How UPS, a 110-year-old logistics company is repackaging sustainability


Ed Rogers, Global Director of sustainability, UPS
Photo: Shutterstockricochet64 (UPS photo)
Ed Rogers joined the United Parcel Service (UPS) 23 years ago in the corporate industrial engineering department, bringing with him more than a decade of experience as a U.S. Air Force Officer and engineering management consultant. As he progressed through the company, Rogers found himself on the corporate strategy team, with a new opportunity to apply his lifelong appreciation of the environment to his work.
He helped formulate UPS’s initial sustainability strategy and most recently, as senior director of global sustainability, Rogers oversaw the company’s sustainability program and initiatives, bringing clear-minded pragmatism, experienced business reasoning and personal conviction to the role. Today, he sees B to B collaboration as the next frontier of sustainability. Examples of these efforts are highlighted in UPS’s latest Sustainability Report, released this week along with a new set of sustainability goals.
Here are highlights from a phone conversation Rogers and I had in May.
Emily Grady: How did you end up in your current role?
Ed Rogers: Most of my career at UPS has been based here in Atlanta. I was with the corporate engineering group for about five years, and then I had a field assignment for about three years, where I directed the engineering function for one of our districts. When I transferred back to corporate, I joined our corporate strategy group, which was a cross-functional team with expertise from all around the company.
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This series of articles will feature the perspectives, experiences and objectives of individuals working for member companies of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development(WBCSD). These people have carefully and successfully navigated the interface of business and sustainability: What are the leadership skills and qualities that support this work? What motivates the people doing it? And how do they walk the potentially tenuous line between hardline business decision-making and sustainability goals? The series will explore these and other questions.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.   Emily Grady