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A UPS Champion of Sustainability is Honored by the EPA
David Guernsey

Sometimes nice guys DO finish first.

David Guernsey, a member of UPS’s Corporate Sustainability Team, has been honored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for his long-term contribution to advancing the EPA’s SmartWay program. The SmartWay program helps businesses assess and reduce fuel use and emissions from shipping. Created in 2004, the program addresses the marketplace’s growing need for a transparent and sophisticated level of carbon footprint assessment.  This is the first time the agency has honored individuals as “SmartWay Champions.”

According to the EPA website: “Dave Guernsey has been actively engaged in SmartWay since its inception, providing valuable stakeholder input into the program’s development and encouraging his organization to join as a SmartWay Charter Partner.  As Senior Sustainability Manager, Dave supports his organization’s efforts to work with EPA on projects to improve the emissions and fuel efficiency of commercial trucks with hybrid and other advanced technologies.  By adopting advanced technology, alternative fuel and operational strategies into his organization’s trucking operations, Dave was instrumental in improving overall environmental performance.  Dave’s insight into industry and supply chain carbon accounting and his willingness to participate in stakeholder discussions made him a valuable contributor to EPA’s recent enhancement of its SmartWay partner tools.  Dave has also educated many others about the economic and environmental benefits of sustainability and how the SmartWay program can help businesses to assess and reduce fuel use and emissions from freight shipping. “

In other words, Dave championed UPS’s sustainability efforts and then drove  change within the industry for more than a decade. That’s why his nickname is affectionately “the father of UPS sustainability.”

“Dave is truly a pioneer in the field of transportation sustainability,” said retired UPSer Mike Herr, who was Dave’s manager in the beginning of UPS’s sustainability journey. “He invented our energy consumption metrics and designed and produced the first sustainability report in 2003. For Dave, sustainability is not a job or a scholarly endeavor, it’s a passion. He turned me from a conservative engineering type into a tree hugger like him. “

More than a decade ago, Dave was an environmental affairs manager in the Plant Engineering department. Through his job, he began to understand the power of environmental data and foresaw the increasing demand for information about a company’s environmental impact. Because of its obsession around number and metrics, UPS was uniquely prepared to be a pioneering participant in the EPA’s SmartWay program.

He encouraged the company to join emerging groups like the SmartWay Transport Partnership, the Clean Cargo Initiative (a part of the Business for Social Responsibility organization) and the Carbon Disclosure Project. He also was a key supporter of following the new Global Reporting Initiative, which is the framework for modern sustainability reporting today. Through these and other organizations, he collaborated with his counterparts at other interested companies to benchmark and then recommended how to set efficiency and energy saving targets. 

These relationships have served UPS well. We have influenced how guidelines and standards were established and we’ve learned from others about how we improve our performance.

He also led a project with the Environmental Defense Fund that increased the amount of recycled content we have in our envelopes and boxes – he was doing “stakeholder engagement” before it was cool!

Many times Dave has been a lone voice, advocating new ideas and action that are far ahead of the marketplace.

UPS’s Chief  Sustainability Officer Scott Wicker echoes the thought: “We are fortunate to have David as the heart of our sustainability program at UPS.  He was here from the beginning, almost by himself.  Over the past decade he has educated himself, our company and the community on how to be more sustainable.  Back in 2007 it was David Guernsey who educated us as to why we needed to evolve our sustainability program at UPS.  We followed his advice and just last month, UPS received the highest score in the country from the Carbon Disclosure Project.”

Dave is a pioneer in sustainability, a change agent and yes, a nice guy, too.  Congratulations to Dave.

Category: Sustainability
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    Comments [2]

  1. This is really well deserved. Dave was an invaluable early contributor to the Clean Cargo Working Group and related efforts at BSR, at a time when many or even most in industry were questioning the need for all this fuss and bother about energy and climate change. We all owe him one…

  2. Thank you for your trendsetting contributions on improving the environment. Congratulations…

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