How The UPS Foundation Focuses Efforts

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 each of our focus areas below:

Community Safety

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: Men securing tarps on humanitarian relief shipment

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.

Disaster Preparedness
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 Saglam 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. The compilation helps 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:

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.

Post-Crisis Recovery
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.

Also see the 2018 Year-in-Review: Humanitarian Relief and Resilience and Public Health Strengthening Initiatives.

For more information about our community safety programs as a whole, download the 2018 Social Impact Report.

Road Safety Group of children who graduated UPS Road Code driver safety program

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 13-18 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.

Going Further
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.

For more information on our road safety initiatives, download the UPS Road Safety Whitepaper or read our story here.

Human Trafficking
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.

Diversity & Inclusion

Group of UPS employees supporting military veterans Back to Top

UPS’s longstanding policies and inclusive culture make it one of the most diverse companies in the world. We know an internal focus isn’t enough, and so The UPS Foundation also supports community efforts to provide diverse populations with advancement opportunities.

Giving Strategy
We fund specific organizations focused on enhancing opportunities for higher education, economic empowerment, mentorship and inclusion for underserved or underrepresented segments of society.

Each year, we donate millions of dollars to organizations whose missions align with the four pillars of our diversity and inclusion giving strategy. Select examples of those partnerships include:

Access to Higher Education
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. Their goal is to increase the number of African American college graduates every year. Since 1972, The UPS Foundation has provided scholarship funds to undergraduate students at each of the 37 UNCF-member colleges that have produced more than 400,000 graduates to date.

Economic Empowerment
The UPS Foundation has been providing grant funding to Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) since 1988. As a result of our support, PVA has been able to expand Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment), a program that provides career counseling and employment opportunities to veterans with complex needs.

The UPS Foundation has supported the National Urban League for more than 50 years. Since 2009, we have focused our investments on the growth and development of the National Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center Program (ECP). These training centers work with minority entrepreneurs to enhance their management skills so they can recognize and act on business opportunities, and qualify for financing that leads to increased economic growth.

The UPS Foundation works with 100 Black Men of America, Inc., a group of African American business leaders and role models whose diverse talents are used to mentor young adults and motivate them to succeed. The UPS Foundation has invested millions in the organization to help build its infrastructure, increase the number of national chapters and provide college scholarships to more than 350 students.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. In addition to their other efforts, HRC has joined forces with The UPS Foundation to create and fund the Workplace Project. The collaboration advocates for policies that prohibit discrimination against LGBT workers, provide employees with equal benefits and encourage appropriate marketing within every work environment.

For more information about our diversity programs, download the 2018 Social Impact Report.

Environmental Sustainability

Man and woman UPS employees planting trees to support environmental sustainability Back to Top

At UPS we believe it’s important to do our part to preserve and protect the environment. Today’s investment in the environment is an investment in the future. The UPS Foundation strategy aligns with the Company’s environmental and sustainability initiatives, expertise and priorities.

TThe UPS Foundation provides financial and employee volunteer support to environmental programs with a focus on reforestation and conservation, carbon reduction efforts and environmental research/education.

UPS Global Forestry Initiative
Preserving the world's forests is critical to reducing carbon, combating climate change and protecting the planet's atmosphere. Investing in reforestation also builds resiliency in our communities by creating jobs and protecting against erosion and mudslides. That’s why, in 2011, we launched the Global Forestry Initiative to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and rural areas around the world.

The 15 Million by 2020 Pledge
UPS announced a pledge in 2015 to plant 15 million trees around the world by the end of 2020—a bold expansion of the Global Forestry Initiative. In addition to helping restore some of the world’s most important forests, this initiative is having a humanitarian impact across many emerging markets. These trees are planted by NGOs who receive grants from The UPS Foundation, as well as by UPS employees and their families and friends. Partner organizations include: World Wildlife Fund, National Arbor Day Foundation, Earth Day Network, Keep America Beautiful, The Nature Conservancy, and National Park Foundation.

Check out the Tree Map and see where UPSers and our partner organizations are planting trees worldwide.

We work hard to get these trees in the ground. And they work hard once they are there.

For more information about our environmental efforts, download the 2018 Social Impact Report.

Volunteer Efforts

Jim Casey Community Service Award Winner: Mary Jeane Okada

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We’re more than UPS employees. We are your neighbors. We live and work in your community, and we are dedicated to volunteering time, sharing knowledge and donating funds to make it better. At UPS, there’s a culture that supports community service, helping us harness our collective effort in ways that make a real difference around the globe.

UPS employees are passionate about making the world a better place, which is why they contribute millions of volunteer hours to their local communities and their favorite nonprofit organizations each year. The UPS Foundation provides those organizations with the operational expertise, leadership development and technology enhancements needed to tackle today's societal challenges.

While volunteerism is a year-round priority, we place special emphasis on community service every October in celebration of UPS's Global Volunteer Month. Some UPSers use this time to help with volunteer projects put on by their team or department, while others spend their time volunteering with organizations on their own. At the end of Global Volunteer Month, The UPS Foundation awards a $10,000 grant in each of its region and business units to one of the nonprofit organizations receiving UPS volunteer efforts.

The 20 Million by 2020 Pledge
To reinforce our commitment to making a real difference in the world through volunteering, in 2014 UPS pledged to complete 20 million hours of global volunteerism and community service by the end of 2020. By achieving this goal, UPS’s total volunteer hours will increase more than 12% and non-profits will receive assistance valued at more than $460 million. UPSers, friends, and family contributed 3 million volunteer hours in 2018, driving our 2011-2018 cumulative total volunteer hours to more than 18.7 million.

Jim Casey Community Service Award
The Jim Casey Community Service Award is given to a UPSer who demonstrates an exceptional commitment to helping others in their community. Each year, one employee out of more than 480,000 active UPSers is selected and recognized for demonstrating an exceptional commitment to helping others in their community and is UPS’s way of recognizing those UPSers who going above and beyond in giving back to their community. Established in 1995, the award celebrates the UPS spirit and legacy of volunteerism and the outstanding community service of our people.

The employee is nominated by colleagues from their district, country or business unit for the award. The competitive selection process narrows down the nominees to choose one person for the honor, who then serves as the volunteer ambassador for the year.

The UPS Foundation provides the winner with a $10,000 grant. Each of the 14 regional winners receive a $5,000 grant, and the recipients designate the nonprofit organization that will receive the funding.

Support From Afar - 2019 Jim Casey Community Service Award Winner
Japan Global Business Services Customer Service Manager Mary Jeane Okada, was chosen for this prestigious achievement in 2019.

Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded. When it made landfall in the central part of the country in 2013, it brought along turbulent winds and heavy rains resulting in flooding, landslides, and widespread damage. Mary, a native of the Philippines, felt she needed to help.

Mary led efforts to build a church and library to serve as a safe haven for children in the Philippines following the storm. She was able to do all this while living and working in Japan, almost 2,000 miles away. This is one example of her commitment to making a difference. Mary volunteers an average of 50 to 60 hours per month reaching communities throughout Asia.

Previous Jim Casey Winners:

Local Grants Program
The UPS Foundation allocates local funding for each of UPS's regions, districts, and business units around the world so our employees can determine which organizations will best address the unique needs of their communities. For an organization to be eligible, UPS volunteers must log a minimum of 50 group hours of community service into the Neighbor to Neighbor System, aligned with The UPS Foundation’s four focus areas, and be nominated by UPS's local Community Involvement Committee.

Corporate Grants Program
The UPS Foundation provides funding to nonprofits around the world by partnering with the world's most preeminent organizations dedicated to advancing our four focus areas. The organizations that qualify are solicited each year to provide impact reports and data analysis on how UPS is helping them to make a measurable difference is communities around the world.

Funding for these organizations is ultimately decided on by The UPS Foundation Leadership.

One premier organization in the volunteerism space is Points of Light.
The UPS Foundation’s funding of Points of Light has helped to enable volunteer based solutions, increase disaster preparedness and the capacity to respond to disaster, spur international growth of volunteerism, engage veterans in volunteer services and provide services to strengthen nonprofits to more effectively engage volunteers.