Making real progress in sustainability demands a keen sense of the issues, trends and topics.

UPS Horizons
Sustainability Insights and Updates | May 2019
Natural Gas

Crystal Lassiter

Driving Progress

By Crystal Lassiter
UPS Senior Director of Global Sustainability and Environmental Affairs

When I stepped into this role nearly two years ago, UPS had recently announced its 2020 and 2025 sustainability goals. Like most organizations, we establish goals to hold ourselves accountable, demonstrate a genuine commitment and push the limits of what is possible.

Though I had been at UPS for more than 20 years, I was new to the sustainability space – but it didn't take long to appreciate the significance of these goals.

Our most ambitious goal is to reduce emissions 12 percent on an absolute basis across our global ground operations by 2025. That means that, even as our business grows, our emissions must decrease – during a time of booming e-commerce growth that is driving facility and fleet expansion across our business.

To reach this goal, we're accelerating our use of renewable energy, including the largest purchase ever of renewable natural gas (RNG) in the US. Using 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG to fuel our fleet will help reduce emissions by more than 1 million metric tons through 2026 – the equivalent of planting 17 million trees or removing 228,000 cars from the road.

RNG is typically sourced from methane, so it provides a two-for-one solution. Since methane is 28 times more powerful a GHG than carbon dioxide, we're not only using a cleaner fuel, but also helping to reduce the release of methane into the atmosphere.

Our commitment is not new. Since 2009, we've invested $1 billion in alternative vehicles, fuels and infrastructure, and have used more than 28 million gallons of RNG since 2014. This investment is the latest in our plan to source 40% of all ground fuel from alternative sources by 2025. In partnership with UPS's automotive and procurement teams, we'll continue collaborating with vehicle manufacturers, fuel suppliers and other stakeholders to spur more market adoption of renewable fuels.

How is your organization reaching its sustainability goals? I welcome your thoughts at
CNG Fueling Station


Sahar Kamali

3 Reasons Why Renewable Natural Gas is a Game Changer

By Sahar Kamali
Clean Energy Fuels

Natural gas vehicles are certainly trending upward. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that in 2018 about 710 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) of natural gas were consumed and that the natural gas fueling market will grow to 1.2 billion GGE by 2025.

Here are three big reasons why we think RNG is going to be on every fleet manager's mind in the coming months – and why that matters for the entire fuel industry.

1. Significant GHG reductions for companies and governments

The environment and sustainability activities are top of mind for companies and government entities, and a GHG emissions reduction goal is a central part of sustainability. RNG is the only fuel available for heavy- and medium-duty vehicles that can have carbon negative emissions and a clean air profile.

2. Vehicle applications that work for today's fleet

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles have been widely adopted across municipal, transit, refuse and national delivery applications. Their proven application and continued improvement mean that drivers, maintenance technicians and other operators are comfortable and familiar with this alternative fuel vehicle.

RNG is a drop-in fuel for CNG and LNG, which means that no added infrastructure or change in operations is required to switch to RNG if a fleet is already using fossil CNG or LNG. RNG production also benefits from the existing natural gas infrastructure and can be injected into any pipeline if it meets the gas quality specifications (or tariff) of the pipeline.

3. Support for RNG in federal and state regulations

The RNG industry has experienced significant growth in the last five years through regulatory support under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and certain low-carbon state mandates. In 2018, the RNG industry produced more than 200 million GGE and it is anticipated to grow by more than 30 percent year over year for the foreseeable future.

You can see the full-length version of this story here.
Gender Equality and Climate Change

Featured Stories
We chose a few favorites from our Longitudes blog for you

To Advance Gender Equality, We Need to Tackle Climate Change

Samantha Harris, Manager at BSR San Francisco
As the effects of climate change continue to exacerbate poverty, inequality and other social issues, the solutions we put forth must include social focus. This includes empowering women to be leaders. Even if slowly, we're moving in the right direction… Read more

Finding the Path to a Zero-Emissions Future

John Boesel, President and Chief Executive Officer of CALSTART
Are we heading toward a future where all trucks and buses have no emissions? The answer is a resounding yes. What is the fastest way to get there?… Read more

5 Ways to Reinvent Your Business through the Circular Economy

Vignesh Anandan, Senior High Tech Marketing Manager at UPS
We are living in a time of unprecedented progress. But progress has come at a price. Hence the need for a new economy, a circular one… Read more
Hybrid Electric Vehicle

Here are a few highlights to keep you up-to-date

UPS Named A "Best Corporate Citizen" Again – Marks Decade Being Honored On Annual List

Corporate Responsibility (CR) Magazine named UPS to its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for the tenth straight year. The distinction celebrates the standout environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of US-based companies… Read more

The UPS Foundation Supports Ghana's Launch Of The World's Largest Vaccine Drone Delivery Network

The collaboration between The UPS Foundation, Gavi and other partners expands drone delivery of medical supplies to more than 2,000 facilities serving 12 million people across Ghana… Read more

The UPS Foundation Mobilizes Its Disaster Relief Network By Land, Sea And Air To Support Cyclone And Flooding Relief Efforts

The UPS Foundation and leading humanitarian relief organizations delivered critical supplies and food to victims of Cyclone Idai in East Africa and the tornadoes and floods that devastated parts of the U.S. Midwest… Read more
Here's Where You'll Find Us


DETROIT | Sustainable Brands '19

Join Jennifer Garner, UPS Sustainability Communications Manager, for a session exploring the issues consumers want America’s largest companies to address.


MONTREAL | Michelin Movin'On Summit

Crystal Lassiter, Sr. Director of Global Sustainability, and other UPSers will share UPS’s urban mobility programs and partnerships.
In Case You Missed It

WEBINAR | Preparing Your Supply Chain for the Circular Economy

UPS reverse logistics experts shared strategies to help small- and medium-sized high tech businesses and retailers enable a circular supply chain, reach new markets, and improve the bottom line. The recording is available here.

AWARD | Environment + Energy Leader 100

Scott Phillippi, UPS Sr. Director of Maintenance and Engineering – International Operations, was recognized by Environmental Leader for his work leading UPS's sustainable fleet and electrification strategy. The full list of honorees is available here.
This publication was created to bring you sustainability insights and stories that we hope will inspire you. A new issue will be provided every few months. We welcome your comments and ideas. Drop us a line:
"Our horizon is as distant as our mind's eye wishes it to be."
~ Jim Casey, UPS Founder and CEO, 1954
Get the latest sustainability insights and stories delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe Now