retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Parade magazine had a piece over the weekend noting how innovative thinking can change the economics and environmental dynamics of a business – using United Parcel Service as a prime example.

“The delivery giant UPS thinks that making right turns instead of turning left at intersections can help the environment,” Parade reports. “Tom Dowdy, a UPS engineer, says the company redesigned its routes so that drivers would make a minimum of left-hand turns. As a result, the company shaved 30 million miles off its deliveries in 2007 and thus saved the cost of 3 million gallons of gas. It also reduced UPS truck emissions by 32,000 metric tons (equivalent to the emissions of 5300 passenger cars).

“What makes right turns so much more energy-efficient? Cars and trucks are not idling in traffic—burning fuel and releasing emissions—when they turn right as opposed to left. (Turning right also is often safer, because drivers don’t have to face oncoming traffic to make a turn.) ‘People can’t control sky-high gas prices,’ says Dowdy, ‘but they can make small changes in their driving habits that benefit them financially and environmentally over time’.”
KC's View:
Sometimes it is the most unlikely idea that can make the most sense.