Late last month, UPS released the latest edition of its annual sustainability report, and once again, the company has managed to reduce the amount of fuel it’s using to deliver each package in the United States.
Interestingly, the company’s US package volume rose 1.8 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, and yet UPS reduced the amount of fuel consumed per package by 3.3 percent. The company attributed the improvement to:
- deploying the right vehicle on the right routes,
- using technology to minimize the miles driven and
- focusing on how behavior can affect fuel use.
All told, technology has enabled UPS to avoid driving more than 63.5 million miles in 2010 with an associated emissions avoidance of 68,000 metric tonnes. As remarkable as it sounds, UPS estimates that distance is the equivalent of 251,987 trips to the International Space Station.
How, exactly, has the company used technology to reduce fuel consumption? According to a press release, UPS has specifically improved:
- Routing technology, which enabled significant reductions in miles flown and driven.
- Loading optimization, so that more packages are being delivered with fewer vehicles on the road.
- Telematics, which provides data on how a vehicle performs mechanically. as well as on a driver’s route and behavior behind the wheel. Telematics saved 15.4 million minutes of engine idling time.
- Alternative fuel technology, such as hybrid gas/electric engines and liquid petroleum gas engines.
“Fuel represents not only a major cost factor for UPS but also a major source of emissions that impact the environment. It makes sense for UPS to report extensively on how the company is doing its best to lower its net fuel use,” said Scott Wicker, UPS chief sustainability officer.
The new report also details progress in several other areas, including water use, Scope 3 emissions, carbon offset purchases, the company’s long-term “decarbonization” strategy and the financial value of in-kind transportation donations to charity.
You can access the full report at ups.com/sustainability.