UPS has added 10 large biomethane diesel trucks to its dedicated 2012 London Olympics fleet. With Olympic organizers striving to put on the greenest and most ethical games ever and the city struggling to find find ways to control air pollution, the addition to UPS’s fleet is a dose of good news. For UPS, this announcement adds to the logistic giant’s commitment to turn “Brown” more “green.”
While UPS already has over 2500 trucks that use electric and hybrid technologies, those vehicles are more suited for local deliveries. Biomethane diesel, however, is well suited for large truck hauls that will navigate along the United Kingdom’s expressways. The fuel also avoids the “food vs. fuel” debate that often sparks political dispute throughout Europe because the trucks will run off of food waste, not crops.
According to UPS, the trucks use organic waste as a feedstock, which reduces the need for fossil fuels and prevents the emissions of greenhouse gasses, including potent methane gas, from entering the earth’s atmosphere. UPS estimates that emissions from biomethane fueled trucks could result in emissions up to 70 percent lower than trucks running off of conventional diesel. The biomethane diesel will be captured from regional landfills as well as anaerobic digestion.
The biomethane trucks are part of UPS’s agenda to use its global delivery fleet as a moving renewable fuel laboratory. To cut the company’s emissions, UPS has experimented with liquified natural gas (LNG), propane, and hybrid electric trucks that together so far have logged over 200 million miles. The trucks’ rollout is timely with diesel soaring over $4 in the U.S. and double that in the U.K. UPS is a sponsor of the London Olympics and as such its work will include moving at least one million pieces of sporting equipment. The move towards alternative fuels should help UPS avoid the criticism directed at other Olympic sponsors in recent weeks.