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Environment

UPS Pioneers New Global Sustainability Reporting Framework
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- By Patrick Browne and Joe Monfort

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the most widely used sustainability reporting framework in the world, issued its fourth generation of guidelines in May 2013.  These new guidelines (called “G4”) are the most significant update to the reporting framework since 2006.  They emphasize identifying the most material sustainability issues for your organization and articulating how your organization manages these issues. Read More »

Three Perspectives on GRI G4 from One of the First US “Comprehensive” Reporters
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- By Patrick Browne and Joe Monfort

Shortly after our 2012 sustainability report was published in July 2013, the UPS sustainability report team gathered to debrief and plan for the following year.  High fives were administered, too much sugar was consumed, and when it was all said and done, a questionable decision was made.  With the new Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) “G4” guidelines hot off the press, we resolved to make every attempt to migrate directly to the most rigorous option available under the new framework, “In Accordance-Comprehensive.”  The results of that 10 month effort will be published on July 30th, 2014. Read More »

UPS Sustainability Report Cites “More of What Matters”
UPS Sustainability Report Cover

The theme of a Sustainability Report says a lot of about a company. It offers a clue about how the company positions sustainability externally and internally. It also signals how the company wants you, the reader, to review the contents.

Each autumn, the UPS sustainability report team extensively discusses the year’s strengths and weaknesses and begins to evaluate how that year is different from previous ones. How has the company’s sustainability program and commitments evolved? What are the gaps that were addressed? What is going on the marketplace that could affect the way our sustainability report contents will be judged?

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Benefits of Two Wheels: Florida Driver Stephen Cortes Explains How and Why He Became a Bike Commuter
Steve Cortes

I initially started riding my bicycle to UPS way back in the late 90s. My van had broken down and lacking the funds to fix it right away, I decided that my 10-speed was my best option. I hadn’t missed a day of work during my first year; and I wanted to complete a year with no absence from work. It was a 16-mile ride in each direction at that time, but on occasion, my preload supervisor, Debbie Fried, would meet me along the way; and I’d throw my bike into the back of her truck.

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New Word for Old Practice
tree

Farmers have long practiced sustainability to survive. Whether crop, tree, or various other products, farmers must be good stewards of their lands or the lands will cease to produce effectively. I learned this as a young boy growing up on our family farm.

One day, I was griping to my father about having to plant trees and he commented, “That, son is the future.”

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Banking on Trees
Garcia River Forest

I’m a numbers guy living in the heart of San Francisco. I am a scientist and an analyst, managing an asset valued at more than $100 million. But I’m not your typical investment banker. I’m part of a team of carbon bankers at The Conservation Fund—conserving forests to help trap or “bank” carbon dioxide to help address climate change.  In short, I help measure, monitor and model tree growth so that we can trap more carbon dioxide in our forests, provide habitat for fish and wildlife and jobs for the local timber economy.

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Here Comes the Sun: Bringing Solar Power to NASCAR
Carl Edwards

As the Senior Director of Market Development at Suniva, I have the good fortune of working with many of our customers on new ways to incorporate solar photovoltaics (PV) into their business. Clean, green energy from the sun is a natural fit with many organizations’ overall sustainability strategies. I’ve seen a real uptake in the United States now that solar has become so much more affordable. That’s personally gratifying since I have a passion for implementing cleantech to sustainability.

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Soaking Up the Sun in Jersey
With New York City in the background, solar panels are installed at UPS’s Secaucus, NJ facility.

If I were to ask you which state is the real sunshine state, what would you say?  Florida? California? Try New Jersey…You got a problem with that?

UPS has four facilities in the U.S. that are outfitted with solar panels. Believe it or not, three of those facilities are in New Jersey. Yes, Jersey. The other one? Across the country in Palm Springs, California.

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100 Electric Vehicles Begin Their Journey to Save 126,000 Gallons of Fuel Per Year
UPS Electric Vehicle

Although Californians take great pride in the green initiatives the state likes to roll out for the sake of Mother Earth, there is still a learning curve with many of the new ordinances. You’ll still hear a few disgruntled shoppers loading their bagless groceries into their cars because they forgot that stores now charge 10 cents for single-use plastic bags. And there are quite a few of us who still break out into a sweat trying to determine if our trash should be deposited into the compostable, recyclable or landfill receptacle.

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Seven Sustainability Trends to Watch for in 2013
World Environment Day

Every year, sustainability professionals come together to discuss trends and expectations for the future. The meetings, like Net Impact and BSR, buzz with heady discussions about the world’s social and environmental issues: poverty, human trafficking, child labor, transparency, and climate change.

When we get home, business-based attendees have to sort through the aspirational talk to determine which social and environmental issues should guide corporate sustainability programs. Relevancy isn’t always direct or obvious but it’s critical for companies who want to remain leaders in sustainability.

Based on my review, here are the business-relevant trends worth watching in 2013:

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