UPS Says Cost of Green Energy Still a Challenge

United Parcel Service Inc. said investing in 2,500-plus greener vehicles and smarter logistics helped its drivers cut fuel and carbon emissions, as they delivered around 15.8 million packages each business day last year.

The world’s biggest package-delivery company said it supports the development of jet-engine biofuels while it aims to reduce emissions from its airline by 20 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Scott Wicker, chief sustainability officer for UPS, said aviation biofuel is currently about seven times the cost of regular jet fuel, and the company will not “begin using it in a big way” until it reaches a better price point and scalability. “You can’t make sustainability moves that drive your company to be nonprofitable,” he said. “Sustainability is about balancing your environmental impacts, your social impacts, while keeping your company economically prosperous.”

Q: How have you tried to cut carbon from transportation?

A: We’re always trying to reduce the miles that we travel. The fewer miles, obviously the less fuel. The less fuel, the less carbon. Last year, from our telematics, we calculated that the technologies that we deploy on our vehicles and in our facilities enabled us to avoid driving 90 million miles last year, which is huge. That saved us approximately 9 million gallons of fuel…

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