Getting packages and documents delivered on time creates a big environmental footprint, but FedEx wants to change that. The company avoided over two million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) with fuel and energy saving initiatives. That amount of CO2e is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by over 1.9 million acres of U.S. forest in a year.
Other accomplishments to decrease its environmental footprint are mentioned in FedEx’s 2017 Global Citizenship report. That includes decreasing GHG emissions intensity of its business by 5.7 percent while increasing revenue. Another accomplishment is saving over 43 million gallons of fuel and avoiding over 444,000 metric tons of CO2e through its Express Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy for intermodal rail shipping at FedEx Freight. That amount equals the carbon sequestered by over 400,000 acres of U.S. forest in a year.
Fuel is what powers the vehicles that are an integral part of its business. So, it is only natural that FedEx is focusing on making its vehicle and aircraft fleets more environmentally friendly by improving efficiencies and piloting new technologies like low-emission surface vehicles and planned alternative jet fuels. Its aircraft fleet achieved a 22 percent reduction in emissions intensity since 2005, which brings it closer to its 30 percent reduction by 2020 goal. In 2016, the company set a goal for its FedEx Express surface vehicle fleet of a 50 percent fuel efficiency improvement by 2025 after meeting its 2020 goal five years early.
FedEx has reduced both GHG emissions and the cost of fuel use in its aircraft fleets. It has done so is by implementing efficiencies in flight operations through its global FedEx Fuel Sense program and by replacing many of its older airplanes with more fuel efficient models. Through those two initiative, the company has saved over 152 million gallons of jet fuel and avoided nearly 1.5 million metric tons of CO2e, which is equivalent to the carbon emissions generated by over 150,000 homes in a year.
FedEx is also researching and exploring alternative fuels to power its jets. In 2015, the company agreed to buy six million gallons of alternative jet fuel on-site from Colorado-based Red Rock Biofuels and eventually produce at least 48 million gallons over an eight-year period. FedEx expects to use the first six million gallons of the alternative jet fuel in 2019.
In 2016, FedEx added over 800 alternative fuel or advanced technology vehicles to its fleet. At its FedEx Freight Oklahoma City Service Center, it installed a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station and bought over 100 CNG tractors in early 2017. FedEx wants alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles to continue to be a part of its global GHG emissions reductions. To that end, it is exploring using electric and fuel cell powered vehicles more.
FedEx proves that it is possible to operate a global delivery company and reduce GHG emissions. Expect more accomplishments from this company.
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.