UPS Reduces Fuel Usage

Aug. 4, 2011
Avoids driving 63.5 million miles in 2010

UPS, last week, discloed it had reducee the amount of fuel it's using to deliver each package in the United States. While package volume rose 1.8% in 2010 compared to 2009, it reduced the amount of fuel consumed per package by 3.3%.

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 tons. That distance is the equivalent of 251,987 trips to the International Space Station.

The company's sustainability report spotlights 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.

"The data we gather from Telematics enables us to make small adjustments with big payoffs," said Scott Wicker, UPS chief sustainability officer. "For example, one of our metrics is 'stops per mile,' which measures our ability to deliver more packages with fewer engine restarts. Increasing the number of stops per mile by just 0.01% in 2010 was the equivalent of not driving 9.13 million miles."

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.

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.
  • UPS's greenhouse gas inventory (direct and indirect) was verified and certified by third-parties for the first time.

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