Executive Statement - Chief Financial Officer Executive Statement - Chief Financial Officer Loading...

Kurt Kuehn,
Chief Financial Officer
The widely accepted definition for “sustainability” includes social, environmental, and economic aspects of a company. But often, “economic” aspects lose the spotlight to social and environmental issues in annual sustainability reports.

"Successful financials and positive economic impact are crucial to a company’s long-term ability to contribute to society."

This approach is incomplete. Successful financials and positive economic impact are crucial to a company’s long-term ability to contribute to society. Strong financials make it possible to provide charitable contributions, to invest in new opportunities, and to maintain responsible business practices that initially may have longer thresholds for positive returns. At its best, a sustainability strategy builds on the competency and resources of a company, maximizing societal impact while minimizing the economic drag on the balance sheet.
UPS’s business strategy and sustainability strategy are substantially the same: to increase the economic vitality and environmental sustainability of the global economy by aggregating the shipping activities of millions of businesses and individuals worldwide. The aggregation has powerful benefits for our shareholders, the global economy, the environment, and society.

Therefore, we annually include both direct and indirect economic benefits in our sustainability report (see Economic Benefit). These items include employee compensation and benefits, taxes paid, long-term debt repaid, dividends paid to shareholders, payments to small and diverse suppliers, and total charitable contributions.

On a macro-level, successful companies like UPS are catalysts for economic prosperity. For example, UPS not only provides good jobs with competitive wages, we also provide a critical logistics infrastructure for businesses that want to reach new markets around the world. It’s not unusual for distribution centers and new businesses to locate in close proximity to our hubs for this very reason.

Our services also help small companies receive and deliver their goods in a costeffective and efficient manner. We provide technology, transportation, and expertise that they would never be able to build independently. Our assets allow companies to flex with the changing economic winds, using express and air services when appropriate or shifting to less-costly options during tough times. We offer customers valuable information about how to enter the global marketplace, how to use shipment tracking data to enhance their customer relationships, and how to better manage their supply chains for financial results.

At the highest level, our logistics services help our customers save lives. Our investments in healthcare facilities, featured in this Report on Helping customers Save Lives, help pharmaceutical and medical device companies ensure that patients receive care in more responsive, effective, and efficient ways; Logistics is a critical part of their supply chains. Our work in humanitarian logistics ensures that life-saving supplies arrive quickly and in good condition when urgent natural disasters devastate communities.
So while we are proud of our volunteer activities, charitable gifts, and environmental stewardship, we also are acutely aware that our economic contributions are just as important.

This 2012 Corporate Sustainability Report encompasses it all.