Transportation and logistics giant UPS, Inc. continues to make good on its sustainability efforts, agreeing to a multi-year purchase of renewable natural gas (RNG) that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its ground fleet by more than 1 million metric tons, the company said this week.
UPS has signed an agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of RNG through 2026, the largest deal of its kind in the United States, the company said. The deal will help UPS with its strategy to increase alternative fuel consumption to 40 percent of total ground fuel purchases by 2025, supporting efforts to reduce the GHG emissions of its ground fleet by 12 percent in the same time period.
Renewable natural gas is produced naturally from bio sources such as landfills and dairy farms, turning it into clean gas, according to Mike Casteel, UPS' director of fleet procurement.
"Since RNG is supported by existing national infrastructure used to transport natural gas, it's a winning solution that will help UPS to reach our ambitious sustainability goals," Casteel said. "At the same time, we hope our unprecedented seven-year commitment serves as a catalyst for wider adoption of RNG by other companies."
UPS already uses RNG in its ground fleet, consuming more than 28 million gallons since 2014, the company said. Under the new agreement, UPS will increase that level to between 22.5 and 25 million gallons of RNG per year, further reducing its reliance on diesel fuel.
"By switching from diesel fuel to RNG, UPS vehicles fueling at 18 company-owned and operated natural gas stations across 12 states will realize a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as much as 1,074,000 metric tons of GHG over the life of the agreement," the company said in a prepared statement. "This is equivalent to planting 17,000,000 trees, removing 228,000 cars off the road, or recycling 374,000 tons of waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill."
UPS drives more than 6,100 compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles that can be powered by RNG in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the company said. Since 2009, UPS said it has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally.