As e-commerce continues to grow, it’s important for companies like UPS, and UPSers themselves, to do everything they can to reduce the environmental impact.
The UPS Guangzhou East Center in China is doing just that with eco-friendly packaging, customer education, electric vehicles and smart energy. Combined together, these incremental changes make a real difference.
The commitment to eco-friendly packaging at the Guangzhou East Center begins with reuse. Customers are encouraged to reuse packaging materials where possible, with new ones provided only if necessary. The center also uses new packing tape 25% smaller than the type used previously.
To reduce waste during the shipping process, the center packages small export goods in RNC (reusable network container) bags before shipping them to UPS’s Intra-Asia Hub in Shenzhen about 135 km away. Here, the same bags are emptied and refilled with packages destined for Guangzhou. This reduces the overall need for packaging and contributes to a circular economy.
UPS also helps businesses offset the climate impact of shipping through UPS carbon neutral, a solution that gives companies the option to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of any shipment. These contributions are then reinvested in environmental conservation projects such as the Chol Charoen wastewater treatment plant in Thailand, which captures emissions released from wastewater to produce electricity.
Green fleets on streets
Going electric is part of UPS’s efforts to transform transportation, given its fleet vehicles make the majority of the company’s near-25 million package and document deliveries every day. Recognizing the need to change the way it operates, UPS has invested in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles, including electric vehicles and natural gas-powered trucks.
The Guangzhou East Center is getting on board with sustainable transport through its fleet of electric vehicles. These vehicles save thousands of kilograms worth of CO2 emissions every year.
And energy savings are not limited to just vehicles. The Guangzhou East Center processes thousands of packages each day, meaning bills for even simple things like electricity can add up. So the center decided to use low-energy LED lights which has resulted in a drop in energy consumption of over 35% compared to the previous center.
“Making these improvements takes time and careful planning, but the benefits are undeniable,” said Ben Hu, manager for the center. “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from our customers, and it’s nice to know we’re spreading a positive message.”