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UPS and US Postal Service collaborate to cut carbon emissions

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The world’s largest postal service and the world’s largest package delivery company have agreed to work more closely on cutting their respective carbon emissions.

The US Postal Service and UPS said today they were going to share sustainability data as existing operational partners in the delivery chain, in a “Blue and Brown makes Green” partnership that could also help both companies cut costs and develop new products.

UPS already delivers a significant proportion of its domestic parcels via the USPS last mile network, handling items over to Postal Service carriers to reach households. And in return, UPS carries millions of pounds of US mail each year as a Postal Service transport contractor and international delivery partner.

USPS is part of a global partnership of postal services that has been collaborating to cut emissions – including indirect emissions generated by subcontractors.

The group, the Environmental Measurement and Monitoring System, is run by the International Post Corporation, and seeks to share best practice among the 25 postal operators around the world, to achieve a 20% cut in emissions by 2020.

One of the recent efforts of the EMMS has been to include more indirect carbon emissions in the data posts report on their overall environmental impact – these “scope three” emissions include emissions generate by posts’ subcontractors and supply chain partners as well as their own fleet and facilities.

With today’s new agreement, as a subcontractor of the Postal Service, UPS will share data with the Postal Service on indirect emissions, to contribute to the reporting and monitoring goals of the EMMS.

“The future”

US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe (left) and UPS Chairman and CEO Scott Davis said working together could help both companies improve their environmental footprints and cut costs

“This collaboration to reduce the carbon footprint of our respective supply chains is a sustainability way of the future,” said Scott Davis, the UPS chairman and CEO.

“And our customers get better service, lower prices and new products. Our planes and trucks can minimise empty space, across our supply chain less fuel is burned, less carbon is emitted. We’re helping to build a more sustainable society.”

US Postmaster General described the partnership as “out of the box thinking”.

“Continuing to optimize our postal network, realigning our workforce, and reduce energy to drive down costs, this working relationship with UPS supports the Postal Service’s goal to deliver mail at the lowest cost with the minimal impact on the environment,” said Donahoe.

The USPS CEO said the partnership was a “great template” for how posts could work with private industry to “better serve our customers, our bottom line and our planet”.

USPS delivers nearly 40% of the world’s mail volume to more than 151m addresses in the United States, while UPS delivers more than 4bn packages and documents a year to more than 220 countries and territories.

The companies said they were still “keen competitors”, but were also each other’s customers, and sharing sustainability data would help both to find new opportunities to be cost effective and greener.

Source: Post&Parcel/USPS/UPS

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Direct Link specialises in international cross border distribution and returns of e-commerce packages worldwide. Parent company PostNord (the merged Swedish and Danish Post Offices) supports Direct Link with IT expertise, postal connections and international logistics solutions, across the Nordic countries and intercontinentally.


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