UPS Sets Aggressive Emissions-Reduction Goals

November 2014, Work Truck - Feature

by Staff

Recently, UPS released its 12th annual Sustainability Report. The report announced that, in addition to reducing overall carbon emissions in 2013, the company also met its 2016 goal of reducing its air and ground fleet’s carbon intensity by 10 percent three years early.

For the second year in a row, successful execution of UPS’ global greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy allowed the company to deliver more goods, while generating fewer emissions. In 2013, absolute carbon emissions decreased 1.5 percent from 2012, even as global shipping volume increased 3.9 percent during the same time frame.

Due to this achievement, the company has set a new goal to achieve a 20-percent reduction in carbon intensity from transportation by 2020.

According to Mike Britt, director of maintenance & engineering, international operations, ground fleet for UPS, reaching the original emissions reduction goals early can be attributed to “industrial technology advances by the OEMs, which were able to bring more alternatives to market quicker than anticipated, so UPS was able to deploy more vehicles.”

Achieving Goals

UPS’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal is the result of many combined efforts in several engineering disciplines, which includes vehicle routing effectiveness, density effectiveness, and UPS’ role with its “rolling laboratory approach” with its OEMs, which helped bring vehicles to market quicker than anticipated, according to Britt. 

“Here’s how we define our rolling laboratory approach: We test and deploy a variety of vehicle types, matched to the terrain and delivery conditions at each location,” Britt explained. “This approach helps UPS continuously integrate new technologies and operational efficiencies in our large, global delivery fleet.”

UPS’ 3,647 alternative-fuel and advanced technology vehicles (or 5 percent of the company’s overall fleet) worldwide continue to drive GHG reductions and serve as this rolling laboratory to test, optimize, and deploy new-generation vehicles.

While monitoring each vehicle’s performance, UPS works with manufacturers, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to advance new technologies.

Increasing Commitment

In 2013, UPS ramped up its use of cleaner-burning natural gas vehicles across the country, adding 249 heavy-duty tractors fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG) by year’s end. The company is on target to deploy more than 1,000 LNG tractors by the end of 2014. Additionally, UPS’ current natural gas tractor fleet is running more than 2 million miles per week.

In addition, in 2013, UPS’ alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide logged 55 million miles and avoided the use of 5.8 million gallons of conventional gasoline and diesel. Since 2000, the fleet has logged more than 350 million miles and avoided using 34.5 million gallons of conventional gasoline and diesel. The savings put the company well on its way to reaching a goal of driving 1 billion miles in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017.

How does UPS continually meet and outperform the emissions-reduction goals it’s set?

“Because, the more we discover together, the more sustainable we become and the more we help others move forward, too,” Britt said. 

Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.



Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Grants & Subsidies

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Alternative Fueling Station Locator

Find your closest station or plan a route. Locate biodiesel, electric, ethanol, hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquified natural gas (LNG), and propane across America.

Start Your Search


Market Trends

Mike Antich
Don't Underutilize the Expertise of Your Suppliers

By Mike Antich
For many managers responsible for vehicle operations, fleet management is often one of several job responsibilities. These managers acknowledge that it is difficult to stay on top of changes in vehicle design, powertrains, onboard safety technology, telematics capabilities, and regulatory changes that impact fleet operations. Despite this recognition, a common mistake made by many of these managers is underutilizing the subject-matter expertise of current and/or prospective suppliers.

The Future of Fleet is Managing the Connected Vehicle Ecosystem

By Mike Antich

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
2018 Volvo XC60

By Paul Clinton
The 2018 XC60 arrives as the mid-size sibling of the XC90 in a stylish update that includes a bevy of new safety features, infotainment tech, and a well laid-out cabin.

2018 Mercedes Benz GLS450 4MATIC

By Chris Brown

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Ready or Not, Electrification Is Coming

By Sherb Brown
We’re not where we need to be with battery technology and the whole herd seems to be betting that a magical new solution will appear in time to save us all. I sure hope they are right.

Fair and Balanced

By Sherb Brown

Fuel for Thought

Joe Thompson
How the VW Settlement Funding Can Benefit Your Fleet

By Joe Thompson
Part of the settlement required VW to establish and fund an Environmental Mitigation Trust. Over the next 10 years, the trust will fund environmental mitigation projects that specifically reduce emissions of NOx.

Listen Up (or Lose)

By Joe Thompson