UPS is Driving Progress in Renewable Fuels
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By Crystal Lassiter
UPS Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Environmental Affairs
When I stepped into this role nearly two years ago, UPS had recently announced its 2020 and 2025 sustainability goals. Like most organizations, we establish goals to hold ourselves accountable, demonstrate a genuine commitment and push the limits of what is possible.
Though I had been at UPS for more than 20 years, I was new to the sustainability space – but it didn't take long to appreciate the significance of these goals.
Our most ambitious goal is to reduce emissions 12 percent on an absolute basis across our global ground operations by 2025. That means that, even as our business grows, our emissions must decrease – during a time of booming e-commerce growth that is driving facility and fleet expansion across our business.
To reach this goal, we're accelerating our use of renewable energy, including the largest purchase ever of renewable natural gas (RNG) in the US. Using 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG to fuel our fleet will help reduce emissions by more than 1 million metric tons through 2026 – the equivalent of planting 17 million trees or removing 228,000 cars from the road.
RNG is typically sourced from methane, so it provides a two-for-one solution. Since methane is 28 times more powerful a GHG than carbon dioxide, we're not only using a cleaner fuel, but also helping to reduce the release of methane into the atmosphere.
Our commitment is not new. Since 2009, we've invested $1 billion in alternative vehicles, fuels and infrastructure, and have used more than 28 million gallons of RNG since 2014. This investment is the latest in our plan to source 40% of all ground fuel from alternative sources by 2025. In partnership with UPS's automotive and procurement teams, we'll continue collaborating with vehicle manufacturers, fuel suppliers and other stakeholders to spur more market adoption of renewable fuels.