Landfill gas will power UPS trucks

Renewable natural gas obtained from a landfill will be used to power UPS trucks in Memphis, Tenn. and Jackson, Miss.Renewable natural gas obtained from a landfill will be used to power UPS trucks in Memphis, Tenn. and Jackson, Miss.

UPS reports that it will be using natural gas from a landfill to fuel trucks in Memphis, Tenn. and Jackson, Miss.

In a multi-year contract with Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Atmos Energy Marketing, the global shipping company will receive an estimated 15 million diesel gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) for 140 heavy duty trucks in Memphis and Jackson.

“UPS operates one of the most diversified fleets in private industry today, and renewable natural gas is a critical part of our strategy to expand our fuel sources and minimize the environmental impact associated with growing customer demand,” says Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president global engineering and sustainability.

“We are using methane that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas emission and converting it to power our trucks while helping to promote the use of this renewable fuel in transportation.”

The deal is part of an initiative announced earlier this year by UPS to significantly expand its use of renewable natural gas in UPS’s alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet. The company has a goal of driving one billion miles with its alternative fuels fleet, known as the Rolling Laboratory by the end of 2017, an effort that is reducing environmental impact and helping to advance new sustainability solutions and markets.

UPS’s natural gas fleet worldwide includes more than 3,800 medium and heavy duty vehicles. RNG, also known as biomethane, can be derived from many abundant and renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture. It is then distributed through the natural gas pipeline system, making it available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).

In addition to natural gas, UPS also uses many other alternative fuels in the UPS fleet, including propane, ethanol, renewable diesel and electricity. In 2014, 5.4 percent of total gas and diesel purchased was displaced by using these alternative fuels.

UPS operates one of the largest private alternative fuel and advanced technology fleets in the U.S. Its fleet includes more than 6,340 all-electric, hybrid electric, hydraulic hybrid, CNG, LNG, propane and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

UPS was one of the initial 13 leading companies to take the Obama Administration’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, committing to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity 20 percent by 2020.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water president and CEO Jerry Collins said he was impressed with UPS’ decision to use RNG for their Memphis and Jackson fleets.

“Kudos to UPS for not only talking the talk but walking the walk,” says Collins.

Mark Bergeron, president of Atmos Energy Marketing, says, “Renewable natural gas is one of the most environmentally friendly transportation fuels. We are excited that UPS is taking the initiative to expand its natural gas fleet.”