FedEx commits to reducing the carbon emissions of its aircraft fleet by 20 percent by 2020
FedEx is replacing its MD-11s with more fuel-efficient Boeing 777 Freighters (graphic: Boeing)
Fri 14 Nov 2008 – FedEx has pledged to cut the carbon dioxide emissions of its aircraft fleet by 20% by 2020, mainly to be achieved through investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft as well as 30 other initiatives, with matching reductions in its vehicle fleet. Since 2005, the corporation says it has reduced aircraft emissions by 3.7% per available ton mile. FedEx Express and FedEx Freight operate three solar-powered facilities in California and recently broke ground for its largest solar-powered hub to date in Cologne, Germany.
“FedEx recognizes that one of the most responsible steps we and the industrial sector can take for our businesses, society and the environment is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp Chairman, President & CEO, announcing the publication of the FedEx 2008 Global Citizenship Report. “Our role is to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways. The world faces big challenges, and we believe that collective, sustained efforts can create greater possibilities for people, businesses and nations worldwide.”
FedEx has begun upgrading its aircraft fleet by replacing its narrowbody Boeing 727s with 757s that offer 20% more payload capacity while reducing fuel consumption by up to 36%. Two years ago, FedEx Express placed an order for 15 777 Freighters, with options for a further 15, and the long-haul aircraft are due to start joining the fleet in 2009. They will replace the MD-11 aircraft currently in operation, and will provide both a greater payload capacity and average savings of 18% on fuel consumption.
The 30 other fuel saving initiatives include improvements in flight planning and other aircraft operational efficiencies. FedEx is also changing to use ground power rather than aircraft power when planes are at the gate, which will save an estimated one million gallons of fuel per month.
The FedEx ExpressCologne hub, which is expected to be completed in 2010, will include a 1.4 megawatt solar power system and is expected to generate around 1.3 gigawatt-hours of electricity per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 370 households.
Back in April, rival DHL – now owned by Deutsche Post World Net – announced it was going to reduce its overall emissions by 30% by 2020 through similar measures and involving the replacement of 90% of its current fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft.