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UPS Announces New Sustainability Goals For 2020

UPS truckAccording to a report released by UPS, the company has already met its goal of reducing its air and ground fleet’s carbon intensity by 10 percent, prompting the company to set a new goal of 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity from transportation by 2020.

The increases are calculated against a 2007 baseline using a metric developed by UPS for calculating greenhouse gases emitted. The metric is called the Transportation Intensity Index. The index allocates 37 percent of its emissions to its global airlines, 15 percent to its freight operations and 48 percent to its delivery vehicles.

The UPS calculations appear to be at odds with a report released at the end of 2013 by ClimateCounts.org, which ranked UPS in the bottom three of 100 companies surveyed for its level of greenhouse gas emissions. In that study, companies were analyzed against science-based targets that seek to limit climate change to 2 degrees Celsius. That study put UPS in the “unsustainable” category based on its model.

Nonetheless, the report from UPS cites a number of the company’s sustainability initiatives, noting that in 2013, the company’s absolute carbon emissions decreased 1.5 percent, even as its global shipping volume increased 3.9 percent.

In addition, in 2013 UPS introduced the On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) system as a major component in its greenhouse gas reduction strategy. ORION uses algorithms and fleet telematics to determine optimum routes for drivers to pick up and deliver that day’s packages. The system optimized 10,000 routes in 2013 which the company expects will result in a savings of more than 1.5 billion gallons of fuel and 14,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

In addition, in 2013 the company’s alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles 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 company has a goal of driving 1 billion miles with advanced technology and alternative fuel vehicles by the close of 2017.

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