22 articles

The On Ramp to Fleet Electrification

At UPS, we’ve learned many lessons on our journey to building the fleet of tomorrow. Here’s what stands out.

Fleet electrification is an exciting component in UPS’s use of emerging technologies and an important element in helping the company achieve its ambitious sustainability goals. A “rolling laboratory” of approximately 9,300 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles driving more than 1 million cleaner miles each business day fuels our journey toward a less carbon-intensive future. […]

The Hidden Benefits of a Sustainable Mindset

With Earth Day approaching, let’s examine the link between a culture of sustainability and one of innovation.

In some respects, it’s great news that more than half of the global population now lives in cities – a figure expected to increase to two in three people around the world by 2050. This growth makes cities a great place to live and work and gives them a real sense of energy and vitality. […]

Finding Your Sustainability Values

Is your company missing out on sustainable opportunities?

We’ve entered the season of sustainability reporting, when companies release their latest summary of achievements and provide a peek into what’s on the horizon. What typically gets less attention in these reports is how a company focuses on certain issues and, more importantly, how they develop their sustainability strategy. In many cases, companies use a […]

Investing in Innovative Technology Can Drive Sustainable Growth

The private sector now has a greater responsibility and opportunity to advance social and environmental agendas.

The last few years have been transformational for climate diplomacy. In 2015, we witnessed the first legally binding global climate deal with the Paris Agreement, and last year’s COP22 conference saw governments and businesses reaffirm their commitments to sustainable growth. These events, coupled with a groundswell of public pressure, leave no doubt that working toward […]

Trucking’s New Era of Sustainability

Truck platooning can reduce CO2 emissions and offer other benefits. But what will it take to make this more sustainable option a reality . . . and when?

It was the start of a new era in mobility. Earlier this spring, six convoys of wirelessly connected trucks, linked closely together in sets of two and three, embarked from three different European countries bound for the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In each convoy, the trucks were lined up in platoons, one behind […]

The Team Approach to Earth Friendly Innovation

We need sustainable solutions to big problems. But no one can do it alone.

For more than four decades, World Environment Day has symbolized the need for global action to protect our planet. At UPS, we are constantly working on ways to operate in a more sustainable manner and help our customers achieve their sustainability goals. World Environment Day is symbolic of our commitment to balance the risks associated […]

TED@UPS: Taking Trash Talk to a Whole New Level

Globally, there is a huge amount of organic waste. What can we do about all that methane?

Summary: Thirty years ago, I was a young engineer, working as a volunteer in Indonesia, trying to prevent the rice stored in warehouses and on loading docks from rotting. The basic challenge was this: rice stored in a pile tends to decompose into fertilizer and methane gas, leaving less rice for people who need it […]

The Changing Character of Urban Growth

How a massive increase in employment is radically transforming cities.

The world economy is picking up speed—Oxford Economics projects solid worldwide growth of 2.8% this year. But the character of tomorrow’s growth isn’t shaping up as in the past; much of it will be concentrated in the world’s cities, especially in Asia. By 2030, 410 million more people will be living in the world’s top […]

The Transportation of the Future

How rail enables economic, social and environmental sustainability.

When the Chinese New Year kicked off across China several weeks ago, millions of Chinese citizens hit the road in what is often described as one of the world’s great annual migrations. The pilgrimage allows families to reunite, and also gives the government a chance to show off its spectacular investments in high-speed bullet trains. […]

The Rise of Consumer Spending

A look at consumer spending across the world's top 750 cities.

Cities are becoming increasingly powerful centers of economic activity. As more young people move to cities – and the demand for sophisticated labor increases – more wealth will be concentrated in these urban areas. These changes are only expected to accelerate over the next decade. In fact, Oxford Economics’ Global Cities 2030 report forecasts that […]

Technology-Powered Farming

As cities continue to grow, so does the need for sustainable farming practices.

As we consider the city of the future, we often think about the ways technology will make life easier and more interesting for urban dwellers. And while the prospect of optimized traffic flows, better use of energy and other resources, and new gadgets and sensors makes city life ever more convenient, we also must face […]

Preparing Cities for the Internet of Things

There are major changes on the horizon as more and more cities are built and retrofitted for the Internet of Things.

Over the past few months, we have talked at length about the cities of the future—both opportunities and challenges that come with the expected population increase over the next 15 years. What are cities doing to prepare for increasing demands on infrastructure, sanitation, healthcare systems, and sustainability? How can technology ease this transition—and what new […]

Powering Future Cities

Future energy production requires innovation.

While energy prices are falling, especially in North America, cities in the developing world will require new, clean sources of energy as they become the new engines of the world economy. This growth comes at a crucial juncture: as the United Nations Climate Change Conference reminded us, the need for renewable and clean sources of […]

Smart Roads Pave Way to Future Cities

Investing in roads could yield major benefits.

In a previous post, I discussed the need for a strong public transportation network and its freight equivalent in the shape of efficient, integrated networks in the rapidly expanding cities of the future. Public transit and optimized urban freight movement remains one of the most effective ways for urban areas to reduce congestion and pollution—both […]

The State of Healthcare Logistics

Now is the time for countries, both mature and emerging, to invest in future growth.

The Ebola crisis has highlighted significant gaps in the worldwide healthcare system. And while the crisis is ongoing—with no clear end in sight—this recent epidemic should spark a renewed conversation about the state of healthcare logistics across the globe. Recent cases in the US and Europe have highlighted the challenges of containing such outbreaks both […]

Living in an Aging World

Cities need to adjust policies and rethink resources to support an aging demographic.

The world’s top 750 cities will experience profound demographic shifts over the next 15 years. For one, the world will be urbanizing rapidly: by 2030, the populations of these leading cities will increase by an estimated 410 million. What’s more, the changes in birth rates and the longer life spans will have a transformative effect […]

Rethinking Transportation in Cities

Creating more livable cities through accessible public transportation.

In previous posts, I’ve discussed the growing pains that come along with major urban development—congestion, air and noise pollution, etc.—as well as some of the creative solutions that cities have come up with to combat these issues. One of the most effective ways for a city to decrease congestion and pollution—and become safer, more livable, […]

Getting Smart about Cities in India

India takes on the challenge of building smarter cities.

The cities of the future are all but certain to confront a number of unique challenges. Across the globe, cities are expected to experience enormous gains in population, with most of the growth concentrated in the developing world. These cities of the future will need to balance the basic demands of a growing population against […]

Sanitation: A Key to Urban Growth

Cities across the world need innovative, sustainable systems to help address obstacles created by growing populations.

As the world’s urban population continues to multiply, a multitude of challenges loom on the horizon. According to an Oxford Economics study of 750 cities worldwide, the population of these urban areas is expected to increase by 410 million by the year 2030. And while incomes are set to increase across the board, cities will […]

Unique Cities Demand Unique Planning

How cities, old and new, can plan for the long term.

Today’s generation of urban planners are often influenced by the work of the late MIT professor Kevin Lynch, who, in his seminal 1960 book, The Image of the City, described the way human perceptions of the city—the way people orient themselves and navigate within a physical space—should affect city design. Lynch wrote about how the […]

Sustainability as a Platform for City Growth

Cities are revamping their sustainability plans with fresh, innovative solutions.

Populations in the world’s largest 750 cities are expected to grow by 410 million between now and 2030. According to Oxford Economics’ Global Cities report, which UPS co-sponsored and whose data I’ll draw upon here, we can attribute this growth in large part to the migration from the farm to the cities across developing economies. […]

The Future Belongs to Cities—But They Will Face Challenges

Making urban futures cleaner, greener, safer and healthier through sophisticated planning and logistics.

There’s a growing consensus that to understand the future of the world, you must focus on the future of cities. Over the next few months, I will use this blog to highlight how well-planned urban development — combined with focused environmental consideration – can work in unison to make our collective urban futures cleaner, greener, […]