When you're reviewing a sustainability report, you simply can’t focus on everything. You have to pick a focus. As I read through FedEx’s seventh annual Global Citizenship Report, I became very interested in its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Climate change is a very real threat, so it’s great when a global shipping company like FedEx does something to reduce its impact.
FedEx has over 650 airplanes, and reducing aircraft emissions is key to shrinking its overall emissions. To that end, the shipping company has a goal of reducing aircraft emissions intensity by 30 percent by 2020. So far, it has cut the intensity by 21.4 percent. Plus, its year-over-year aircraft emissions continued to decrease last year as absolute jet fuel use was reduced by over 34.4 million gallons.
The report attributes the emissions reductions to the Fuel Sense programs and modernizing its aircraft fleet. Launched in 2007, Fuel Sense has saved over 334 million gallons of jet fuel and avoided over 3.25 million metric tons of carbon emissions. In 2014, FedEx launched seven new Fuel Sense programs, such as reducing the weight it flies by transitioning to lighter containers and replacing pilots’ paper manuals with electronic versions. The heavier an aircraft is, the more fuel it requires.
Fleet upgrades are another way to reduce emissions. Upgrading to more efficient and cleaner vehicles is a focus of the company. There are several examples, including:
Another energy conservation goal is expanding on-site solar power and continuing to procure renewable energy for its facilities. FedEx has 11 on-site solar power arrays, which produced over 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2014 and avoided 3,145 metric tons of carbon emissions. At least two more solar power installations are planned for this year.
Image credit: myJon
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.