FedEx announced this week that it is looking to achieve carbon–neutral operations globally within the next two decades. To help reach this ambitious target, the cargo powerhouse is designating over $2 billion of initial investment in three key segments. These areas are vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.

The steps

FedEx chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith shares that his company has a responsibility to take strong action in addressing climate challenges. He added that this emission target builds the firm’s longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout its services. The organization is also seeking to continue transforming its business and the wider industry.

The company shares that significant factors to reach its carbon-neutral goal include:

  • Vehicle Electrification. The firm wants its entire parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet to be zero-emission by 2040.
  • Sustainable Fuels. The company will carry on investing in alternative fuels to cut down on emissions 
  • Sustainable Customer Solutions. Initiatives such as sustainable packaging and carbon-neutral shipping offerings will be worked on with customers.
  • Fuel Conservation and Aircraft Modernization. The FedEx Fuel Sense programs will continue to be worked on, which is designed to reduce fuel consumption in its planes. Since 2012, these initiatives have saved a combined 1.43 billion gallons of jet fuel and avoided over 13.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.
  • Facilities. Efforts will continue to make FedEx’s 5,000 facilities worldwide more sustainable through continued investments in “efficient facilities, renewable energy, and other energy management programs.
  • Natural Carbon Sequestration. Funding from the airline will help to establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture “to support applied research into natural carbon sequestration solutions.”

Working with others

Notably, FedEX is pledging $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. The business hopes this move will catalyze research into methods of carbon sequestration at scale. The initial concentration will be to assist with offsetting greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to present carrier emissions.

Dr. Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of the Environment, said the following about the commitment in a press release seen by Simple Flying.

“Addressing climate change is a complex challenge that demands urgent action, and natural carbon capture strategies will be one key part of that action. Through the creation of the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, we aim to develop measurable carbon capture strategies to help offset carbon emissions globally.” 

Keeping the ball rolling

Since 2009, FedEx’s actions have helped to achieve about a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions intensity across the business while package volume increased 99% during this timespan. However, the company understands that it needs to take an even greater stand.

Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer, FedEx Corp, added the following in the release:

“While we’ve made great strides in reducing our environmental impact, we have to do more. The long-term health of our industry is directly linked to the health of the planet, but this effort is about more than the bottom line – it’s the right thing to do. At FedEx, we are committed to connecting people and possibilities resourcefully and responsibly. The steps we are taking today will contribute a positive impact for generations to come.”  

Altogether, the aviation industry as a whole is continuing to show its commitment to reducing emissions amid the challenges of climate change. With FedEx being such a major player across several industries around the world, it’s important that it is also focused on achieving sustainability goals.

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