FedEx pledges ambitious goal of carbon-neutrality by 2040
FedEx Corp., home of the world’s largest cargo airline, has announced an ambitious goal to achieve carbon–neutral operations globally by 2040.
This latest commitment builds on the company's sustainable efforts which to date have contributed to a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions intensity across the organisation, even while package volume increased 99%.
To achieve this ambitious goal, FedEx is assigning more than US$2 billion of initial investment in three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.
This also includes a pledge of US$100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, which will speed up the pace of research methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial focus on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.
According to Frederick W. Smith, Chairman and CEO, FedEx Corp., 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".
Key steps in achieving carbon neutrality
FedEx has outlined the main steps it will be taking in order to achieve its goal of carbon-neutral operations by 2040.
- Vehicle Electrification By 2040, the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet will be zero–emission electric vehicles, achieved via phased programs to replace existing vehicles. So for example, by 2025, 50% of FedEx Express global PUD vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by 2030.
- Sustainable Customer Solutions FedEx will work with customers to offer end-to-end sustainability for their supply chains through carbon–neutral shipping offerings and sustainable packaging solutions.
- Sustainable Fuels FedEx will continue to invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions.
- Fuel Conservation and Aircraft Modernization FedEx will build on its successful FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives designed to reduce fuel consumption in its aircraft. Since 2012, such initiatives have saved a combined 1.43 billion gallons of jet fuel and avoided over 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
- Facilities FedEx will continue efforts to make its more than 5,000 facilities worldwide more sustainable through continued investments in efficient facilities, renewable energy, and other energy management programs.
- Natural Carbon Sequestration FedEx funding will help to establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture to support applied research into natural carbon sequestration solutions.
Supporting research in carbon capture
The path toward sustainability requires new strategies for removing and storing Earth’s excess carbon. The Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture will catalyze interdisciplinary research across the natural sciences and engineering in an effort to accelerate this work.
Center researchers will develop methods that build on natural carbon storage systems, including biological ecosystems and the geological carbon cycle, improving, where possible, how quickly carbon can be absorbed, how much can be contained, and how long it can be stored. Through these efforts, Yale scientists aim to create a portfolio of carbon removal strategies that have impacts on a global scale.
Building upon initial successes in the aviation sector, the center will broaden its scope to address additional global sources of emissions – publishing and sharing its findings so that businesses, industries, and governments can benefit from work that will accelerate the adoption and implementation of natural carbon capture strategies around the world.
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", says Dr. Indy Burke, the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the Yale School of the Environment.