- UPS has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12% within its ground operations by 2025 in its annual sustainability report, according to a company press release.
- The logistics giant also aims to receive at least 25% of its total electricity needs from renewable resources by 2025, a highly ambitious goal given that currently, the company gained less than 1% of that amount in 2016. Recent investments of $18 million in solar power at eight U.S. facilities are expected to help by roughly five times current capacity.
- By 2020, 25% of UPS' annual vehicle purchases will be powered by either alternative fuel or will be advanced technology vehicles, an increase from 16% in 2016. By 2025, 40% of ground fuel will come from alternatives to either conventional gasoline or diesel, almost 50% more than in 2016.
UPS is ambitious and generally successful at exceeding sustainability goals, but in the area of human initiatives, struggles remain. The company failed to reach its goal of becoming an Employer of Choice and did not meet its lost time for injuries frequency or auto accident frequency reductions targets. These employee issues can be at odds with UPS' strategy of excelling to meet last-mile goals, potentially putting their staff in harm's way in order to maintain delivery margins.
However, efforts are still being made. The company is currently seeking more modest goals in these three areas, including a 1% improvement in lost time for injuries, a 3% improvement in reducing auto accidents, and a 2% improvement in employee engagement. The ten year anniversary of its Women's Leadership initiative occasioned a Summit, which will help UPS in meeting its Employer of Choice goal.
Perhaps the most challenging sustainability goal is the scope of adaptation required as e-commerce demands grow in volume, while air carrier fuel improvements fail to keep pace and last mile deliveries produce more emissions. To address these leaks in the improvement chain, more than 15 million trees have been planted, and stationary drop off and pick up sites have been established via the UPS Access Point program.