MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - FedEx announced plans to become carbon-neutral by the year 2040.
The Memphis-based logistics giant also announced it plans to invest $2 billion toward that effort.
“We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges,” said Frederick W. Smith, the Chairman and CEO of FedEx. “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.”
It’s an ambitious goal for a company like FedEx, which operates 200,000 vehicles and 680 airplanes around the world.
“We’ve always ascribed to the idea that the future of our business is tied to the future of the environment, which is why every day we innovate to connect to the world in responsible and resourceful ways,” said Brie Carere, FedEx Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.
To become carbon-neutral, a company or organization must offset, or remove, the same amount of carbon dioxide as it releases into the atmosphere.
Scientists say too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activities is harmful to the environment and to our planet.
“We know that this was an ambitious goal given our industry and scale. But we also know that we have the history, the culture and passion, lead on sustainable being realistic,” said Mitch Jackson, FedEx Chief Sustainability Officer.
FedEx pledged $2 billion toward its goal and will replace its entire parcel pickup and delivery fleet with electric vehicles, invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions, and offer carbon–neutral shipping and sustainable packaging so customers can do their part.
The company is also pledging $100 million to Yale University to establish a carbon capture research center, so scientists can look for more ways to reduce excess carbon dioxide.
“Addressing climate change is a complex challenge that demands urgent action, and natural carbon capture strategies will be one key part of that action,” said Dr. Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of the Environment. “Through the creation of the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, we aim to develop measurable carbon capture strategies to help offset carbon emissions globally.”
FedEx says it has cut its emissions by 40% since 2009, while package volume has increased by 99% during that time period.
“We’ve had a long track record of reducing emissions through the different programs that we are doing,” said Jackson. “But I think what you’re hearing today is indicative of the work that continued work that needs to be done to find new solutions that will help not only us but will help others in our industry and beyond to get to a net-zero economy of the future.”
To learn more about ongoing sustainability efforts at FedEx, visit sustainability.fedex.com.