UPS's U.S. package volume rose 1.8 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, but it 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 enabled UPS to avoid driving more than 63.5 million miles in 2010 with an associated emissions avoidance of 68,000 metric tonnes. That distance is the equivalent of 251,987 trips to the International Space Station.
"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, found at ups.com/sustainability, spotlights key ways that UPS technology has reduced fuel consumption:
- Routing technology, which enabled UPS to reduce the 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 in 2010.
In this year's report, UPS has increased its reporting in several areas. Water usage, Scope 3 emissions, the financial value of in-kind transportation donations to charity, details about carbon offset purchases and the company's long-term "decarbonization" strategy all are detailed. UPS also becomes the first U.S. corporation to use a major accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche LLP, to "assure" its sustainability report. The report also was reviewed by the Global Reporting Initiative.
Other highlights include:
- UPS's alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicle fleet topped 200 million miles driven since 2000.
- More than 5,289 employees now are included in the UPS Circle of Honor, which recognizes drivers who have driven for 25 years without an avoidable accident. Collectively these drivers have driven 5 billion miles, the equivalent of circling the earth 188,000 times.
- Total charitable contributions reached $97.1 million in 2010.
- Employees logged 1.2 million volunteer hours in 2010.
- UPS's greenhouse gas inventory (direct and indirect) was verified and certified by third-parties for the first time.