With focused efforts on community safety, diversity, and inclusion, the environment, and volunteerism, The UPS Foundation is upholding our mission to build stronger, safer, more resilient, and inclusive communities around the world. Learn more about our community safety work below:
UPS aims to make the world a safer place by leveraging UPS logistics expertise, resources, and philanthropy to enhance the safety and resilience of communities through support of and collaboration with organizations involved in humanitarian relief and resilience, global road safety, human trafficking programs and local community safety initiatives.
Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program
To have strong, productive communities, we must first have safe communities. So we've allocated financial support, emergency funding and in-kind contributions to help support organizations including American Red Cross, Salvation Army, World Food Program, UNICEF, CARE and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UPS Foundation's funding, along with UPS's logistics expertise, transportation resources and skilled global workforce, assists these organizations in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery efforts that allow them to respond more effectively and impact more lives.
We provide funding, personnel, training and other resources to equip global communities for long-term resilience. In Turkey, we collaborated with multiple partners to facilitate "Sağlam Kobi," a unique Business Disaster Resiliency Program meaning "Strong Small and Medium Size Enterprises" in Turkish. The program provides proactive training sessions and offers a suite of online resources including disaster preparedness checklists, risk assessment and mitigation action plans. Sağlam Kobi also engages businesses, emergency management agencies and nonprofits to plan for catastrophic earthquakes and improve the businesses' readiness capabilities to withstand a disruption in operations during and after a crisis.
The UPS Foundation expanded the scope of Sağlam Kobi by partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce and the Connecting Business initiative to create the Resilience in a Box Toolkit, which offers small businesses disaster resilience assessment tools, checklists and a business continuity planning workbook. Use of these disaster-risk-reduction materials supported local business resilience training efforts in Haiti and Sri Lanka, where workshops are attended by members of the private, public, and civil sectors. These tools help businesses be better prepared and more resilient in cases of humanitarian crisis. Resilience in a Box is available in French, Spanish and English, and the tools are applicable for global use while also easily adaptable for country-specific adjustments to increase relevance to national and local economies.
Urgent Humanitarian Relief
The UPS Foundation provides funding and logistics support to bolster the relief efforts of our partners. From addressing the global refugee crisis to on-the-ground response to record-breaking storms around the world, the Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Program supports communities so they are left stronger and more resilient than they were before disaster struck.
The UPS Foundation Helps Weather Hurricane Season
The 2017 hurricane season was the most expensive in U.S. history, with three major storms — Harvey, Irma, and Maria — devastating the Caribbean and the U.S.’ southeast coast. The storms broke records for speed, duration, and intensity, and estimates of the damage are in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
When disaster strikes, The UPS Foundation moves quickly to mobilize its relief network in support of first responders and provides immediate in-kind relief to assist with response and recovery efforts on multiple fronts. We pledged more than $1 million in support of recovery for each of the three major Atlantic hurricanes. The pledges combined cash grants, in-kind transportation assistance, and technical expertise to provide urgent relief, as well as support for long-term needs ranging from rebuilding to personal and financial recovery.
We also put our logistics capabilities to work throughout each region, deploying supply chain experts to the Caribbean, Florida, and Texas to help coordinate logistics support with partner agencies. After Maria, UPS Airlines flew a total of nearly 30 flights to Puerto Rico to deliver vaccines, health kits, and packaged meals for FEMA, CDC, UNICEF, and others.
Disasters in 2017 left behind an almost unprecedented need for humanitarian aid. Despite this, The UPS Foundation was able to respond effectively even as the toll of destruction rose. This is due in part to our humanitarian giving strategy. We recognize that the needs in the immediate wake of a disaster differ greatly from those in later stages of recovery, and when we make a financial pledge, we communicate up front how much of the funds should be used for emergency response, reserving about half for long-term recuperation. This allows us to budget more effectively for recovery efforts that may last for years. In addition, The UPS Foundation provides $450,000 per year to the Red Cross’s Annual Disaster Giving Program, which supports rapid-response needs such as shelters and food. This approach gives The UPS Foundation and the Red Cross flexibility, even when multiple disasters arise at once.
Our global reach and optimized network in more than 220 countries and territories gives us the ability to provide aid when and where it’s needed most. In addition to providing funds and in-kind assistance, UPS also partners with many of the world’s top humanitarian relief agencies such as the American Red Cross, CARE, Salvation Army, UN-OCHA, UNICEF, UNISDR, UNHCR, Good360, NVOAD, MedShare, WHO, Save the Children, and the World Food Programme. By convening organizations and using collaboration, our skills, and expertise, we provide the power to help communities recover more efficiently and more effectively.
Global Health System Strengthening
In collaboration with an extensive network of forward-thinking public and private partners, The UPS Foundation contributes financial support and logistics and supply chain expertise to bolster public health systems and enhance response and resilience in the face of complex health challenges. The UPS Foundation promotes access to immunization and life-saving healthcare products throughout the world through innovative delivery networks, thought leadership, and support for technological advancements that optimize end-to-end transport of medical supplies.
Last-mile Cold Chain Vaccine Delivery in Uganda
In 2018, UPS, The UPS Foundation, and Freight in Time (FIT), in collaboration with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; and the Uganda Ministry of Health launched an 18-month pilot project to ensure equitable allocation of vaccines to facilities, maintain vaccine quality during distribution, create a sustainable and timely vaccine distribution process, and implement an end-to-end visibility system. The fleet of refrigerated delivery trucks, motorcycles, and boats operated by FIT provides scheduled delivery service to health centers and uses a custom app to provide delivery confirmation information, previously unavailable in Uganda. Throughout the delivery process, wireless temperature sensors ensure safe storage and delivery of the sensitive contents. The delivery network impact: an increase in vaccine coverage to communities served by 171 health facilities across Uganda.
The UPS Humanitarian Experts on Mission Program
This program puts UPS’s top-notch logisticians on the ground to help address complex humanitarian challenges, placing skilled UPS employees into non-profit organizations and UN Agencies for short-term, project-based assignments. The program extends our ability to support international partner organizations by providing technical expertise in addition to our financial support and in-kind services. The program also fosters personal growth, providing our employees with a unique opportunity to expand their perspective and apply their skills in a non-traditional setting.
Experts on Mission: Examples of UPSers in Action
- Ruby Headley worked with UNHCR to monitor end-to-end delivery of relief supplies, provide support for global freight agreements, and establish a performance management system for UNHCR forwarders to optimize transport logistics.
- Jim Coughlan worked with Gavi to implement capacity-building projects in Uganda and Pakistan, in addition to the Rwanda Drone Delivery Network. Jim’s work to build this unique public-private partnership helped redefine the ways in which partners across multiple sectors can work to improve public health services.
- Jim Janetzko worked with the World Food Programme (WFP) to support global implementation of the Optimus supply chain tool, which maps business unit processes to enhance service performance and streamline efficiency to improve global response efforts.
- Kevin Etter helped to conduct a Strategic Training Executive Program (STEP) train-the-trainer workshop in Nigeria. Kevin worked alongside Gavi to continuously improve and facilitate the training program, teaching Ministers of Health and public health officials. Since the inception of STEP over 250 delegates from 17 countries have participated in the STEP training journey.
The Logistics Emergency Team (LET)
The Logistics Emergency Team (LET) is a unique private partnership facilitated by the World Economic Forum, comprising four of the largest global logistics and transportation companies: Agility, Maersk, UPS, and DP World. Together, these four companies work with the Global Logistics Cluster, led by the World Food Programme, to identify crucial logistical gaps following international disasters and provide pro bono support for the humanitarian sector, from building capacity in vulnerable locations to responding after large-scale natural disasters. The result is efficient, effective efforts to relieve global crises.
Read more about the LET: https://logcluster.org/logistics-emergency-team
Logistics Action Team (LAT):
UPS Logistics Action Teams supports American Red Cross emergency response efforts in the U.S., leveraging our logistics expertise, network assets and hands-on strength. The American Red Cross works directly with the UPS LAT coordinator to collaborate on in-kind support for emergency preparedness and response efforts, which are funded by The UPS Foundation.
UPS deploys approximately four LAT members each year to help the American Red Cross and partner agencies such as the Salvation Army respond to the urgent needs resulting from disasters. As an example, UPSer Craig Arnold was deployed after Hurricane Maria to ensure water and relief materials made it to Puerto Rico despite airport and road shutdowns. Read Craig Arnold’s story here.
Taking to the Skies to Deliver Urgent Supplies through the Growing Drone Network
Solutions in the Sky for Health System Strengthening
Leveraging technology has long been a focus for The UPS Foundation’s humanitarian response efforts. As a leading global logistics company, we believe that every community, no matter how remote, is within our reach. That’s why The UPS Foundation partnered with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Zipline, a California robotics company, to launch the world’s first national medical drone delivery network in Rwanda, and further expand to Ghana in 2019. This program addresses time-sensitive, last mile delivery, one of the most critical humanitarian challenges.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 830 women die each day from preventable causes related to childbirth and pregnancy—with 99 percent of these deaths occurring in developing countries. In many corners of Africa, access to life-saving blood is critical for doctors caring for new mothers and children. There are significant infrastructure challenges to obtaining blood quickly and the region’s rainy season exacerbates the problem by adding hours to the amount of time blood spends in transit.
To address this need, The UPS Foundation committed more than $3 million in cash, in-kind, and technical support for drones that quickly deliver blood and emergency medical supplies on demand to doctors in rural hospitals in Rwanda and Ghana. Drones can bypass washed-out roads and other infrastructure challenges to reach more than 9 million people in 30 minutes or less on average, substantially less time than is required to deliver supplies by vehicle. The network serves nearly two-thirds of Rwanda’s geography, delivering supplies to 12 hospitals throughout the country, and southern Ghana.
The program has been saving lives since its launch, and continues to expand service to local health clinics across the country. The program includes deliveries of medicines, vaccines, and medical supplies made available to individuals at clinics for emergency and preventive care. If people know that doctors and nurses have access to the medicines and supplies they need, they may be more likely to visit a clinic, leading to improved health outcomes.
Mapping Damage After Harvey
Following the demonstrated success of the medical drone network in Africa, UPS applied a similar approach to partnership in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. To assist with recovery efforts, The UPS Foundation, American Red Cross, and drone manufacturer CyPhy Works, Inc, began a pilot project using a tethered drone to assess damage in areas affected by the storm. The pilot could serve as a future model for rapid disaster response.
In the past, Red Cross volunteers have gone door-to-door to assess damage to residents’ homes. When major flooding occurs and roads are impassable, this process can take weeks, further delaying recovery. CyPhy’s Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) system travels up to 400 feet in the air and is equipped with a high-powered camera that provides miles of visibility. This bird’s-eye view can identify homes with water damage, allowing responders to start offering aid before waters recede. PARC’s tethered feature makes it an ideal solution for disaster areas where there is significant ground to cover. It can continue flying while attached to a generator, providing uninterrupted coverage for days or weeks at a time.
When people are facing a health emergency or a natural disaster, every minute counts. Whether delivering urgently needed supplies or accurately and quickly assessing damage, The UPS Foundation is helping save lives and laying the groundwork for faster recovery and rebuilding worldwide.
Recovering from a crisis can be even tougher than enduring it. Seeing through areas impacted by disaster to full recovery is a core mission of The UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief and Resilience Program. To make the process easier, The UPS Foundation provides resources and expertise that help disaster-stricken areas recover and rebuild more quickly and efficiently.
For example, in 2018 communities around the world continued to recover from disasters that occurred as far back as 2005, The UPS Foundation provided support through in-kind shipping of crucial recovery materials and items, collaborating with private and public partners to ensure access to financial and educational services, and to provide the tools and materials needed to rebuild. In 2018, The UPS Foundation facilitated over 110 shipments to support long-term disaster recovery efforts worldwide. Our long–term relief efforts are helping to rebuild communities in places like Louisiana, hit with multiple storms in the past decade, starting with Hurricane Katrina.
For more information on the UPS Humanitarian Relief efforts download the UPS Humanitarian Relief & Resilience Whitepaper.
For more information about our community safety programs as a whole, download the 2019 Social Impact Report.
Year after year, UPS drivers are recognized for being among the safest drivers on the road. Their extensive training teaches them to always be aware of their surroundings and ready to react when necessary. Since motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens in the US, we created the UPS Road Code® Teen Safe Driving Program in collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to share our successful training methods and educate young drivers on safe driving habits.
The state-of-the-art interactive program uses classroom instruction and virtual driving simulators to teach safe driving “code” or habits used by all UPS drivers. Our goal is to prepare these 13- to 18-year-old students, who have had little to no exposure to driving, for the real roads where distractions run rampant.
Since we launched this program in 2009, we have continued to expand the program with other organizations; we’ve trained more than 58,000 students in the U.S., China, Canada, Germany, Mexico, the U.K., and the UAE.
In Southeast Asia, motor scooters are the main means of transportation. UPS teamed up with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) to fund a life-saving initiative called Helmets for Kids in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Wearing a helmet correctly can reduce fatal injuries by 42 percent and reduce head injuries by nearly 70 percent, according to the World Health Organization. Through charitable contributions from The UPS Foundation, the AIP Foundation program has provided more than 50,000 helmets to young cyclists, and AIP has worked with governments and police to raise awareness about helmet safety.
UPS and global organizations, including the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), launched The Global Road Safety Initiative at the World Economic Forum (WEF). As part of this initiative, The UPS Foundation will provide more than 2,000 helmets and road safety training to primary school students in high-risk communities in India. The 2,000 scooter drivers receiving the training will then help create a safer environment for the other drivers sharing the road.
The multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise of human trafficking impacts hundreds of thousands in the United States and more than 20 million people globally. As a global transportation leader with a vast network of employees, UPS is uniquely positioned to help stop human trafficking. In furtherance of our commitment to conduct business in a manner that supports our high standards of conduct and our concern about the communities where we live and work, UPS has stepped up our efforts to put the brakes on human trafficking through stronger policies, employee awareness initiatives and strategic philanthropic partnerships.
In 2016, UPS joined forces with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a Colorado based non-profit, whose mission is teach truck drivers how to recognize the signs of sex trafficking. We have now provided training to our entire U.S. driving operations, more than 97,000 drivers and supervisors, including delivery providers and over the road semi-tractor trailer drivers. UPS also supports TAT with in-kind transportation of TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project, which uses a semi-tractor trailer equipped with educational resources to serve as a mobile educational exhibit on human trafficking. The mobile museum has been hauled more than 131,000 miles.
UPS has also partnered with The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to develop anti-human trafficking education for UPS pilots and airline crew who may also be in a position to help spot human trafficking signs in airports and while traveling on commercial flights.
We’ve also strengthened our Anti-Trafficking in Persons Policy, which strictly prohibits the use of any UPS assets or resources for any purpose that would enable the trafficking of persons.
In addition to the enhanced policy and nationwide education, UPS is leveraging the power of corporate philanthropy to invest in organizations that are raising awareness and finding solutions to ending this horrific epidemic. Among others, UPS is supporting the United Way Worldwide’s Center on Human Trafficking and Slavery, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Wellspring Living and Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) to further anti-human trafficking education, hire survivors and promote recognition and response efforts in local communities. In May, 2019, UPS received the United Way Worldwide Gamechangers Award for it partnership and innovative efforts to build stronger communities through anti-human trafficking engagement.