UPS and FedEx Race for the Green

Apr 22, 2010

Both UPS and FedEx have long histories of implementing alternative fuels and sustainable business strategies.  Despite the mutual environmental benefit, both companies seem dead-set on claiming the title of “greenest” delivery business.

The two shipping giants have traded blows over who has the most environmentally-friendly fleet for about five years now, some of them in public.  Both companies have launched marketing salvos at one another mentioning their fleet practices, one of the few topics on which they will do so.

“What we like to talk about is technology that is forward-looking and things we actually think will be implemented,” said John Formisano, vice president of Global Vehicles for FedEx Express. “That other company talks about only making right-hand turns. Our view is to have the right vehicle on the right route.”

UPS, on the other hand, has doubts about FedEx’s methodology.  They point out that FedEx does not use the Global Reporting Initiative’sG3” standards to calculate sustainability measures the way UPS does, and are not shy to ask why.

According to Newsweek, UPS seems to be ahead in the race.  In its list of the top 500 Greenest Companies of 2009 list, UPS was listed at 85, with FedEx trailing at no. 93.

While both companies have very environmentally-friendly fleets, they still operate large numbers of traditional vehicles.  Alternative-fuel vehicles make up only 4 percent of FedEx’s fleet, and 2 percent of UPS’.

One thing is for sure about this kind of healthy competition: it can only mean less impact on the environment as a whole; a race where everybody wins!

Photo courtesy of gwire under the Creative Commons License.