An interesting item in the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, my hometown newspaper:
FedEx issued its first Global Citizenship Report Wednesday, touting plans for big cuts in pollution by jets and delivery trucks. . . . On the environmental front, the company aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by FedEx Express jets by 20 percent within less than 12 years.
The article continues:
FedEx fuel consumption of about 1.5 billion gallons last year ranked behind the largest passenger airlines, which put more flights in the air. Fuel was 12.1 percent of the company’s total operating costs in fiscal 2008.
“We’re a large user of fuel, but we’re not the largest,” [sustainability director Mitch] Jackson said.
No, but according to an interview with CEO Fred Smith in the Wall Street Journal, it’s the second-largest user of energy in the world — after the U.S. military. See comment below.
To curb the appetite for oil, FedEx Express in 2005 set goals of a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by its jets and a 20 percent increase in fuel mileage for delivery vehicles.
The report showed that jet emissions have been reduced 3.7 percent on a pounds-per- available-ton-mile basis in three years, while vehicle fuel economy is already up 13.7 percent.
This article might lead you to think: “Good for FedEx. Look at the way they care about the environment. What an upright corporate citizen.” It’s good for the reader that at least one outlet has gotten the rest of the story. According to ATW Daily News:
Key to the increased efficiency will be the replacement of its 90 727Fs with at least 87 757-200 converted freighters by 2016. The 757s will reduce “fuel consumption up to 36% while providing 20% more payload capacity,” it said.
FedEx has been planning this fleet transition for years (with a focus on fuel and labor savings and increased medium haul capacity). How great for FedEx — they get environmental plaudits while doing exactly what they were doing all along. Unfortunately, this kind of reporting is par for the course at the CA, which years ago — through a series of redesigns and changes in editorial leadership — shifted away from serious reporting into local cheerleading, soft and fluffy features, and barely edited press releases.
In other news: FedEx has a blog! Welcome to the aviation blogosphere!
FedEx will do its part for cleaner environment [Commercial Appeal]
FedEx sets target to lower aircraft CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 [ATW Daily News]