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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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Tom Bihn Bags: All About the Red, White and Blue, While Being Green (Video)
Tom Bihn

The brand tag on every Tom Bihn bag reads “Portable Culture,” and that’s the founder’s philosophy.  The care labels strongly reinforce this with the Latin phrase “Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.”  Roughly translated, “if it doesn’t fit in your bag, leave it behind.”  But chances are, their extensive product line of backpacks, camera bags, laptop bags and messenger bags will allow you (or your canine pal – dog bags are also available) to tote nearly anything.

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See More, Hear Less: New UPS Vehicles in Germany
p70thumb

A new generation of UPS package cars has arrived

It’s called the P70. It’s larger than a P60 but smaller than a P80 and a lot newer than both of them. UPS, Mercedes and our package car body manufacturer Spier presented the newest generation of the UPS package car at the Hanover Motor show in Germany last September.

Customers in Germany will start seeing these new vehicles on the road in the coming months and years.  Here’s what makes them great:

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Some History of Sustainability with UPS
1936 UPS Electric Package Cars

As the UPS Archivist, I spend a lot of time researching documents that reveal our history and the stories of our people.

So in my search through the UPS Archives – while looking for something else I might add – I came across this document from 1933 asking for the funds for three new “Gould Batteries for two ton Walker Electric Trucks.”  These new batteries were to replace three “very old and almost useless” batteries in package cars that were serving in New York City at the time.

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This Shopping Season, You Can Consider the Planet and the Companies Who Care
holiday delivery

Every year just in time for the holiday season, Climate Counts prepares a shopping guide to help environmentally-conscious consumers support companies who “get it” in terms of climate change. To make it really convenient, the guide is now available on a free iPhone app as well as online.

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Sustainable Products Are Not Enough: Customers Want Responsible Suppliers
ECO group

One of my favorite parts of being on UPS’s “green team” is learning how our customers are embracing sustainability. Geiger is one of the nation’s leading promotional products companies that is deep into the peak buying season for corporate holiday gifts  They tell me the hottest items this year are eco-friendly products featuring biodegradable and renewable materials, organic or recycled content, and energy-friendly and hand-powered items. And starting this month, all of their shipments will be sent UPS carbon neutral.

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Mirror Mirror on the Floor: Our New HHVs
UPS hydraulic hybrid vehicle

When I wanted to see what makes UPS’s new hydraulic hybrid vehicle (HHV) special, I just had to look down. At its ignition ceremony on October 11 in Laurel, MD marking the delivery of the HHVs, there were mirrors on the ground to reflect the image of the new package delivery truck’s energy-saving system. People could inspect this alternative fuel vehicle’s (AFV) workings up close without donning a pair of coveralls and sliding underneath. Personally, I was glad for that convenience.

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