Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy Loading...

We take a comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including all our operations as well as major portions of our value chain (including customers and suppliers) where we can help reduce GHG emissions in meaningful ways. 

Our GHG reduction strategy includes three components: 

  • Global transportation network: reducing the miles we travel to accomplish any given level of shipping; reducing the fuel required for that transport; and shifting shipments to vehicles employing low-emission alternative fuels and advanced technology. 
  • Global facilities network: reducing energy use in our facilities and increasing the use of renewable energy. 
  • Customers and suppliers: operating an eco-efficient service network that reduces supply chain carbon emissions for an average of 8.8 million customers daily; providing customers with related services that help them reduce their carbon impact; and working with suppliers to increase their emissions awareness and reduction capabilities. 

The relationship of the three components of the GHG strategy is depicted in the infographic in "Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy". 

The transportation component of our GHG reduction strategy includes a number of strategies that UPS has developed and refined for decades, including the five summarized subsequently: 

Intermodal Shifting 
The various transport modes used in our sector have different energy intensities (energy required per unit of volume transported), ranging from aircraft at the high end to ships at the low end. UPS has focused for decades on using the most fuel-efficient transport mode or combination of modes to meet service requirements—and on being able to fluidly shift modes in real time to reduce energy intensity whenever possible. Our expertise in this area enabled us to avoid approximately 2.4 million metric tonnes of emissions in 2012 by shifting delivery volume from air to ground, and we avoided nearly 0.9 million metric tonnes of emissions by shifting volume from ground to rail. Thus, we avoided 3.3 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions while keeping our service commitments to customers. 

Optimized Network 
The UPS global logistics network handles all categories of service (express, ground, domestic, international, commercial, and residential) through one integrated pickup and delivery service system. For comparison, some of our competitors employ parallel service networks in their operating regions to handle different categories of services, which means they may dispatch multiple vehicles to a customer location on the same day. The UPS network eliminates this redundancy and its associated environmental impact. 

Air Fleet Efficiencies 
Because air transport is more energy intensive than other modes, it contributes the largest portion of our carbon footprint. Measuring, managing, and mitigating the environmental impact of air transport is critical to overall carbon impact. Please see "Success in Air Fleet Efficiency" for a full discussion of air fleet efficiencies. 

Ground Fleet Efficiencies 
We have spent decades honing our ability to optimize fuel efficiency for our vehicles and optimize the behavior of our drivers. Owning our fleet enables us to multiply these gains by tens of thousands of vehicles, every business day. Please see "Ground Fleet Efficiencies" for a full discussion of ground fleet efficiencies. 

Full Integration of Technology and Human Factors 
The energy, ideas, and disciplined execution of our people are critically important to our environmental strategies and capabilities. This is particularly vital when it comes to our capital investments in vehicles, equipment, and advanced technology aimed at benefiting the environment. To the extent that our people unlock the full potential of these investments—and find synergies among them—we can continue to make progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for years to come.