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Looking to supply chain sustainability for driving business in 2020


Make no mistake about it, e-commerce in Thailand is booming. The Thai e-commerce market is currently the second largest in Southeast Asia and with further growth projected to reach US$13 billion by 2025 , businesses need to think about the environmental impact of all those deliveries resulting from e-commerce purchases.

Logistics has a considerable impact on the environment, giving rise to numerous opportunities to plan for and promote sustainability across the supply chain.

As a global logistics company, we know we have a responsibility to reduce the environmental impact of our operations. We are continuously looking for ways to work with our customers and partners to support sustainable supply chain practices. Here’s how UPS is creating solutions for a more sustainable tomorrow.

Why supply chain sustainability?

Having been named in the top 5 of America’s Top 100 Most Sustainable Companies, we take our responsibility as a steward of the planet seriously. Today, businesses are more aware than ever of the need to drive environmental sustainability throughout the global supply chain since the way companies conduct their business has a direct impact on conservation.

To demonstrate the importance of sustainability in Thailand, the Stock Exchange of Thailand releases the Thailand Sustainability Investment (THSI) list every year for the past four years. In 2019, the THSI index ranked Thai companies “that embrace risk management, supply chain management and innovations together with responsibility for environmental, social and governance aspects” .

The goals of the THSI list are something that we believe in wholeheartedly at UPS. Supply chain sustainability, the practice of mitigating the environmental impact of commercial activity throughout the product lifecycle, is central to UPS’s mission. We believe that to be a partner of choice, we must demonstrate our aligned values in sustainability. Agreeing on, and then working toward shared sustainability initiatives not only makes sense for business but is good for the planet.

Transforming transportation to reduce our carbon footprint 

On any given day, 3% of the world’s gross domestic product passes through our global logistics network and the vast majority of our 20 million daily deliveries are made by one of our 123,000 fleet vehicles. With so much of our business globally done on the ground, we know we need to transform the way we operate. 

Our commitment to sustainable shipping extends directly to our fleet. In the past decade, UPS has invested more than US$1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles. Our goal is to achieve 40% adoption of alternative fuel as a proportion of total ground fuel by 2025. We had previously announced plans to use the new Tesla fully-electric semi tractors, which are slated for production as early as 2020. Of the vehicles added to our global fleet in 2018, 13% rely on 

alternative fuel or advanced technologies. In Thailand, about 25% of our fleet is powered by CNG, and by 2020, we will complete the process of replacing them with new lower emission models.

When it comes to air shipments, since 2005, UPS Airlines has reduced its carbon intensity by 13% through strategies focused on our aircraft fleet, aircraft weight, and aviation procedures. Through aircraft upgrades and optimised operations, we have managed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 150,000 metric tonnes – That’s equivalent to the amount of CO2 sequestered by trees every year in an area the size of Singapore. 

In Thailand, we also offer our customers UPS Carbon Neutral, a shipping option with carbon offset credits so businesses can reduce their carbon footprint while demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.

Planning and optimising the supply chain for efficiency

Supply chain sustainability also comes from detailed planning and optimizing of your supply chain at every point. By streamlining and building efficiency into the supply chain, we are able to reduce our environmental impact.

We use fuel-reduction strategies in our entire fleet of ground vehicles – things like technology-powered route planning to eliminate excess mileage and create reductions in fuel and emissions, and diligent vehicle maintenance to help us run more efficiently.

When we reduce the distance we cover to meet our customers’ requirements, energy consumption is reduced and efficiency increases. In 2019, we doubled the capacity of our Feeder vans in Thailand, thus reducing the number of runs between our Hub and Center and reducing our fuel usage and emissions. By using inter-modal shifting, we’re not only able to choose the best transportation modes to meet the delivery time, it allows us to reduce energy intensity.

Sustainability starts at home

At UPS, we deliver more than 20 million packages daily around the globe and are proud to employ almost half a million passionate and talented people. We believe in involving our employees, since working towards sustainability engages everyone. As an organisation, we are deeply committed to doing more to lessen our footprint in the world and to support our customers and partner organizations in their efforts to be a partner of choice and achieve the same goal.

Find out more about UPS’s commitment to supporting eco-friendly shipping throughout the supply chain in our 2018 sustainability report.

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