UPS reaches goal to drive 1 billion cleaner miles a year early

By Erin Voegele | August 08, 2016

UPS has announced it has reached its goal of driving 1 billion cleaner miles using alternative fuels and its advanced technology fleet a full year earlier than planned. The company has also released its 14th annual sustainability report.

“We had a big sustainability goal as we set out to make the most of our rolling laboratory by driving 1 billion clean miles in alternative fuel vehicles—that’s the equivalent of well over 4,000 trips to the moon,” said David Abney, chairman and CEO of UPS. “While attaining this goal is new, our commitment to seeking out alternative fuels actually dates back to the 1930s when UPS tested electric vehicles. With more than 100,000 drivers logging more than 3 billion miles per year, our future depends on our ability to meet the growing demand for global trade while reducing our impact on the environment.”

In 2012, UPS committed to drive 1 billion miles on alternative fuels by the end of 2017. That goal was shattered one year early, with 12 percent of the conventional gasoline and diesel used by the company’s ground fleet now being replaced by alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable diesel.

By the close of this year, UPS said it will have invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009. The company currently deploys more than 7,200 vehicles in its “Rolling Laboratory.”

Within its new sustainability report, UPS indicated it increased its commitment to renewable fuels last year, using 5.6 million gallons of renewable diesel and RNG, and has plans to purchase an additional 60 million gallons of renewable diesel and RNG over the next several years. Those fuel purchases are part of the company’s global greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by 20 percent by 2020. In 2015, UPS achieved a 14.5 percent reduction in carbon intensity versus a 2007 baseline.

The report also discusses UPS’s Rolling Laboratory, which helps the company determine how alternative fuels and advanced technologies perform in real-world operating conditions. It also allows UPS to quickly deploy viable options at scale and spur market growth for alternative solutions. The laboratory includes electric/hydraulic hybrid, propane, ethanol, electric, liquefied and compress natural gas (LNG and CNG), and biomethane or RNG vehicles. It also includes a “package car of the future” and electrically assisted tricycle.