Environmental Responsibility

Fuels & Fleets

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

Our rolling laboratory is one way.

We test and deploy 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.

UPS Rolling Laboratory at a Glance

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 nearly 7,000 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 500 million miles in the U.S., Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Chile, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Our goal is to reach one billion miles by the end of 2017. We’ve purchased over 1,300 LNG tractors and have contributed to over 25 LNG and CNG fueling stations to support them, as well as invested in over 1,500 propane package cars.

Fuel Supply

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.

Ground Fleet

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. For example, our proprietary technology tells UPS drivers not to turn left. So they don’t. We’ve found that avoiding left-hand turns saves time, reduces fuel use, lowers emissions and increases efficiency – all while reducing the number of total miles traveled. Such careful route planning, combined with our drivers’ knowledge of their community, allows our ground fleet to serve nine million customers a day without unnecessary overlap.

Second, we strive to reduce the amount of fuel required for those miles driven through advanced routing systems and diligent vehicle maintenance practices, 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

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, 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.