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London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games 

UPS was the Official Logistics and Express Delivery Supporter of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. That made us responsible for virtually all distribution and logistics services for 36 official venues and everything inside them, including a million pieces of sports equipment and the medals for every winner. As wellknown British sports presenter and UPS Games Ambassador Steve Rider put it before the Games, “If you picked up all the Olympic venues and turned them upside down, everything that fell out – besides humans and horses – we are responsible for.”

We met the challenge with an integrated supply chain that could handle venue logistics, warehousing, and distribution of everything from light documents to heavy freight. We also handled all customs clearance, freight forwarding, and courier services before, during, and after the Games.

But meeting our responsibilities was not all we did. We also demonstrated our commitment to sustainability, because the London organizers wanted to make theirs “the greenest Games ever.” In fact, we won an award from the U.K.’s Freight Transportation Association for our sustainability efforts.
We expanded our alternative fuel/ advanced technology fleet in England with ten biomethane-diesel vehicles and two electric and three hybrid electric vehicles. We also began implementing our proprietary telematics system in and around London to help optimize routes, reduce energy consumption, and improve customer service and driver safety. In the most congested areas of London, we made deliveries using bicycles and trolleys, powered by human energy. And we employed barges that carried 38 containers of furniture for the athletes village on the River Thames in London, which had seen little or no commercial barge traffic for decades.

Like the athletes that set new records during the 2012 London Games, UPS achieved a result never before attained by an official supporter. With our enterprise-wide carbon measurement capability, we were able to accurately determine the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from our massive logistics contribution to the games. This included all the travel and hospitality for UPS employees and 700 corporate guests who came from around the world. And once we counted up all the GHGs, we purchased carbon offsets to help mitigate the climate impact.

Finally, we intended to leave a legacy of our participation in the Games, something that would benefit local inhabitants long afterward. We discovered that the historic St. James Church, in the Piccadilly neighborhood of downtown London, had stopped maintaining its park-like garden due to budget constraints. After seeing the distressed state of the garden, we donated funds for new landscaping and renovations. UPSers from all over the U.K. volunteered to do much of the work. We also demonstrated that the church could generate new revenue with the garden by renting it to the local community as a venue for events.

Blue and Brown Make Green 

UPS and the United States Postal Service (USPS) have been competitors for decades. In recent years, we have added another dimension to our relationship: partners. The Postal Service delivers a portion of the parcels originating in our U.S. Domestic Package segment, over the so-called “last mile” to customers and businesses. Meanwhile, UPS transports high-priority mail by air for USPS.

By working together, we can provide customers with better service, lower prices, and new products. But that’s not all. When the world’s largest postal service and the world’s largest package delivery company work together, we can also operate more vehicles at higher load capacity, which reduces carbon emissions intensity across the supply chain.

In 2012, the Postal Service sought a more complete picture of its total carbon footprint and asked UPS to provide data on the carbon that UPS emits in moving mail by air. Meanwhile, the International Post Corporation (IPC), an association of postal services around the world, had already asked USPS to choose an exemplary supplier to showcase how postal services can work with supply chain partners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their combined supply chain. Because of UPS’s operational performance and the depth and detail of the emissions data we’re able to provide our customers and partners, USPS chose UPS.

Thus, on November 15, 2012, the U.S. Postal Service, as a participating organization in IPC’s Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, published a joint video with UPS, entitled “Blue and Brown Make Green.” The video features U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and UPS CEO Scott Davis describing how the two companies work together. Since then, USPS has shown the video on several occasions to suppliers.
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe and Scott Davis.