UPS is targeting a 20% improvement in fuel economy for its US package delivery fleet from 2000 to 2020. Click to enlarge.

UPS has set a new automotive goal to improve the miles per gallon (MPG) performance of its entire US package delivery fleet by 20 percent between 2000 and 2020. The goal was announced as UPS released the latest annual update of its corporate Sustainability Report.

The new goal builds on gains UPS already has made by increasing its US MPG 10% between 2000 and 2009 and applies to a US ground fleet of 60,000 vehicles.

This new goal for the next decade is an important milestone in UPS’ continuing dedication to finding and using new technology and processes that help us meet our customers’ needs in a sustainable way.

—Bob Stoffel, UPS senior vice president and the executive responsible for UPS’ sustainability program

In 2009, UPS drivers logged 77.3 million more miles than in 2000, yet fuel consumption decreased by 3.2 million gallons. Fuel efficiency levels were improved through improved vehicle technology, effective vehicle maintenance procedures, fuel conservation efforts, sophisticated routing technology and operational initiatives such as minimizing engine idling. Alternative fuel technology and vehicle deployments also improve UPS’fuel efficiency.

The automotive goal complements UPS’ announcement last year that it will improve the carbon efficiency (CO2/ATM) of its airline by an additional 20% by 2020, for a cumulative reduction of 42% since 1990. The airline represents 53% of the company’s global carbon footprint.

In 2009, UPS deployed 245 new vehicles running on compressed natural gas, expanding its alternative fleet to 1,883 vehicles operating in North America,
South America, Europe and Asia.

A 12-month study of UPS hybrid diesel electric delivery vehicles by the US
Department of Energy’s NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
found that they improved on-road fuel economy by 28.9%. (Earlier post.) The hybrid
drive system, developed by Eaton Corp. for UPS, also delivered performance
and reliability equal to conventional engines.

Along with 10 other members of the Air Transportation Association of America, UPS also signed non-binding memoranda of understanding (MOUs) for negotiating purchases from two different producers of synthetic jet fuel: AltAir Fuels LLC and RenTech. (Earlier post.)