Is Green the New Black? UPS Appoints Tamara Barker Chief Sustainability Officer


United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), the global package delivery company headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia has appointed Tamara Barker Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) and VP of Environmental Affairs.

In  her new position, Barker will work to advance UPS’s 2020 sustainability goals and initiatives that include driving environmental affairs internationally, leading cross-functional committees responsible for global sustainability reporting, global greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy and employee engagement in sustainability, the company said.

Is Green the New Black For UPS?

UPS offers a broad range of supply change solutions, including transporting packages and freight for nearly 20 million daily customers, facilitating international trade for businesses large and small, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business.

With this appointment, the company that boasts more than a century of experience in transportation and logistics hopes to further help its customers become more efficient in their shipping activities while pioneering more sustainable solutions with lower environmental impacts.

“As our business continues to grow, UPS is committed to meeting increased demand in ways that consume less energy and produce fewer emissions, yet maintain high service levels for customers,” Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, said in an official announcement on the company’s website.

Tamara Barker Chief Sustainability Officer

Barker, a nearly 30-year UPS veteran, succeeds Rhonda Clark, a 26-year UPS veteran who has been appointed Vice President of Corporate Plant Engineering for UPS. Both appointees have their work cut out for them in their new roles to lead the latest phase of green business at UPS.

“Rhonda helped push UPS closer to our sustainability goals and her new assignment will contribute to the company’s ability to expand facility projects to meet our growing marketplace demands,” Wallace explained. “Tamara’s plant engineering leadership, combined with her many years of distinguished UPS service, places her in a strong position to make continued progress on our environmental sustainability commitments,” he added.

Environmental Sustainability Commitments

Many business leaders today understand the world has changed and are infusing environmentalism into business. But, UPS says it is committed to more.

“Our sustainability efforts are focused on doing more to protect the environment, more to enhance the economy, more to develop empowered people and more to connect communities worldwide,” the company writes on its official website.

For its commitment to offset the carbon emissions of package, envelope and freight shipments, while also protecting forests and wildlife habitats and deploying innovative ways to enable more sustainable, socially responsible and supportive measures for ethical business practices, UPS has received a running list of awards and recognitions that it lists on its website including:

  • World’s Most Ethical Companies from the Ethisphere Institute
  • World’s Most Admired Companies from Fortune, and
  • the Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Evidently, businesses predicated on sustainability and social good aren’t just a viable alternative to business as usual. And they are also not a passing fad. They are financially sustainable and profitable.

UPS generated $58.4 billion in revenue last year, and can be counted among the world’s leading green businesses — alongside Tesla, Nike, IKEA and others — with more than $1 billion in annual revenue directly attributable to a service, product or line of business with sustainability or social good at its core.

Reputation today is built through actions, not mere advertising. UPS’s efforts to operate in a more sustainable manner and its resultant profitability and recognition are a clear indicator that integrating sustainability into the core structures of your business may be a worthwhile initiative.


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