UPS has long been a corporate social responsibility (CSR) leader.  The company has been a faithful Global Reporting Initiative sustainability report filer, and also is a model for corporate transparency.

Now UPS is partnering with Utilimaster and Isuzu to build a new vehicle that will reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  The prototype, called the CV-23, boasts the following features (see below):

  • LED markers and interior lighting that use less energy
  • Molded cladding at the bottom of these trucks can be replaced instead of requiring body work
  • More durable spring bumpers for dock loading
  • A reduction in fuel consumption due to improved powertrain technology, updated aerodynamics, and an overall vehicle reduciton
  • Composite body panels reap improved energy efficiency from a reduced weight

Through December 2011, UPS will test the vehicles in five locations noted for their extreme weather, rugged terrain, or traffic congestion:  Lincoln, Nebraska; Roswell, Georgia; Livonia, Michigan; Tuscon, Arizona; and Albany New York.

Half a ton lighter with a 40% increase in fuel efficiency, UPS is thinking ahead:  rising fuel prices and increased Internet commerce will force freight companies to become more energy efficient.  Fuel efficiency is no longer a luxury or CSR talking point:  UPS proves it will be competitive advantage.

chart of UPS composite truck

chart of UPS composite truck

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.