This UPS liquefied natural gas tractor is one of the 7200plus alternative fuel vehicles in the company39s fleet UPS photo

This UPS liquefied natural gas tractor is one of the 7,200-plus alternative fuel vehicles in the company's fleet.

UPS’ alt-fuel fleet achieves 1-billion-mile goal

Rolling Laboratory of more than 7,200 alternative fuel vehicles helps company deliver on sustainability goals

UPS announced the company has achieved its goal of driving 1 billion miles in its alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet one year earlier than planned, and marked more than 10 years of learning from its Rolling Laboratory.

UPS mentioned its long-term commitment to sustainability “is transforming commercial transportation and logistics, spurring growth in the clean fuels market and powering critical engineering advances.” The company’s wider sustainability progress is detailed in the 14th annual Sustainability Report.

“We had a big sustainability goal as we set out to make the most of our rolling laboratory by driving 1 billion clean miles in alternative fuel vehicles – that’s the equivalent of well over 4,000 trips to the moon,” said David Abney, chairman and CEO. “While attaining this goal is new, our commitment to seeking out alternative fuels actually dates back to the 1930s when UPS tested electric vehicles. With more than 100,000 drivers logging more than 3 billion miles per year, our future depends on our ability to meet the growing demand for global trade while reducing our impact on the environment.”

UPS noted it deepened its commitment to alternative fuels in 2012, when it set the goal of reaching 1 billion miles driven with alternative fuels by the end of 2017. Shattering that goal one year early, about 12% of the conventional diesel and gasoline fuel previously used by UPS’s ground fleet is now being replaced by alternative fuels including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel, the company added.

“The question wasn’t should we make alternative fuels work?” said Mike Whitlatch, UPS’s vice president of global energy and procurement. “Instead, it was ’What’s the best way to make alternative fuels work for UPS, and for the environment?’ After more than a decade of focus, we are now driving more than 1 million miles globally each business day in our alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet.”

UPS said it deploys the more than 7,200 vehicles in the Rolling Lab to determine what works best in each situation.

“Many congested cities around the world are implementing zero tailpipe emissions zones, and UPS is keeping ahead of the curve by investing in advanced technologies and creating the commercial delivery fleet of the future,” said Abney.

By the end of 2016, UPS said it will have invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009. “That continued investment, combined with supportive government policies, and a collaborative set of partners has helped to expand development and utilization of alternative fuels, vehicles and infrastructure throughout the world,” the company said.

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