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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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.
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.
I’m not a tree hugger. Nor am I a scientist. I’m a conservationist and a marketer, and as of seven weeks ago, a mom. I was raised with a strong appreciation for nature, and I know how glorious it feels to hike up to a clearing to watch the sea mist roll in across the redwood forest at sunset. The sustainability and communication teams at UPS know this too. We shared a chilly sunset during a recent video shoot at The Conservation Fund’s 24,000-acre Garcia River Forest along California’s north coast.
We visited with foresters, ecologists and loggers, and witnessed firsthand that you don’t have to be an environmentalist to appreciate nature, or to understand the vast changes to the landscape we’ve experienced recently. Over the past several decades, millions of acres of forests have given way to homes and roads to support a growing global population. Forest loss has been hard on wildlife and our climate, accounting for nearly 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But there are positive changes as well. Companies like UPS have changed the way they do business to measure and then reduce their impact on the planet. Customers can make a difference too.