ATLANTA - UPS has set a new automotive goal to improve the miles per gallon (mpg) performance of its entire U.S. package delivery fleet by 20 percent between 2000 and 2020.

The goal was announced July 26 as UPS released the latest annual update of its corporate Sustainability Report and builds on gains UPS already has made by increasing its U.S. mpg 10 percent between 2000 and 2009.  It applies to a U.S. ground fleet of 60,000 vehicles.

"Our automotive efficiencies over the last decade show a genuine commitment to conserving fuel and decreasing the emissions associated with the packages we deliver," said Bob Stoffel, UPS senior vice president and the executive responsible for UPS's sustainability program. "This new goal for the next decade is an important milestone in UPS's continuing dedication to finding and using new technology and processes that help us meet our customers' needs in a sustainable way."

For example in 2009, UPS drivers logged 77.3 million more miles than in 2000, yet fuel consumption decreased by 3.2 million gallons. Fuel efficiency levels were improved through improved vehicle technology, effective vehicle maintenance procedures, fuel conservation efforts, sophisticated routing technology and operational initiatives such as minimizing engine idling. Alternative-fuel technology and vehicle deployments also improve UPS' fuel efficiency.

The automotive goal complements the company's announcement last year that it will improve the carbon efficiency (CO2/ATM) of its airline by an additional 20 percent by 2020, for a cumulative reduction of 42 percent since 1990. The airline represents 53 percent of the company's global carbon footprint.

UPS has already deployed 245 new "green" vehicles running on compressed natural gas, adding to a fleet of nearly 2,000 alternative fuel vehicles.