Carbon-Neutral Business Strategy
On Wednesday, FedEx announced that the company is shifting its business operations focus to become more sustainable and reduce its carbon footprint, with the larger goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. The $68.81 billion company is investing $2 billion in three initial key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.
Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of the business, said in the press release, “We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges.” He added, “This goal builds on our longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout our operations, while at the same time investing in long-term, transformational solutions for FedEx and our entire industry.”
As part of the new commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality, FedEx claims that the entire pickup and delivery, or PUD, fleet will be completely electric vehicles by 2040, and half of its PUD fleet purchases will be electric vehicles by 2025. In addition, the company is pledging $100 million to Yale University to assist in establishing the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. At this new research center, the primary focus will be on carbon sequestration and how to help offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.
Furthermore, the business will also use the $2 billion investment in researching alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions, develop supply chain and packaging sustainability, research renewable energy for the 5,000 FedEx facilities, and reduce overall fuel consumption by the company aircraft.
Since 2012, the business has avoided over 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel. Additionally, the commitment to sustainability by the company is supported by the fact that FedEx has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 40% since 2009.
Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at the business, said in the FedEx press 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.”
Other Sustainability Corporate Commitments
Many large corporations are taking steps toward sustainability. The most notable are the automobile manufacturers like Geely, Hyundai, and GM, dedicating resources toward developing or reimagining electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions.
Automobile companies are not the only corporations making these types of commitments. Oil giants like BP, Chevron, and Shell have also recently announced their efforts toward alternative energies to aid in slowing down climate change.
Like FedEx, the auto manufacturers, and even the oil companies, more and more businesses will have to pledge more resources toward developing sustainable business operations that will help reduce carbon emissions.
About the Author
McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.