UPS Scores an A+ on Sustainability

by Sheila Shayon

UPS is one of only 10 U.S. corporations to receive an A+ for superior transparency from companies registered with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) .
"One of the guiding principles to UPS's sustainability strategy is our commitment to transparency," UPS Chairman and CEO Scott Davis wrote in the organization's just-released 2011 Sustainability Report. "We are disclosing more information than ever... We have reported our five-year progress, successes and challenges. Now, we are focused ahead." 
The report shows that UPS exceeded four of seven key sustainability goals established for 2011 including employee safety, auto accident frequency, aircraft emissions and full-time employee retention.
Chief Sustainability Officer Scott Wicker noted UPS’ introduction of a "materiality matrix" to track how the company's interests match or differ from those of other stakeholders. "Our annual sustainability report encapsulates the performance, ambitions and goals of UPS from economic, social and environmental perspectives," said Wicker. 
Other achievements include:
  • Driving 85 million fewer miles, saving 8.4 million gallons of fuel and 83,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions using advanced route-planning technology. 
  • Expanding telematics technology to eliminate more than 98 million minutes of engine idling time, saving 653,000 gallons of fuel. 
  • Earning the highest Carbon Disclosure Project score among all U.S. companies, and tied with three others for the top score in the world. 
Speaking at Fortune Brainstorm Green 2012, UPS COO David Abney highlighted “the maturation of sustainability at UPS.”
“The terminology [of sustainability] has changed, but it’s changed for very sound business reasons," he added. "What really has changed is the number of customers looking at us to manage their supply chains from an environmental perspective. Customers were demanding we pay attention (to sustainability).”
UPS seeks to engage all 400,000 employees in its sustainability ethos which extends to social issues, and those employees have given more than $1 billion to the United Way making it the only company reaching that landmark.
“Sustainability is a way of life,” said Abney. “It’s always high on our radar screen.”

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