The e-commerce sector is growing at a fast pace, which means its associated carbon emissions is also rising rapidly. This also means that delivery companies such as DHL and UPS are under increasing pressure to figure out ways to reduce those emissions and to ultimately decarbonize.
This week, it became known that UPS will buy a whopping 170-million-gallon equivalent of biogas converted from waste sources over the next seven years to power it’s fleet of natural gas trucks. The commitment is a big deal because it’s the largest of its kind to date, by any company in the United States. It also highlights how biogas, also called renewable natural gas (RNG), is moving from a niche product into a more widely available zero-emission fuel source for private and public fleet operators.
Biogas, which has been on the horizon for some time already, is produced when organic matter, such as food and animal waste, decomposes, thus releasing a mixture of primarily methane and carbon dioxide. Companies can capture this biogas at locations like landfills, wastewater treatment plants or pig farms, then clean it up and inject it into standard natural gas pipelines. Vehicles that burn natural gas can use this waste gas instead — and slash their greenhouse gas emissions as a result. As UPS continues to march to achieve its sustainability goals, decarbonizing via RNG is now becoming a viable option.