UPS to use RNG fuelled trucks in Memphis

International delivery company UPS is to use Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to power a fleet of heavy vehicles operation in Memphis and Jackson, TN, as part of its drive toward reducing its global CO2 emissions.

RNG is a form of methane extracted from landfill, and is produced in massive quantities as part of the decomposition of trash. It has long been known that if a local authority can capture this gas it can be sold on as a viable fuel for vehicles. UPS will buy this gas captured from Memphis residents’ waste from Memphis Light, Gas and Water and Atmos Energy Marketing to fuel 140 heavy duty trucks.

The delivery company has 3800 biomethane vehicles in its fleet worldwide, a small proportion of its fleet as a whole. It can be compressed and then delivered through the natural gas pipeline, and delivered as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). As such companies with large fleets can have tanks on their sites and compress the gas to the level required, and pay the suppliers in the way one would one’s heating gas contract.

UPS has been gradually increasing the size of its environmentally vehicle fleet worldwide, and in 2014 reduced its need for petrol and diesel by 5.4%. Many countries offer tax incentives to switch over, so the reduction in traditional fossil fuelled fleets has a financial incentive for the company.

A company statement on the matter said, “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,” said 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.”