FedEx Reduces Aircraft Carbon Emissions While Increasing Flights

FedEx Corp takes climate change seriously, judging by its goal to reduce aircraft carbon emissions intensity by 30 percent. Since 2005, the company has reduced aircraft carbon emissions intensity by 22.3 percent. In 2013 alone, FedEx reduced aircraft carbon emissions intensity by 4.2 percent while the total number of flights increased. It is the first company in the U.S. transportation logistics industry to set a goal to reduce carbon emissions intensity in global aviation. 
 
Since FedEx is a shipping company, focusing on improving fuel efficiency makes sense, as the sixth annual Global Citizenship Report shows. FedEx has trucks, planes and facilities in over 220 countries and territories, linking over 90 percent of the world’s GDP. Its operations use about 1.5 billion gallons of jet fuel, diesel and gasoline a year. In 2013, the company achieved a five percent improvement in fuel efficiency towards its goal of a 30 percent improvement by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. The company has achieved a cumulative improvement of 27 percent towards its 2020 goal. The original goal set in 2008 was a 20 percent improvement, but after it surpassed that goal, a new goal was set. 
 
FedEx has replaced less fuel-efficient aircraft with more fuel-efficient models. The aircraft replacements had an estimated fuel savings of over 37 million gallons in 2012, which avoided 353,792 metric tons of carbon emissions.  In 2012, it added 16 Boeing 757 aircraft to its fleet, which are 36 percent more fuel-efficient than the 727-200s they replaced. FedEx has 70 Boeing 757s providing service to 85 cities and expects to soon replace all of its 727s with 757s. FedEx introduced seven more Boeing 777 aircraft to its fleet, which use 18 percent less fuel. It currently has 23 777s providing service to 25 cities globally, and is on track to have 43 777s in service by 2023. 
 
FedEx has a program called EarthSmart which serves as its roadmap for sustainability. One of the EarthSmart initiatives is Fuel Sense, which helps FedEx save 49 million gallons of jet fuel and avoid 466,000 metric tons of carbon emissions a year. Zero Emissions All-Electric and Low-Emission Hybrid-Electric are two other EarthSmart initiatives. Through the two initiatives, FedEx Express increased its alternative-fuel fleet by 18 percent in 2012, with a total of 364 hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) and 118 electric vehicles (EVs) by the end of 2012. The alternative-fuel vehicles saved 480,000 gallons of fuel as of December 31, 2012. In 2012 alone, the vehicles saved 112,000 gallons of fuel and avoided over 1,000 metric tons of carbon emissions. 
 
Renewable energy, green buildings and reducing waste
 
In addition to reducing carbon emissions and fuel efficiency improvements, FedEx has increased its use of renewable energy, sought after LEED certification, and reduced its waste. Currently, FedEx generates over 20 gigawatt hours (GWh) of solar electricity since building its first solar facility in 2005. It has nine solar energy facilities, six in the U.S. and three in Europe, and is being recognized for its solar energy use. The Solar Energy Industries Association recognized FedEx among the top 20 commercial solar power users in the U.S. in 2012. FedEx was listed in 2012 among the top 20 retail companies on the Environmental Protection Agency Green Power list. 
 
FedEx set a goal in 2010 to go after LEED certification on all its new FedEx Express buildings in the U.S. Currently, there are nine FedEX facilities that have achieved LEED certification, including the FedEx Express World Headquarters in Memphis and its Enterprise Data Center--West in Colorado Springs. 
 
In 2012, FedEx recycled 38.6 million pounds more of the waste generated at its facilities than it did in 2011. Its recycling rate increased 22 percentage points, to 58 percent in 2012. FedEx attributes the increase to increased participation in recycling programs, including the EarthSmart program, Ground Green. Since the program’s launch in 2006, 93 million pounds of materials have been recycled. In 2012, 27 million pounds of materials at FedEx Ground facilities in the U.S. and Canada were recycled through Ground Green. 
 
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