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How FedEx Plans to Get to Carbon-Neutral Operations by 2040

FedEx Corp. has an ambitious plan to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040.

To get there, FedEx said Wednesday that it’s designating more than $2 billion of initial investment in three key areas–vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration.

This includes a pledge of $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, accelerating research into methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial focus on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.

“We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges,” Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp., said. “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.”

By 2040, the entire FedEx parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet will be zero-emission electric vehicles. This will be accomplished through phased programs to replace existing vehicles. For example, by 2025, 50 percent of FedEx Express global PUD vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100 percent of all purchases by 2030.

FedEx will also work with customers to offer end-to-end sustainability for their supply chains through carbon-neutral shipping offerings and sustainable packaging solutions. Plus, FedEx will continue to invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions.

FedEx will build on its successful FedEx Fuel Sense initiatives designed to reduce fuel consumption in its aircraft. Since 2012, the FedEx Fuel Sense and Aircraft Modernization programs have saved a combined 1.43 billion gallons of jet fuel and avoided over 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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In addition, 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.

Researchers at the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture 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.

“While we’ve made great strides in reducing our environmental impact, we have to do more,” Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx Corp., added. “The long-term health of our industry is directly linked to the health of the planet, but this effort is about more than the bottom line–it’s the right thing to do. At FedEx, we are committed to connecting people and possibilities resourcefully and responsibly. The steps we are taking today will contribute a positive impact for generations to come.”