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UPS’ Latest Eco Gambit Involves Right-sizing Packaging

upsFresh off a new program to save fuel by shaving delivery schedules, UPS is launching another service that involves using the right size of package, without overusing packing materials.

The Eco Responsible Packaging Program will look at shipments in three areas: damage prevention, right-sizing packaging and using more sustainable packing materials, according to a press release.

Customers who participate in the program will be able to market their shipments as environmentally responsible by virtue of being able to display the UPS Eco Responsible logo.

UPS said that by preventing damage, fewer packages will be shipped back and forth, reducing costs and emissions.

Avoiding the use of oversized boxes will help reduce emissions associated with the shipment, while use of sustainable packaging materials will also play a role in shippers being able to participate in the UPS branding effort.

“Our engineers have always directed our customers to use the right kind of packaging to protect their goods,” said Bob Stoffel, senior vice president, engineering, strategy, supply chain and sustainability. “This service gives our customers a new way to demonstrate that they are serious about sustainability when it comes to shipment packaging.”

The program’s assessment methodology and processes were verified by Société Générale de Surveillance.

In a separate program announced in late March, UPS said it expects to save up to 793,000 gallons of fuel a year by using technology to streamline its pickup schedule for small- and medium-sized business shipping customers.

Dubbed the UPS Smart Pickup system, the program relies on technology to enable customers to let UPS know when a pickup is needed, instead of the truck stopping by every day, as has been the case.

UPS estimates that the practice will shave 8 million miles from its fleet annually, eliminating about 7,800 metric tons of emissions. When customers want a pickup, they will schedule a pickup through any of a variety of UPS digital portals.

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