Can you tell us about your Global Citizenship strategy? What does Sustainability mean to FedEx? FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world. With regard to sustainability, we strive to connect the world responsibly and resourcefully. Our philosophy for doing so is what I call Practical Sustainability - transformational and strategic stewardship that adds value to the organization’s efforts to act more responsibly. The strategic building blocks we use are performance, transparency, innovation, and leadership. Performance is about execution of our objectives and goals. Transparency is communicating on how we are doing in this regard through reports, blogs, and more. Innovation is finding new, cleaner, better ways to serve our customers through differing operations and new services. Leadership is about finding policy-driven approaches to change what’s possible for business and society at large. It all adds up to EarthSmart® - our commitment to minimize our impact on the environment by integrating innovative sustainable practices into the way we work and the services we offer our customers. How are you working to decrease your environmental footprint? We are working on a myriad of different initiatives to do this, however the easiest way to discuss it is via our goals in this space: • Reduce aircraft emissions intensity 30% from a 2005 baseline by 2020: In 2014, aircraft CO2 emissions intensity was reduced by 1.5%, bringing total reduction in CO2 emissions intensity to 21.4% from 2005 levels. • Obtain 30% of jet fuel from alternative fuels by 2030: Developing a sustainable jet fuel product that can be produced at scale and transported to where it’s needed at a competitive price is a challenge we continue to address. We are actively engaged with government, industry, and environmental organizations in developing viable sustainable alternatives to jet fuel. • Increase FedEx Express vehicle fuel efficiency 30% from a 2005 baseline by 2020: In 2014, fuel efficiency was improved by 2.5%, bringing our cumulative improvement from 2005 levels to 29.5%, just shy of our goal. • Seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification on all new U.S. FedEx Express buildings: 10 FedEx Express buildings are LEED-certified, and six more are being reviewed for certification. In addition, two FedEx Ground facilities achieved LEED certification in 2014. • Expand on-site generation and continue to procure renewable energy for facilities: Two new facilities opened in 2014 and include on-site solar energy generation. Together, our 11 solar facilities produced more than 8 million kWh of electricity in 2014. In addition, to give some sense of the breadth and scope of just one of the programs FedEx has underway, I’ll focus on FedEx® Fuel Sense. This initiative comprises of 12 departments who are seeking efficiencies across our aviation operations - our largest source of environmental impact. This initiative has 46 active programs, and saved almost 72 million gallons of fuel in 2014, equal to nearly 700,000 metric tons of CO2 avoided.
How is FedEx supporting economic development? The developed world takes its sophisticated infrastructure for granted. However, it’s a vital and important mechanism for creating global wealth and wellbeing for its citizens. The same potential is true for the developing world, moving possibilities for millions of people there. By linking over 90 percent of the world’s GDP with an efficient and dependable logistics network, FedEx is helping to facilitate the growth of global entrepreneurship through trade. You can find examples of this in the Economic Development section of our 2014 FedEx Global Citizenship Report. How are you working with local communities? FedEx works to align its work with local communities in a way that connects our business priorities with social needs. That takes the form of (1) Disaster readiness, relief and recovery; (2) Pedestrian and road safety; and, (3) Sustainability. Our disaster readiness program resulted in efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa, as well as relief to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. All in all, we shipped 6.7 million pounds of charitable shipping in 2014. Our pedestrian and road safety program has allowed us to reach over 10 million students with messages on pedestrian safety in 10 countries in collaboration with Safe Kids Worldwide and our sustainability efforts in concert with EMBARQ, a part of the World Resources Institute, have brought sustainable transportation solutions to Mexico, India, and Brazil, providing best practices in 40 cities there. How are you encouraging innovation? I often say that innovation can be defined as applied inspiration. It is also a core feature of our founding since FedEx essentially created the express industry. With respect to sustainability, FedEx does so primarily through our EarthSmart Innovations program. It intends to inspire products, services, physical assets, and initiatives that go beyond their obvious impact. It seeks to set new standards for stewardship in our industry and deliver clear and tangible benefits for the environment, our customers, our team members, and our business. Some examples include the following: FedEx Solar Facilities, Paperless Processing, Zero-emission All-electric Vehicles, Low-emission Hybrid-electric Vehicles, LEED-certified facilities, Carbon-neutral Envelope Shipping, Paper Recycling Program, and Fuel Sense, which I mentioned above. How are you investing in a more sustainable future? As we say in our 2014 FedEx Global Citizenship Report, with a global vision and prominent presence on six continents, FedEx links over 90 percent of the global GDP, providing efficient trade channels to billions of people. These connections contribute to global social and economic progress. Clearly, there are environmental impacts that result from this progress, but only seeking to address adverse or negative impacts without contributing to social progress and benefit would be simply focusing on risks without capitalizing on opportunities. Think of it this way, using facilities as an example: Should an organization focus on energy efficiency efforts alone, or in combination with new, cleaner sources of energy like wind and solar? Again, as we say, corporate citizenship is often focused on how a company operates, but the social and economic consequences of what a company does are even more important. For us, that means that FedEx is built on the belief that local economic growth requires connectivity with the rest of the world, and we accept that it is our role and responsibility to do this sustainably. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE