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UPS is a service business. We commonly refer to the services we provide as “products,” but UPS does not design or manufacture products in the sense used by GRI. Therefore the disclosures here regarding product responsibility are focused on GRI indicators and additional contextual information that may interest some stakeholders.
Health and Safety
At UPS, we devote substantial time and resources to improving the safety of our delivery services for our employees, customers, communities, and the environment. We invested US$118.4 million in safety training alone in 2012. To keep this training current and relevant, we continually assess safety issues associated with our services, down to the behaviors of individual drivers on individual routes. The substantial majority of our services are subject to this approach because they are all delivered through our logistics network. Most of our services also have extremely long life cycles because, once they become established in the marketplace, we continue to offer them for decades or more. This does not deter us from assessing our performance in delivering them, including health and safety issues.
We have established numerous formal practices and procedures related to customer satisfaction, including surveys and research to measure it. For example, our CSI program measures customer satisfaction on an annual basis. Between early March and late September, we interview our customers and those of our competitors. We developed the questions for these interviews from extensive customer focus groups and use them to assess areas of satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and loyalty. We do not publish the results of our surveys and research for proprietary reasons.
Our flexible, highly efficient network has always given customers choices for how to balance speed and cost when shipping with UPS. UPS offers convenient options that benefit the environment, too.
UPS My ChoiceTM for Smart Home Delivery
Consumers that sign up for UPS My ChoiceTM don’t have to miss a delivery from us. They receive alerts about every delivery, so they can change the date of the delivery or the delivery location. This benefits everyone. Customers get deliveries when and where they want them, without delay. We don’t waste time making unsuccessful delivery attempts. Less driving conserves fuel and prevents greenhouse gases for the environment.
UPS Smart Pickup® for More Efficient Shipping
In the past, UPS would routinely come to businesses every day, whether they were shipping or not. Now customers who register for UPS Smart Pickup® can go online to schedule visits by a UPS driver on preset days of the week, or schedule a pickup for the same day. UPS Smart Pickup is more convenient and efficient for everyone, and better for the environment, too.
Verified Carbon Neutral for Effortless Environmentalism
Offsetting environmental impact isn’t always easy. With UPS, it’s a snap—or a click—to offset the carbon for a package or document delivery with third-party verification. Customers can select the carbon neutral option when processing their shipments online. UPS does the selection of highquality offsets, so customers can do the right thing for the environment. Low prices and origination from 36 countries around the world make UPS carbon neutral shipping one of the most convenient ways there is to get more sustainable.
Delivery destinations can be anywhere in the world.
Verified Performance in Eco Responsible Packaging
Packaging is an important frontier in sustainability because the right packaging can conserve resources and reduce carbon impacts in transport. At UPS, we’ve been giving customers advice on sustainable packaging for years through the UPS Package Design and Test Lab. Customers who participate in the lab’s Eco Responsible Packaging Program receive an expert assessment of their packaging in three areas: damage prevention, right-sizing, and materials content. We use rigorous proprietary methods and calculations for completing this assessment and giving the customer specific recommendations for meeting preset standards in each area. When their packaging meets the standards, customers can place an Eco Responsible label on their packages so that recipients will recognize their commitment to sustainable shipping. The program has been verified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS)—the same company that verifies the carbon offset projects we use for carbon neutral shipping.
Data Protection and Privacy
In 2012, we launched a new Privacy Notice on our website to provide greater transparency about the types of personal information we collect about our consumers and how we may use the information. The notice also describes the measures we take to safeguard the personal information. In addition, we tell you how you can ask us to 1) access or change the personal information we maintain about you, 2) withdraw consent you previously provided to us, 3) refrain from sending you certain communications, and 4) answer questions you may have about our privacy practices. This notice does not apply to The UPS Store or any other retail location that is operated by franchisees. Our privacy practices may vary among the countries in which we operate to reflect local practices and legal requirements.
Also in 2012, we formed an internal cross-functional Information Security Council to review data protection concerns. We developed a new Information Use and Privacy Manual to replace an outdated internal guide to data security practices and revised our recruitment materials to include a Privacy Notice for people applying for UPS jobs.
Innovative Offerings for Healthcare
As we described earlier in this Report, we are determined to offer our healthcare customers a logistics partner like they’ve never had before. That’s why we adopted the philosophy that It’s a Patient, Not a PackageTM. We’re thinking along with our healthcare customers about the people and patients they serve, and how to make logistics an opportunity instead of a challenge.
We’ve established a growing global network of 36 dedicated healthcare facilities, offering a combination of distribution services that can include temperature-sensitive and cold chain capabilities, regulatory compliance, monitoring and security, kitting and labeling, and order to cash services. Each of these healthcare distribution facilities is optimized for environmentally responsible operations, ranging from reduced energy consumption design to effective material recovery to reverse logistics management.
Along with dedicated infrastructure and employees, we also offer our healthcare customers specialized services, including those described below.
UPS Temperature True® Service
Our healthcare air freight service, UPS Temperature True®, provides door-to-door temperature-sensitive transportation for pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers. The service includes day- and time-definite options for critical and routine shipments, pickup and delivery in refrigerated or validated refrigerated trailers (where available), and a full suite of passive, semiactive and active containers to support quality requirements. Trained customer service representatives provide comprehensive monitoring of sensitive shipments and can intervene, if necessary, to help prevent unexpected temperature variations and to protect shipments.
PharmaPort™ 360 Containers
Fully tested and validated, PharmaPort™ 360 air freight containers help reduce product loss and maintain product integrity. Advanced, self-contained refrigeration keeps products at a preconfigured temperature throughout their journey—all without the added costs and hazards of dry ice. Embedded sensors and communication capabilities allow UPS to actively monitor every container worldwide for selected “heartbeats,” such as internal chamber temperatures and location, in near real time.
Thermal Packaging Solutions
In addition to our innovative temperature controlled freight solutions, UPS provides healthcare customers with optimized packaging solutions to ensure product integrity for customers with smaller shipments of environmentally sensitive products. This includes protective material and other options to meet the needs of specific customers to ensure product integrity with reduced packaging waste. We also provide services to support reusable packaging for temperature sensitive shipments.
UPS Proactive Response® Service
UPS Proactive Response® offers 24/7 monitoring of packages as they move through the UPS U.S. Domestic or European networks. If a shipment is at risk of being delayed or compromised, UPS-trained agents employ predefined actions that can potentially save the package, with alerts about mitigation efforts. These responses are designed to prevent products from suffering temperature excursions or delays that could affect their quality and effectiveness.
UPS purchased a total of 40,580 U.S. tons of packaging and paper products globally in 2012. Of this total, 87 percent are recycled materials. We provide or resell the packaging material to customers for use with their shipments. It is worth noting, however, that most shipments transported by UPS use packaging that originates with the shipper, rather than UPS-provided packaging materials.
We mitigate the environmental aspects of UPS packaging material in a number of ways. For example, we help customers avoid the unnecessary use of packaging materials in the first place, by providing earth-friendly packaging that does the same job as bubble wrap and packing peanuts, while using a fraction of the material and energy. We also encourage customers to reuse our products. For example, UPS Reusable Express Envelopes come with a second strip of adhesive, making it easy to use them again. Reusable Express Envelopes are especially convenient for shippers in documentintensive industries, such as law and real estate, in which it is common to send out documents that must be signed and returned. We also disclose environmental impacts related to some of the packaging materials we sell. See “Update on UPS Scope 3 Reporting” for more details.
Recycled Envelopes for Customer Correspondence
UPS has long provided customers with express envelopes and other UPS-branded envelopes made with recycled materials. In 2012, we began using envelopes made from recycled materials for certain customer communications in our U.S. Domestic Package segment and U.S. operations of our Supply Chain & Freight segment. These envelopes are clearly labeled as employing recycled materials and degradable polystyrene window film, including items like billing documents and invoices. They are also marked with certification from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).
Transportation of Goods and Materials
Because we do not manufacture products, we do not generate significant impacts from transporting our own goods and materials, and our business is not one that requires transporting employees to job sites or activities. We transport packaging materials to customers and to The UPS Store locations via our own transportation network, using available capacity on vehicles that are already carrying shipments for customers, so there is virtually no additional transportation for this purpose. We also encourage customers to recycle their packaging materials, such as by reclaiming used packaging peanuts at many of The UPS Store® locations. (Transport of goods and materials for others—our core business—is discussed in “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategy”).