I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Social Innovation: FedEx Teaching the Next Generation How to be 'Green'
This is social innovation at its best, working with future generation to make a real impact. In Hong Kong, 200 school children from four primary schools have been shown how to lead lifestyles with lower-carbon dioxide emissions through an eco-awareness education in their communities. It's a program run by the "FedEx We Deliver Green! Classroom" and developed by FedEx Express (FedEx) with the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI). Anthony Leung, Managing Director, FedEx Express Hong Kong and Macau says, "Children are our future leaders. It's important they understand issues facing our global community. Our collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute is an effective platform for us to enlighten the next generation to become successful, responsible individuals in their communities."
This social innovation program was first launched in Taiwan in 2010 and then in Hong Kong in 2012. It aims to engage primary school students to not only learn about the environment, but to take action to help protect it. Over a period of nine months, these children will learn how to reduce pollution through changes in their daily patterns and choices, including more environmentally-conscious options in their selection of food. The students are between the ages of 10 to 12 and are guided through the project by their teachers, volunteers from FedEx and the staff of JGI.
The students studied a series of FedEx-developed classroom tutorials and participated in practical social innovation exercises to understand the origins of food, global trade, and the impact of modernisation on the environment. For example, the students and volunteers created and maintained organic vegetable gardens. This helped to inspire a passion for cultivating green spaces, where they learnt how grow their own crops and how to sell their produce at an organic market.
A wonderful comment by Adison Lau, grade six student at St. Stephen's College Primary Section beautifully portrays the impact this social innovation project has had, and says, "What I have learnt about farming is that we need a lot of patience and hard work. I try not to waste so much food in the canteen. The skills we need for farming are not the same as what we learn in the classroom. We need to read the weather, touch the soil and learn what leaves of plants look like."
This is not a one-off green social innovation initiative by FedEx, as it is a company committed to reducing the impact of its business on the environment. In 2008 it announced a global target of 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from its aircraft fleet and 20 percent improvement in the fuel efficiency of its vehicle fleet by year 2020. In Hong Kong, FedEx has launched the first diesel-electric hybrid trucks in the city, reducing carbon output by 30% compared to diesel vehicles previously used. While, earlier in 2012, FedEx launched an Eco-Drive campaign in Hong Kong and nine other Asia Pacific markets to improve fuel efficiency by changing the daily driving habits of hundreds of FedEx drivers.
Photo Credit: Porchesport.com