Atlanta‘s United Parcel Service Inc. is to invest over the next four years in more fuel-efficient planes and vehicles as part of an effort to reduce fuel emissions and costs worldwide, according to the company’s first-ever sustainability report, released this month.

            The 40-page document, available for download at, also outlines specific global goals for UPS’ promotion of worker safety and the establishment of philanthropic initiatives over the next four years.

“UPS is 96 years old and this report really stemmed from the company’s leadership stepping back and asking ‘who do we want to be when we’re 100?'” said Joyce Hosking, vice president of UPS’ corporate compliance division.

As part of the sustainability initiative, the company plans to cut ground fleet travel by 100 million miles over the next three years through a new technology system that helps drivers optimize daily delivery routes.  The program will also reduce fuel costs for the company by an estimated 14 million gallons, according to Janelle Alberts, a UPS spokesperson.

The addition of alternate fuel cell vehicles to UPS fleets around the world is also expected to increase fuel efficiency from 2002 levels of 0.1038 gallons per package to 0.1008 gallons per package in 2007. Already, the company has incorporated compressed natural gas vehicles, liquefied natural gas tractors, hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles into its fleet.

            UPS additionally pledges in the report to retire its older Boeing 747 planes over the next decade in favor of more fuel-efficient aircraft.

            “Managing green house gas emissions is a business opportunity – one that can improve the bottom line…and increase the long term viability of the company,” the report states.

            Also detailed in the document are UPS’ plans to institute additional driver training programs to reduce the frequency of auto accidents.  The company is additionally working to fully automate its warehouses and delivery centers, implementing a policy of “no-lift” work areas to reduce on-the-job injuries.

            Through such initiatives, UPS aims to maintain 92 percent employee retention by 2007.

            Specific to the company’s philanthropic goals, the UPS Foundation, the company’s charitable arm, is seeking over the next four years to become increasingly global in its scope, in keeping with the UPS’ growth worldwide. 

            The organization is to continue its philanthropic efforts focused on hunger, literacy and volunteerism, said the report.

            For more information, contact Paula Smith with UPS public relations at (404) 828-4242.