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UPS Sustainability Report: Normalized Water Use Drops 7.5%, CO2 6.5%

UPS’s normalized water consumption dropped 7.5 percent between 2010 and 2011, from 0.134 to 0.124 cubic meters of water per $1,000 of revenue, according to the company’s latest annual sustainability report.

When normalized against the number of packages the company sent, the metric decreased 2.5 percent over the same time period.

Last year UPS began developing a global water strategy to address what the company learned about its operations from the Global Water Tool developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The company will now focus its water conservation efforts on buildings the tool put within its top 20 percent for water usage and cost, as well as other locations for which the company has concerns about water scarcity. Measures to be implemented include the installation of high-efficiency water fixtures, and use of best practices for storm water and wastewater discharge at UPS operations sites, the report says.

UPS’s normalized emissions dropped over 6.5 percent from 2010 to 2011, from 24.65 to 23.03 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per $100,000 of revenue. The company’s emissions per 1,000 packages dropped under 2 percent over that time period, from 2.18 to 2.14 metric tons. In 2011, overall emissions declined 3.5 percent while package volume grew by 1.8 percent.

The delivery company says that by using what it calls “advanced route-planning technology,” it avoided driving 85 million miles, saving 8.4 million gallons of fuel and 83,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Through the ongoing deployment of telematics technology, UPS says it eliminated more than 98 million minutes of engine idling time, saving 653,000 gallons of fuel.

Drivers in telematics-equipped vehicles also improved stops per mile compared to 2010, the report says. This is an important metric for UPS, because each stop requires an engine restart that consumes fuel. In 2011, UPS’s improvement in stops per mile saved the equivalent of 5.3 million miles of driving, which translates to more than 528,000 gallons of fuel and 5,200 metric tons of CO2, the report says. The company’s gallons of fuel per ground package dropped just under 1 percent year-on-year (see graph below).

The company’s normalized energy consumption – when measured against revenue – dropped just under 6.5 percent over the course of the year. In 2010, UPS used 3.30 GJ of energy per $1,000 of revenue. In 2011, this figure dropped to 3.09. Along with fuel efficiencies targeting the company’s fleet, UPS also targets energy consumption in its facilities as a means of reducing energy consumption.

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