Parcel delivery giant UPS announces 25% clean energy target by 2025


United Parcel Service, better known by its acronym UPS, has pledged to source 25% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025 in what is just one of a raft of new initiatives designed to make the company cleaner and more sustainable.

The Atlanta, U.S.-headquartered parcel delivery giant is hoping to reduce its absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for its global ground operations by 12% by 2025. To achieve this, UPS will ensure that one in four new vehicles purchased annually will be “alternative fuel or advanced technology” vehicles. The ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrids to standard combustion engine vehicle purchases was 16% in 2016.

A further goal outlined by UPS is to source 40% of all ground fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline by 2025. In 2016, that figure was 19.6%.

However, by far the boldest aim is UPS’ goal of reaching 25% renewable electricity generation by 2025. Last year, just 0.2% of the company’s global electricity demand was met by renewables – a figure that starkly highlights where UPS can best deploy an express delivery of investment and effort.

“Because of our size and scale, we know our commitments can shape markets, advance technologies and be a catalyst for infrastructure investments,” said UPS CEO and chairman David Abney. “We rely on the ingenuity of our employees, suppliers and technology partners to help us reach goals that will transform the shipping industry and spur innovation.”

The current UPS fleet contains more than 8,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles globally, and it is in e-mobility that the company sees most scope to effect change, having invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel since 2009.

The new UPS “vision”, the company said, entails a smart logistics network of advanced technology vehicles and facilities powered by on-site solar power plants, off-site wind power, and “renewable natural gas and diesel” delivered via advanced energy system infrastructure.

The company recently invested $18 million in on-site solar across eight of its facilities, bringing an eventual 10 MW of PV capacity to its sites. This represents a five-fold investment in UPS’s solar footprint, having installed its first solar array 12 years ago in California.

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