UPS Has Set Lofty Goals
UPS has set some lofty goals. One of them is to have 25 percent of the electricity it uses come from renewable energy sources by 2025. In 2016, only 0.2 percent came from renewable sources.
By 2020, UPS wants to have one in four new vehicles it buys every year to be an alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicle, up from one in six in 2016. By 2025, 40 percent of all ground fuel will come from non-conventional gasoline and diesel sources, up from 19.6 percent in 2016. The new goals support UPS’s goal to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global ground operations 12 percent by 2025.
UPS has invested over $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations around the world since 2009. The company has used over 97 million gallons of alternative and lower-carbon fuels in its ground fleet in 2016. UPS is able to leverage both its scale and its expertise to promote the development of lower-emission alternative fuels. One way it does so is by employing a rolling laboratory approach, using its fleet size and diversity to help test the viability of alternative fuels in operating conditions. Another way is by investing in a fast-growing fleet of vehicles that use alternative fuels, which helps create market incentives to expand alternative fuels supplies.
UPS collaborates with both government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in alternative fuel initiatives, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Program which promotes using alternative fuels. The company participates in several programs of World Business Council for Sustainable Development. One of them is the Low Carbon Freight initiative that explores the potential for fuel and emissions reductions by collaborating with companies on road freight transport. The other is the below50 initiative that seeks to grow a global corporate market for low-carbon transport fuels.
Recently, UPS invested $18 million in on-site solar energy systems for eight of its facilities. That investment will expand its solar generating capacity by nearly 10 megawatts, an almost five-fold increase in the amount of solar power generated at its facilities. Solar photovoltaic systems are currently employed at four of its U.S. facilities in California and New Jersey. The solar PV systems have an aggregate capacity of 2.6 megawatts and can produce over 3.5 million-kilowatt hours a year.
UPS has a goal of reducing its carbon intensity improvement 20 percent by 2020. Reducing the carbon intensity of UPS Airlines is one key way the company can meet its goal. UPS Airlines accounts for 58 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions. As it increases the efficiency of its network, UPS can decrease the carbon intensity of its airline by reducing the amount of miles flow and gallons of fuel used.
By setting lofty goals and working to meet them, UPS proves that business can lead even when government fails to address climate change.