FedEx Sustainability Soars with EarthSmart EMEA Launch

FedEx, the world’s largest express transportation company, announced the launch of EarthSmart, a sustainability program for its Europe, Middle East, Indian subcontinent and African (EMEA) operations.

The program, which is an expansion of the EarthSmart program launched in 2009 in North America as part of its Global Citizenship Report, enhances stewardship initiatives already taking place and makes a concrete commitment to financial and environmental sustainability.

According to Beth Galetti, VP of Planning and Engineering at FedEx Express EMEA, the program denotes an is expanded and deepened pledge for “implementing initiatives with tangible business and environmental benefits.” Galetti goes on to say that the EarthSmart program aims to create “formal avenues to engage our team members, customers, and community stakeholders in achieving shared environmental goals.”

The EarthSmart program is already touting some of its initiatives, including the introduction of new Boeing 777s to the fleet that are 18% more fuel efficient and fewer emissions than the standard MD-11 airplanes. Initiatives also include zero emission all-electric delivery vehicles in London and Paris and an automated shipping tool called Electronic Trade Documents (ETD) that reduces the need for paper copies of trade documents.

These sustainability initiatives come on the heels of several recent environmental announcements by FedEx in 2011, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001:2004 certification for responsible environmental management at its European hub in Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, France. The certification, which is one of the most widely recognized environmental management certifications worldwide, includes a commitment for continual future environmental improvement.

Other significant sustainable FedEx initiatives in the United States include making a commitment to the USGBC’s LEED standard for new construction, including its “green” data center built in Colorado Springs, Colo. that was unveiled in 2011. FedEx achieved LEED Gold certification at its flagship Memphis, Tenn. based world headquarters and a newly constructed Las Vegas facility. The Las Vegas building features a 49% reduction in water and a 42% reduction in energy compared to normal buildings of the same size, and the facility diverted 86% of all its construction waste from landfills to recycling and reuse programs.

Although programs like EarthSmart have made corporate social responsibility a standard, Fedex has focused on retaining a ground-up process for the initiatives. According to Galetti, "We cannot underestimate the contribution of our people. We know change starts here. We are heavily indebted to our employees who have undertaken the commitment of environmental stewardship with unwavering resolve, dedication and enthusiasm."

Photo: Adrian Pingstone