This Month’s Featured Report – Spotlight On Ups

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Courtesy of Global Reporting Initiative

Founded in 1907, United Parcel Service of North America, Inc. (UPS) is the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services.
Why did you decide to start issuing sustainability reports?

The rationale for why we published our first report in 2003 remains the same for why we publish one today: there will never be a time in the future when less is expected of global corporations. In the 11 years since our first report, this rationale has become clear in thousands of daily interactions with our stakeholders. More of our business customers are seeking sustainability information and demonstration of performance, and the same holds true for consumers. More investors are incorporating sustainability into their financial models. More governments are raising the bar for both disclosure and action on environmental and social issues, and more non-governmental organizations and non-profits are collaborating with us in novel, constructive ways. We believe that maintaining a high level of transparency about our sustainability strategies and impacts is one of the most important things we can do to serve these diverse stakeholders. Our primary vehicle to achieve this is through the publication of a comprehensive, independently assured annual sustainability report.
 
What are the material topics covered in your report, and how did you determine them?

The 2013 UPS Corporate Sustainability Report was prepared in accordance with the GRI G4 Guidelines at the “Comprehensive” level. We conducted an updated global materiality assessment to guide the content of our report this year. The results of this assessment included a list of 13 material issues where UPS has a significant sustainability impact, as well as four global trends influencing our business and sustainability strategy. UPS material issues include, among others: energy, emissions, and fuel supply; customer privacy; labor relations; management of third party representatives; employee health, safety, and wellness; workforce diversity; ethical conduct; digital and physical asset security; transparency and reporting; recruitment, training, and development; sustainable shipping and supply chain offering. For full thoughts on our GRI G4 experience, please read Three Perspectives on GRI G4 from One of the First US “Comprehensive” Reporters.
 
Who are your organization’s main stakeholders, and how did you identify them?

We consider stakeholder engagement an essential aspect of corporate governance. Among many other reasons, we are one of the world’s largest private employers, serving millions of customers around the world, and operating in more than 220 countries and territories. Therefore, it is essential that we conduct regular dialogue with employees, customers, investors, community leaders, universities, and public officials through formal and informal channels. We have been engaged with many of these stakeholders for decades. Furthermore, we have a long-standing philosophy of “constructive dissatisfaction”, and are always looking for ways to help our customers do more. This has taught us that good ideas can come from anywhere – even people who may be critical of us.
 
To what extent have you managed to reach the sustainability targets which were set in your previous reports?

One of our top sustainability goals is to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation relative to our shipping volume. Successful execution of our global greenhouse gas reduction strategy enabled us to reach our goal for 2016 in 2013. Thus, we doubled the goal to a 20 percent reduction in our carbon intensity from transportation by 2020. The KPI behind the goal is our Transportation Intensity Index. It covers 96 percent of all Scope 1 and 2 CO2e emissions we generate worldwide, using our 2007 results as the baseline. Our goal was to achieve a 10 percent reduction in the Transportation Intensity Index by 2016. In 2013, the reduction was already 13.4 percent.

To find out more about UPS and their sustainability reporting practices visit their Profile Page on the GRI website.

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