Environmental Responsibility

Sustainability Solutions

“At TOM BIHN, we believe life’s too short and the world is too important for us to work with anyone but a kindred spirit. Our collaboration with UPS® is a great example of this: UPS has gone above and beyond in their efforts for sustainability, and it’s one of the reasons we ship UPS. (The other reason: they offer the best delivery and the best service.) TOM BIHN was one of the first small businesses in the country to take part in the UPS carbon neutral shipping program, and we were the very first company to have our packaging certified in the UPS Eco Responsible Packaging Program. We’re proud to be featured on the UPS website and in the video.”

—Tom Bihn, Founder, TOM BIHN

At UPS, our ability to help customers evaluate their supply chains and build solutions for efficiencies is a competitive advantage – for us and our customers. Our portfolio of sustainability solutions helps customers – big or small – measure, manage and mitigate the impact of their trade, whether it’s around the world or just around the corner.

A More Sustainable Shipping Journey

Carbon Impact Analysis

UPS provides carbon emissions data with industry-leading accuracy and detail to help customers understand, monitor and manage their climate impacts. Based on our carbon inventory – that is, the fuel we burn within our network – we use our patented calculator to determine how many metric tons of greenhouse gases arise from customers’ shipping activity, then provide detailed emission reports broken down by mode and scope.

UPS carbon neutral Shipping

Delivering Solutions for Sustainable Shipments

We know many of our customers want to ship more, with less impact. With UPS carbon neutral, you can offset the carbon impact of the transportation of any shipment, including envelopes, packages or even freight.

TRI-KES is a wall coverings and interior finishes business with an ambitious goal of zero environmental impact by 2020. The UPS carbon neutral shipping program is helping them reach it. Because the company ships thousands of product samples and finished products to customers each year, the program is a core strategic component of the company’s sustainability plan.

When you choose UPS carbon neutral, you’re getting results you can trust. The program has been certified by Natural Capital Partners and verified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS).

By participating, you counterbalance the impact of your deliveries through carbon offsetting and help fund environmental projects around the world that reduce carbon emissions. The small, incremental fee paid to ship carbon neutral is then used to purchase and fund verified emission-reduction projects like the sustainable conservation of the Garcia River Forest.

UPS carbon neutral Supports The Garcia River Forest

Other UPS projects this program has supported include The Conservation Fund’s Big River and Salmon Creek Forests in California. UPS also supports the Suzhou Qizi Mountain landfill gas recovery project in China and the Chol Charoen wastewater methane destruction project in Thailand.

Eco Responsible Packaging Program

There are many ways to make shipment packaging better for the environment, from choosing sustainable and reusable materials to using right-size packaging to eliminate waste. If you’re committed to using more sustainable packaging, we can help you figure out the best approach.

Best Practices for Sustainable Packaging

Through our Eco Responsible Packaging Program, we evaluate your packaging processes to determine the best way to protect your product while choosing materials that reduce your overall impact on the environment. To learn more, visit our Sustainable Packaging page.

In addition, UPS was the first in our industry to develop environmentally preferred packaging, designed in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund. Standard UPS packaging is made from recycled fiber with as much as 90 percent post-consumer content. Our Express envelopes, both the common and the reusable, are made from up to 100 percent post-consumer content. The UPS Reusable Express Envelope enables two shipments using just one envelope.

There are many ways UPS packaging and services enable recycling, returns, recovery, and refurbishment of goods that can give them additional life or prevent spoilage. See below for some examples, and read the UPS Growth of the Circular Economy whitepaper.

How Logistics Enable a Circular Economy

Solutions for Urban Environments

Today, half of the world’s population resides in urban areas; by 2050, two-thirds of all people will make cities their home. Over that same period, the global population is projected to grow by 2.5 billion, further increasing urban density.

These expanding populations are expected to help fuel an increase in middle-class consumers and global commerce. This consumer class will add volume to trade lanes, as well as doubling the number of vehicles on already congested roads to 2 billion. To meet these logistical challenges in urban areas, we need solutions that are both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable.

As a global logistics provider, UPS is already on the ground collaborating with customers, governments and other stakeholders to pioneer innovative delivery methods in metropolitan areas around the world, including:

  • Introducing an electrically-assisted tricycle, called a Cargo Cruiser, into our Hamburg, Offenbach and Oldenburg fleets to address air quality and congestion concerns. The trike is designed to travel in and around pedestrian areas by operating from a container that is brought into the city center once daily. This solution has improved congestion in the city center and reduced emissions by more than 70 tonnes. A lighter-weight version is operating in Toulouse, and we have a similar eBike test pilot in motion in Portland, Oregon.
  • Scaling this Hamburg model to Dublin, one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, enabling UPS to provide the highest level of service while limiting congestion and disruption for local businesses, residents, and tourists. UPS collaborated with the National College of Art and Design to host a student contest to design the container (winning design seen on right).
  • Investing in infrastructure and electric vehicles in the city center of London, where city officials are planning to expand and accelerate the Ultra Low Emissions Zone. Working with the Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project, we continue to convert delivery trucks from diesel to electric power, which eliminates tailpipe emissions. In 2016, we ramped up efforts and continued deploying these vehicles in London, Paris, and various cities in Germany. At year end, we were operating 52 electric vehicles in central London – approximately 30 percent of our fleet in the city center – 40 of which were diesel-to-electric conversion vehicles.
  • In 2016, we concluded a successful test of a range-extended electric vehicle, which carries a small generator that recharges the batteries and automatically turns on or off when entering or leaving the city center. This allows us to serve long-range routes while still operating as a fully electric vehicle in the city. We plan to deploy up to 15 range-extended electric vehicles in the U.K. in 2017.
  • Beyond our fleet, urban mobility solutions include the continued expansion of the UPS Access Point™ network to reduce congestion and emissions by eliminating missed drop-off attempts. This sustainable delivery solution enables consumers to pick up their deliveries from a convenient central location. At year-end 2016, our UPS Access Point network included more than 26,000 locations worldwide.
  • In addition, the UPS My Choice® service works so that users can choose a convenient time and place to receive packages, reducing wasted miles and associated emissions from missed delivery and pick-up attempts. At the end of 2016, there were over 30 million UPS My Choice members around the world.

To learn more about our solutions for urban environments, explore chapter 4.4 of the 2016 UPS Corporate Sustainability Report.