It’s that time of year again. Sustainability leaders are cranking through reams of data and copy as they prepare for the annual corporate Sustainability Report season.
A credible report means meticulously examining the numbers that indicate your company’s environmental, social and economic impact and then putting it in context. The data must serve a wide variety of stakeholders so that they can find the information they want, evaluate its importance and then make an informed decision about their business partners.
Environmental impact is perhaps the most sought-after information today.
Environmentalists want to know a company is operating responsibly and being a good steward of the planet. Investors want to know that environmental risks are being well-managed and energy costs are being minimized. Procurement officers increasingly are seeking companies that meet certain reporting and performance standards as part of their selection criteria.
As a result, UPS has been scrupulous about comprehensively and accurately reporting our emissions and carbon following the Green House Gas Protocol. We decided a few years ago that we wanted to provide as much information as possible (Scopes 1, 2 & 3 in sustainability lingo) in order to meet the growing demand of our stakeholders. This information is the basis of our ability to have our report both verified and assured by credible third-parties.
We also recognize that we are the supply chain of millions of shippers around the globe and that each of them are being asked about the environmental impact of their transportation and distribution activities.
Is all this number crunching worth it? Yes. In addition to meeting the needs of our stakeholders, we now have numbers to use for performance improvements, benchmarking and energy cost savings monitoring.
Just this month we were given the Climate Leadership Award that “recognizes organizations that have their own comprehensive GHG inventories and emissions reduction goals and can demonstrate they are at the leading edge of managing GHGs in their organizational value chains.” The EPA award is in conjunction with The Climate Registry (The Registry), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO).
We greatly appreciate their kind words about our efforts:
“Engaged in numerous collaborations and partnership programs, UPS has demonstrated transparency, leadership and initiative in reducing its supply chain emissions as well as its customers’ emissions. The company has established strong supply chain reduction goals and has focused on maintaining an efficient aircraft fleet, introducing low-carbon alternative fuels and vehicles, and participating in and supporting the development of scope 3 standards. In 2010, UPS avoided nearly three million metric tonnes of GHG emissions while demand and services offered increased.
In response to customer inquiries, UPS became the first carrier in the U.S. to provide a program whereby customers can purchase carbon offsets to reduce the impact of their shipping. In 2010 and 2011, UPS pledged to match $1 million in offsets purchased by customers. Their participation in Climate Leaders led to the development of modular software enabling them to measure their GHG footprint down to the individual contract level, which they now use to educate large customers on shipping activities. “
In these days of greenwashing and stakeholder scrutiny, positive recognition goes a long way as we plod through another reporting season. Thanks, EPA.
EPA is partnering with The Climate Registry (The Registry), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and the Association of Climate Change Officers(ACCO) to incentivize, recognize, and highlight actions that go beyond business as usual in the management and reduction of GHG emissions both in internal operations and throughout the supply chain.
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