Environmental Responsibility

Fuels & Fleets

Every day, UPS is faced with a complex challenge. How do we deliver more while using less?

Our rolling laboratory of more than 8,100 vehicles is one way that we are delivering on our sustainability goals. We now drive more than 1 million alternative fuel and advanced technology miles each business day. Our alternative fleet has driven more than 1 billion miles since 2000.

We are celebrating more than 10 years of testing and deploying a variety of vehicle types, matched to the terrain and delivery conditions at each location. This approach helps UPS continuously integrate new technologies and operational efficiencies in our large, global delivery fleet. While monitoring each vehicle’s performance, we work with manufacturers, government agencies and non-profit organizations to advance new technologies. Because the more we discover together, the more sustainable we become and the more we help others move forward, too.

Taking The Alternative Route to 1 Billion Fuel-Efficient Miles

1 Billion Cleaner Miles Ahead of Schedule

Alternative Fuels & Advanced Technologies

UPS has always been an early adopter of innovative technologies. In the early 1930s, we introduced electric vehicles into our fleet. Today, we operate one of the industry’s largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets made up of more than 7,200 low-emissions vehicles. Check out the Saving Fuel Fact Sheet to learn more about each vehicle type, including all-electrics, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, propane, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biomethane.

Since 2000, our alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles have logged more than 1 billion miles in the U.S., Germany, Canada, Netherlands, France, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil and the United Kingdom. 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. UPS is putting sustainability innovation into action, all over the world.

About 12 percent of the conventional diesel and gasoline fuel previously used by UPS’s ground fleet is now being replaced by alternative fuels including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel. We’ve purchased over 1,300 LNG tractors and have contributed to over 30 LNG and CNG fueling stations to support them, as well as invested in over 2,000 propane package cars. By the end of 2016, UPS will have invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009. That continued investment, combined with supportive government policies, and a collaborative set of partners has helped to expand development and utilization of alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure throughout the world.

UPS Rolling Laboratory at a Glance

Fuel Supply

Trash to Gas – How UPS Utilizes Biomethane

Because fuel is such an integral part of keeping our promise to customers, UPS must always ensure the accessibility and integrity of our fuel supplies. So we practice diligent, responsible fuel sourcing as part of our comprehensive approach to energy use and emission reduction. Our sourcing practices also help combat the ever-changing conditions in a volatile energy market where costs will rise or fall based on weather, economic growth and demographic factors.

As an industry leader in seeking alternative fuel opportunities for our worldwide fleet, we increased our commitment to renewable fuels in 2015, with plans to purchase up to an additional 60 million gallons of renewable diesel and renewable natural gas (RNG) over the next several years. This commitment will result in cleaner emissions and help to commercialize the market for these promising alternative fuels. These purchases are part of our global GHG strategy to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations by 20 percent by 2020. In 2015, we achieved a 14.5 percent reduction in our carbon intensity versus a 2007 baseline.

Ground Fleet

Lifecycle of a UPS Package Car

Within our ground fleet operations, we practice three main fuel reduction strategies to lessen the impact on the environment. First, we work to reduce the miles we travel to accomplish each delivery. 70% of all U.S. routes identified as part of the initial deployment are now equipped with ORION—On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation—our proprietary route optimization software. When it is fully deployed to all U.S. routes by the end of 2016, we expect to reduce the distance driven by our drivers by 100 million miles annually. Such careful and calculated route planning, combined with our drivers’ knowledge of their community, allows our ground fleet to serve ten million customers a day without unnecessary overlap.

Second, we strive to reduce the amount of fuel required for those miles driven through vehicle telematics and diligent vehicle maintenance practices to prevent problems before they begin, which help us run efficiently. Third, using alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles within our fleet helps us meet the needs of our customers while accomplishing our goals to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Visit Optimized Network to learn more about the innovative technology that supports our fleet efficiency.

Air Fleet

A Lower Carbon Footprint in the Air

UPS is as committed to efficiency and sustainable practices in the air as we are on the ground. UPS Airlines has brought 100 percent of its air fleet into full compliance with noise reduction regulations established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The standard has been set, and all new aircraft will continue to meet it.

One of our primary strategies for environmental responsibility is to reduce the amount of fuel we burn, which, in turn, lowers our greenhouse gas emissions and the overall carbon intensity of UPS Airlines. To lower fuel consumption we purchase young, fuel-efficient aircraft and retrofit existing older models to make them more efficient, as well. UPS also lowers flight speeds, reduces weight where possible, optimizes flight paths, washes aircraft engines regularly and uses technology to increase precision of aircraft departures, arrivals and taxi times.

For more information about these and other important initiatives, visit the UPS Pressroom and chapter 5 of the 2015 Sustainability Report.