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

UPS Horizons
Sustainability Insights and Updates | September 2018
Humanitarian Relief

Tamara Barker

The Social Side of Sustainability

By Tamara Barker
UPS Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Environmental Affairs

What would it take to create global well-being? We can start by looking at bigger ideas founded in simplicity.

As a global company serving more than 220 countries and territories, our daily route encompasses the world. We live in the communities we serve, and we see local events in real-time.

We've learned that our biggest advantage is that we have each other. We can't do what we do without a reliable network of people connecting, learning together, solving challenges together, and building on each other's strengths. We know that perseverance pays off.

One of the important roles our company plays is in collaborating with others seeking to create a pathway for a better quality of life. We're not coming empty-handed to the table. We've found that we can apply the strengths of our vast workforce, our deep logistics experience, and our passion for service, to help address critical needs.

Sometimes our support is an urgent response to a crisis. For example, The UPS Foundation is expanding its work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Zipline, a California-based robotics company. We formally launched the world's first medical drone deliveries in October 2016 to deliver life-saving blood, medicines and vaccines to remote communities in Rwanda. The program has proven so successful that it's being expanded to reach 12 million people across Rwanda. Additionally, the initiative will expand to deliver basic medications, vaccines, and medical supplies to hospitals and health clinics via drone.

A few weeks ago, The UPS Foundation joined together with the Global Financing Facility (GFF), Merck for Mothers, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to launch a new public-private partnership. The partnership is focused on scaling-up best practices from the private sector on supply chain management and leveraging private sector expertise in critical areas—such as transport, warehousing and distribution–to improve women, children and adolescents' access to life-saving medicines and health commodities, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable people.

We also contribute at a highly localized level. We recently gathered at our global headquarters to pack 500 hygiene kits for homeless teens heading back to school. The kits allow the teens to have confidence and self-esteem despite their situation, helping them stay in school. This simple support can impact the rest of their lives.

UPS has committed to achieving 20 million volunteer hours by the end of 2020. Each October, we launch into Global Volunteer Month, donating time as individuals and workgroups. It's when we connect with the non-profit organizations in our communities and become re-inspired by the amazing work our NGO partners are doing. We see brilliant strategies – like Concrete Jungle, an organization that has mapped urban trees in Atlanta and monitors when they bear fruit, then organizes volunteers to gather the bounty and distribute it to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Such a simple idea, and such a remarkable way to provide fresh, healthy food to people in need.

As we move toward Global Volunteer Month, I'm taking a moment to be grateful – not just for what we have, but for what we're able to give.
UPS ebike


Nate Springer

Envisioning the Future

By Nate Springer
BSR's Future of Fuels and Sustainable Logistics

Fleets need tomorrow's solutions today. More and more, the clean transport technology featured in trade shows and news headlines feels like science fiction: electric semis, drones, wireless charging, trucks and ships that drive themselves. We're still waiting to see whether these solutions will drive both business growth and social prosperity.

It is an uncertain time, as most transitional periods are, and the clean transport transition is no exception. I work for BSR, a global nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 member companies – including UPS – to build a just and sustainable world. In my role leading Future of Fuels for road fleets and managing Clean Cargo for shipping, I advise fleets, shippers, OEM's, and fuel / electricity providers on working through these challenges and finding opportunities to develop solutions collaboratively.

Fifteen years before the European Union and International Maritime Organization proposed systems to monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions from ocean shipping, we developed a voluntary reporting methodology in use by 85 percent of container shipping and many buyers. We know that fleet owners and shippers must understand new electric, renewable diesel, natural gas, and hydrogen trucking technologies on a performance basis, and so we launched a public library to share pilot results more widely. While these efforts demonstrate how cleantech can reduce impact, I am most excited that they cut proving times and costs by disseminating results and increasing value for business to ensure a smoother transition.

Many of tomorrow's solutions are here today even if we don't know which ones will prove to be the most effective solutions for the long-term. For many large fleet owners, the opportunity to reduce emissions and generate lifecycle cost of ownership efficiencies are vast. The UPS "rolling laboratory" approach is a best practice for the rapid testing needed to scale innovation that other fleets can learn from. The company has deployed a wide range of alternative fuel vehicles, from Renewable Diesel, to electric, hybrid electric, CNG/LNG, and even what it calls "Cycle Solutions," using electric-assist pedal-powered bicycles and other small vehicles designed for dense urban duty cycles.

While we don't know exactly what the future of sustainable transport holds, we are building the partnerships and helping others to envision the infrastructure needed to get there.
Electric Vehicle

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

Electric Vehicles Are Changing the World… and They're Just Getting Started

In this future-focused story, you’ll get a glimpse of the car you’ll be driving, and the planes and ships already in motion… Read more

Before We Reinvent the Economy, We Must Reinvent Ourselves

If we want to survive and thrive, we need a radical shift in consciousness. Here's how we can create that… Read more

Understanding Sustainability and E-Commerce Packaging

Quantifying the true cost of damage and impact can lead to truly sustainable outcomes… Read more

Blockchain Will Make Carbon Visible for Everybody

Many companies self-report on sustainability claims, but blockchain reverses this process by enabling the participation of all stakeholders in a more sustainable economy… Read more
Electric Package Car

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

UPS to Test a Fully-Electric Class 6 Delivery Truck in Los Angeles

With a driving range of approximately 100 miles powered by a Thor-designed and built battery, the new truck will be lightweight, durable and allow long-range driving distances… Read more

Over $10 Million in Grants to Advance Diversity and Inclusion

The UPS Foundation has announced it will award over $10 million in grants to help support programs focused on economic empowerment, education/scholarships, work training, and social and gender equality… Read more
Innovations and Collaborations

Conversation Starter: Research on Sustainable Urban Logistics

How can the movement of goods in cities become more sustainable? Explore the findings from our research with GreenBiz in our white paper entitled, The Road to Sustainable Urban Logistics.
Here's Where You'll Find Us

1pm ET

GreenBiz WEBCAST | Why Vehicle Fleets Are Electrifying

Learn what's driving fleet electrification in this webcast moderated by Katie Fehrenbacher, Senior Writer & Analyst, Transportation, GreenBiz, along with Scott Phillipi, UPS Sr. Director of Automotive Maintenance and Engineering, – International Operations, Nate Springer, BSR, and Mike Roeth, NACFE Executive Director. Learn more



Join Tamara Barker, UPS Chief Sustainability Officer, and Scott Phillippi, UPS Sr. Director of Automotive Maintenance and Engineering – International Operations, as we unveil new research findings on fleet electrification and what we'll find on the road ahead. Learn more

In Case You Missed It

Check Out UPS's 16th Annual Sustainability Report

Get an insider's view into our sustainability goals and achievements, and see what inspires us to move forward.
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
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