FedEx steps up aircraft emission reduction targets by 50%

FedEx Corp has adopted a more “aggressive” target to improve the environmental impact of its air fleet.
A few months on from revealing it was close to meeting some of its set for the year 2020, the Memphis-based integrator said today that it has now increased its aircraft emissions goal by 50%.

The world’s largest all-cargo airline, FedEx is now to aim for a target to reduce its aircraft emissions by 30% by 2020.

The company had previously been aiming at a 20% target, from a 2008 baseline, but in a new Global Citizenship Report out today, the firm said it has already cut its aircraft emissions by 13.8%.

FedEx said it was also reaffirming today that it will source at least 30% of its jet fuel from alternative fuels by the year 2030.

FedEx Corp chairman Frederick W Smith said today: “We’ve reduced our global aircraft emissions by almost 14% since 2005, that’s why we’ve raised our target from a 20% reduction to a 30% reduction by 2020.

“We’re also actively engaged in efforts to develop alternative fuel technologies, to help our industry find new energy solutions.”

Restructuring fleet

FedEx is currently restructuring its air fleet, particularly in the US, to use more modern and efficient aircraft while responding to a general shift in the market towards ground transportation and economy air products.

By 2015, FedEx Express is aiming to replace all its less-efficient Boeing 727s with more efficient 757 aircraft, while for longer haul journeys the Boeing 777F is replacing MD-11s, offering an 18% lower fuel consumption while expanding payload capacity.

According to today’s FedEx Global Citizenship report, the company has now reduced its aircraft emissions from 1.51 pounds of carbon dioxide per available ton mile (ATM) in 2005 to 1.30 pounds per ATM in 2011.

Meanwhile, the company has improved its vehicle fuel efficiency by 16.6% since 2005, thanks in part to its fleet of 364 hybrid electric vehicles and 118 all-electric vehicles, which has grown nearly 18% in size in the last year.

And, FedEx launched a no-cost carbon offset programme for its envelope services, dubbing it the Carbon-Neutral Envelope, as part of its EarthSmart initiative. The programme is expected to offset the emissions equivalent to planting 2.2m trees and letting them grow for 10 years, the company said.

During the year, FedEx’s overall greenhouse gas emissions directly generated by its operations did increase nearly 5% compared to 2010, but the company said this was the result of increased shipping volumes during the year.

However, the company said it has made progress decoupling its climate change emissions from economic growth.

The FedEx Global Citizenship Report also highlights the company’s achievements in fields like community and disaster relief, with the company donating 1.24% of pre-tax profits to charity, while donating 5.2m pounds of shipping space for charitable uses during the year, equivalent of about 87 Boeing 757 planes.

Mitch Jackson, staff vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx Corp, said; “This year’s Global Citizenship Report showcases our tireless efforts to maximise our efficiency while advancing our commitment to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways.”

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