric tons of carbon dioxide from forests, the equivalent of taking 29,350 cars off the road for a year. The carbon is trapped by about 400 acres at the Fund’s Garcia River, Big River and Salmon Creek Forests in Mendocino County, California.
By focusing on carbon emissions before they even occur, and then managing those that materialize, we’ve created a balanced strategy. Through collaboration and a sustainable approach, this commitment evolves as technologies and new findings emerge
Partnerships for Game-Changing Missions
We know that in today’s environment, where disruption is transforming the world faster than we ever imagined, talk only gets you so far. Our results will speak louder than any public call to action.
But given the strength of our partnerships – and the innovation they have produced – we’re making solid progress on some of the world’s most vexing problems. We’re doing so at the pace required in today’s on-demand environment.
It’s what customers – and partners – demand of us.
Patrick Browne is UPS Director of Global Sustainability. He is responsible for managing sustainability initiatives and strategies, working with cross-functional teams from various UPS business units around the world.
Reprinted with permission of Longitudes, the UPS blog devoted to the trends shaping the global economy.
Published Apr 22, 2016 9am EDT / 6am PDT / 2pm BST / 3pm CEST