UPS Longitudes | A Message From Our Chief Sustainability Officer

Suzanne Lindsay-Walker @ UPS
Jul 1, 2020 3:00 PM ET
Article

As I close in on my first year at UPS, I’m reflecting on what drew me to join this organization. First, there’s the company’s reputation for integrity—when UPS commits to doing something, we deliver. Whether driving millions of miles in our alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, planting 15 million trees, or creating more sustainable ways to deliver packages, our commitments make a difference and set an example for others in our industry.

I was also impressed with the company’s bold ambition. In 2016, UPS announced a goal to reduce absolute emissions 12 percent across global ground operations by 2025. The company set this goal despite anticipating significant growth in package volume—as well as energy use and emissions—as a result of skyrocketing e-commerce. We are addressing these headwinds and remain optimistic, as we’re already seeing our investments in lower-emission vehicles and fuels beginning to pay off.

More Work Remains 

We’re making progress, but there’s even more that UPS can and must do. Our customers look to us to help reduce climate impacts across their supply chains. UPSers want to work for a company that balances profit with a responsibility to protect the planet and take care of its people. Additionally, investors and other stakeholders are raising the bar and expecting more from companies on all aspects of sustainability. We must keep challenging ourselves to go farther—and faster.

As we continue our enterprise-wide transformation, we’re reimagining the possibilities of more sustainable facilities and fleets, such as near-zero-emissions buildings powered with microgrids and solar energy, as well as smart-grid charging and battery storage solutions for electric vehicles.

We are helping to commercialize and scale alternative fuels and technologies, including making the largest-ever purchase of renewable natural gas, and investing in vehicle startups to scale electric delivery trucks. And we’re collaborating with NGOs on environmental targets for airlines and exploring pathways for lower-emission jet fuel options.

Accelerating Action 

I’m proud to work for a company that accepts responsibility and has the clarity of purpose to lead. We don’t have all the answers yet, but we’re asking the right questions and creating innovative, long-term solutions. UPS has demonstrated time and time again that we can achieve big things when we put our minds and resources to the task. Today’s realities are no exception, as evidenced by the efforts of UPSers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This unprecedented time reinforces the need to continually future-proof our business so that we remain resilient.

During the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time listening and learning in an effort to understand UPS’s business and sustainability journey—where we’ve been and where we’re headed. As we shape what’s next for sustainability at UPS, we will build upon the decades of progress and accelerate actions that serve our customers, support our people and communities, and address our environmental impacts.

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