UPS signed a deal this week with Environmental Energy LLC subsidiary Big Ox Energy to buy 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas annually through 2024. It’s the largest investment that UPS has made in this type of biogas.
RNG, also called biomethane or biogas, can be produced from renewable sources such as decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural facilities, and wastewater treatment facilities. Once produced, RNG can be distributed through natural gas pipelines, UPS says, so that it becomes available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).
Last year, UPS used 61 million gallons of natural gas total for its ground fleet. Of that, 4.6 million gallons were RNG. This year, UPS expects the amount of RNG used to top 14 million gallons. Compared to conventional diesel, RNG yields as high as a 90% reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, according to UPS.
In 2009, UPS began investing globally in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles as well as fueling stations. The shipping company has more than 8,500 vehicles in its Rolling Lab. UPS has also been deploying electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in the US as well as pedal power and electric-assisted bicycles for dense urban areas.
This year UPS invested more than $90 million in natural gas vehicles and infrastructure, which included adding six compressed natural gas fueling stations, 390 CNG tractors and terminal trucks, and 250 liquefied natural gas vehicles, according to the company.
UPS previously signed a five-year deal with AMP Americas for 1.5 million gallon equivalents of RNG per year that will come from Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana, according to the shipping company. The strategy to move to natural gas, renewable natural gas and propane is all an effort to help reach UPS’ key sustainability goal to have 40% of all ground transportation fleet fuel come from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025.
“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 in a press release about the deal with Big Ox Energy. “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.”
Vendors mentioned above:
- Big Ox Energy
- AMP Americas