natural resources

26 articles

Podcast: What’s Next for Green Energy?

Here’s why diversity is the best path forward for alternative fuels.

Click here to play podcast Today’s infrastructure, with its aging roads, bridges and ports, is arguably the largest hurdle for alternative fuels and the energy sources of tomorrow. Efficiency, technology and scale are also major barriers to the wider adoption of green energy. So what is the path forward? And how do we take an […]

Does Your Supply Chain Strategy Hold Water?

How conserving water can slow supply chain disruption and garner future rewards.

Companies have come a long way in their ability to manage supply chain risk, but they urgently need to step up their efforts in one key area: water scarcity. The Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure, published in November 2016, provides a wake-up call. A total of 607 of the […]

Q&A: How One Leading Company Supports the Circle of Life

The CEO of the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund points to the future of sustainability.

The circular economy is a shift from the current take-make-waste approach to a more resource-friendly, use-recover-regenerate model. Here, Guillaume Le Cunff, president of Nespresso USA and CEO of the Nespresso Sustainability Innovation Fund, explains why sustainability is important to the company and how UPS helps contribute to the movement. Why did Nespresso choose to be […]

4 Steps Toward Sustainability

Improving your company’s sustainability goals requires delving into the unknown.

Picture a 9-month-old baby attempting to walk. She toddles a few steps, stumbles and falls. If she’s ready, curious and committed, she hoists herself up again. And again. This process takes time and effort. In the same way, companies are finding their way in environmental sustainability. As consumers increasingly seek sustainable products and services, many […]

The Future of Alternative Fuels

With pollution growing and natural resources dwindling, now is the time to expedite the development of alternative fuels.

As concerns grow over climate change, pollution and how much oil we actually have left, there’s clearly a need to develop alternative fuels. The good news is that researchers have proven that vehicles can run on natural gas, electricity, hydrogen, nitrogen, biofuels like elephant grass – and even biodiesels based on restaurant grease or chicken […]

How to Feed 9 Billion People in 2050

Climate change will impact the way we grow our food. How can we tackle future threats to our crops?

Can we really feed 9 billion people?    That’s the estimated global population in the year 2050. It should be possible, but things are looking tricky – especially when we also factor in the climatic instability caused by global warming. [Also on Longitudes: Easing World Hunger Through Trade] Food security in peril  These are some of […]

Making Sustainability Go

Welcome to Sustainability Week on Longitudes.

Yes, the climate is changing. Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise. And cities are becoming more crowded every day, among a litany of other urgent global issues. But this is also a moment of tremendous opportunity. Consumers, businesses and governments are putting their minds together to change how we power our increasingly connected world. […]

How Education Builds Customer Loyalty

A Maine-based seed producer bet big on customer service as a consultancy. The result? A crop of lifelong customers. Here’s what you can learn from their strategy.

Before organic food was cool, there was Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Founded in 1973 when 22-year-old Rob Johnston, Jr. left home to live on a farm with some friends, Johnny’s has grown into one of the nation’s most successful commercial seed producers. Such growth is a testament to the power of education. At Johnny’s, we don’t […]

Africa’s Post-Brexit Opportunity

How Africa can emerge from Brexit as a leader on the global economic stage.

The entire world felt the shock waves from the decision by voters in the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, and Africa was no exception, especially given its close historical ties with many EU member states.  African pundits and public officials were quick to lament the new cloud of economic uncertainty and the potential […]

Leaving the Electric Grid Behind

Take a closer look at the symbiotic relationship between the building and the car.

They’re the twin pillars of the American dream and the current climate predicament: the single family detached house and the automobile—the convenience, freedom and independence enabled by inefficient and finite fossil fuels. As such, much of the urban-planning and architecture industries are focused on ways to radically subvert this inherited infrastructural wisdom. So what if […]

Smoothing the Path From Grape to Glass

As costs for wine shipments shrink, small wineries would benefit from pro-growth regulations and new logistics strategies.

Running a small winery may seem romantic – an endless parade of wine tastings and strolling through vineyards. At least, those are the images many of us have from movies and television. But as is the case with most things, the pictures don’t always match the reality. That’s especially the case for small wineries that […]

Managing the Politics of Water

The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs.

This year’s World Water Day, on March 22, provides an opportunity to highlight what in many countries has become a grim reality: The availability of fresh water is increasingly a defining strategic factor in regional and global affairs. Unless water resources are managed with extraordinary care, the consequences could be devastating. Last year, the United […]

4 Ways Smart Cities Will Make Our Lives Better

As demonstrated in a new report, the rapid and pervasive development of digital technologies, along with an understanding of circular economy principles, will drastically change life for the average urban citizen much sooner than we think. The circular economy is a concept by which materials and products are kept at their highest possible value at […]

From Garbage to Gas

Landfills and other sources of organic waste could become a massive pipeline for cleaner fuel.

What was once the I-95 landfill near Lorton, Virginia, is now dozens of acres of rolling green fields dotted by more than 200 metal pipes emerging from the grass. The pipes – wellheads for natural gas – are collecting methane generated by more than 10 million tons of decomposing garbage dumped by Washington, D.C.-area residents […]

The Catalyst Behind Low Oil Prices

The rise in U.S. output means no swing producer controls the fate of today’s oil prices.

Oil prices have been heading south again, with a barrel of US crude recently falling below $42 – the lowest level since March 2009, the nadir of the global financial crisis. And, while last year’s sharp price drop was heavily influenced by two large supply shocks, the current decline also has an important demand dimension. […]

State of Logistics

Why global e-commerce could be the next frontier of shipping.

My first job at UPS in 1974 was sorting packages part-time at a small facility in Greenwood, Mississippi. In those days, my goal was simply to make enough money to help pay for college and to have a little left over to take my girlfriend on dates. If I ever thought about the future of […]

Staying the Course on Alternative Fuel

Despite a renaissance in petroleum use, sustainable energy is still a long-term investment.

UPS has been in the alternative fuels business for a long time. In fact, we’ve been plugging in electric vehicles since before it was cool — as far back as the early 1930s. The larger our company grew over time, the more we, like others, became dependent on cheap, reliable petroleum fuels. Today, our worldwide […]

The Future of Fuels

New briefs outline sustainability impacts of five commercial trucking fuels.

When it comes to commercial trucking, customers, regulators, and other stakeholders all agree that in today’s climate-constrained world, we need more environmentally friendly fuels. But given the different demands required to solve for myriad sustainability issues—from biofuel mandates to California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard—fleet owners and truck operators can feel like they are being pulled in […]

The Future of Water

Seven reasons why water is vital for a sustainable future.

Climate change, extreme weather, health, rapid urbanization, water and sanitation, food security, energy and infrastructure are challenging communities around the world.  All of these are expected to be part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global framework to be announced this September aiming to set the world towards a sustainable future. As we mark United Nations […]

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 […]

Steering Toward Sustainability

How commercial trucking can improve fuel sustainability

Earlier this year, scientists reported that 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history, underscoring the urgency of action to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change. To do its part, transport sector, which contributes about a quarter of global energy-related emissions, would need to expand low-carbon fuels from 3 percent of the share today […]

Lower Oil Prices: A Slippery Slope?

The drop in oil prices might be bad for business.

OPEC announced recently that it would not cut its oil production, which accelerated an enormous drop in oil prices. While lower gas prices at the pump and a boost to the economy are generally welcome, we shouldn’t celebrate this time. If this (likely) short-term fall in prices slows down investment in cleaner forms of energy, […]

Natural Gas: Shifting into a Higher Gear

Natural gas has a plethora of benefits, but at what cost?

After spending the first 80 years of our company’s history growing our dependence on petroleum, UPS has spent the last 30 years searching for something better. As part of what we refer to as our “rolling laboratory,” we have tested electric vehicles, hybrids (both electric and hydraulic) and vehicles powered by propane and natural gas. […]

What Water’s Worth

How do we address the world's impending water crisis?

In the early nineteenth century, Lord Byron wrote in Don Juan that “Till taught by pain, men really know not what good water’s worth.” Nearly 200 years later, humanity still does not seem to understand water’s value, exemplified in decades of poor water management and governance practically everywhere. But the impending water crisis is becoming […]

The Limits of Climate Negotiations

The world needs a concerted push to adopt energy efficiency.

If the world is to solve the climate-change crisis, we will need a new approach. Currently, the major powers view climate change as a negotiation over who will reduce their CO2 emissions (mainly from the use of coal, oil, and gas). Each agrees to small “contributions” of emission reduction, trying to nudge the other countries […]

How CEOs can save the world from global warming

The business world is waking up to the challenge of climate change.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently lashed out at a shareholder who pressed the company to stop investing in carbon reduction and renewable energy. In the most recent World Economic Forum Global Risk survey of CEOs and world leaders, three of the top six issues of “highest concern” were failure to tackle climate change, extreme weather, […]