UPS is taking a huge step forward in the use of renewable natural gas (RNG), with the announcement of an agreement with Big Ox Energy that calls for 10 million gallons per year.
Not only is this the largest investment by UPS into RNG thus far, it also is an agreement that will continue for the better part of a decade, until 2024. The gas itself is pulled from decomposing organic waste, wastewater treatment and a side effect of agriculture. That gas will then go to UPS fueling stations across the country, going to fuel both delivery vehicles and tractors.
“Natural gas is a proven alternative fuel to gasoline and diesel and is a key building block for our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our ground fleet,” Mike Casteel, UPS director of fleet procurement, said. “These agreements add significantly to our investment in the use of RNG and will help put us on track to nearly triple our annual use of RNG. They are also a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to help shape the renewable natural gas industry.”
The company has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and related tech for its vehicles and fuel stations since 2009. Just earlier this year, they signed a separate agreement with AMP energy, for five years of 1.5 million gallons of RNG per year. Their goal between all of these agreements is to reach a rate of 40 percent of their ground fleet being fueled by sources other than gas and diesel by 2025.
In 2016 alone, UPS’s ground fleet used 61 million gallons of natural gas, including 4.6 million gallons of RNG. Their current figures reveal they are on track for a dramatic increase in the latter figures this year, with 14 million gallons of RNG use expected by year’s end. Such efforts also have real-world benefits, given that RNG yields up to a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to diesel fuel.