UPS Sustainability | Managing Our Network’s Footprint


At UPS, we address major issues by combining global strategies with everyday actions that collectively add up to make a big difference. We recognize the environmental challenges facing society and are committed to working throughout our value chain to help solve them.

Our commitment extends to engaging and leading others toward greater awareness and actions. To do so, we focus on the environmental issues most material to UPS and our stakeholders: energy, emissions, and fuel supply.

We help the world grow more prosperous by providing transportation and logistics solutions that facilitate trade. This role requires the use of substantial amounts of energy, primarily in the form of fuel for our vehicles and planes so that we can meet our customers’ logistics needs efficiently and effectively. We also need energy for our distribution facilities, warehouses, and data centers. Today, the vast majority of the energy we consume comes from fossil fuels, which generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Like many other organizations around the world, we acknowledge that GHG emissions affect the climate and pose a serious challenge to the environment and, ultimately, the global economy.

This is why UPS is working toward a set of environmental goals that address the GHG emissions of our facilities and ground fleet. We are measuring the progress of our global ground operations in absolute terms, seeking a 12 percent reduction in emissions by 2025. In our industry, the use of renewable energy is critical to reducing absolute emissions. As a result, we have also established three targets to spur the use of renewable energy sources throughout our operations. By 2025, we plan to source 40 percent of all ground fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel, nearly double what we used in 2016. We’re also aiming for 25 percent of total electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025. And, by 2020, 25 percent of our annual vehicle purchases will be alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicles.

Our journey toward a less carbon-intensive future is largely enabled through one of the industry’s largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets, a “rolling laboratory” of approximately 9,100 vehicles from which we’re always learning and adapting. We practice fuel-reduction strategies across our entire fleet of 119,000 ground vehicles, including technology-powered route planning to reduce fuel and emissions, and diligent maintenance to help vehicles run efficiently. Our emission-reduction efforts extend to the air, where purchases of more fuel-efficient aircraft, on-board weight reductions, and fuel-saving flight practices have helped reduce the GHG emissions of UPS Airlines.

When we reduce the distance traveled to meet our customers’ requirements, we decrease energy consumption and increase efficiency. Shifting between delivery modes allows us to choose the transportation methods that provide the best balance between energy intensity and delivery commitments. By investing in alternative fuels used to power our vehicles, we are addressing the challenges of pollution and congestion and lowering UPS’s environmental footprint.

This story is from the 2017 UPS Sustainability Progress Report: On the Leading Edge. Visit to see the full Report, GRI Content Index, and other stories of innovation.

Tweet me: For a company that flies planes and drives trucks, setting an absolute #emissions goal presents unique challenges. @UPS’s strategy includes investments in #renewable energy sources across its fleet and facilities, aiming to reduce emissions 12% by 2025.

Source: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Cause Marketing News


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