In this Q&A, Ethical Corporation’s Head of US Operations Ed Long talks with Mitch Jackson, VP of Environmental Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer at FedEx, on their global strategy ‘reduce, replace, revolutionize’ and the importance of RBS West
Q: Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?
A: Dialogue in how to effectively manage a sustainability program is a valuable commodity. As you say on the website, Lead the clean, inclusive future. Collaborate, Innovate, Invest. I think you are working to bring together sustainability professionals to dialogue on these important topics.
Q: Where does sustainability sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver a sustainable future?
A: The FedEx Enterprise Sustainability Council (FESC) is responsible for setting and implementing our company-wide sustainability strategy and administering our CSR materiality assessments. I chair the FESC. Additionally, enterprise-wide Sustainability Impact Teams (SITs) for global vehicles, facilities, air operations, customer solutions, data/reporting, and sourcing allow our operating companies to share synergies, ideas and innovations. The SITs and operating companies’ senior sustainability leaders report to me, as well.
Q: To what extent are you driving sustainable innovation across the business?
A: At FedEx, we connect people and possibilities around the world, responsibly and resourcefully. Building on a philosophy we call Practical Sustainability, we work to multiply efficiencies, minimize impacts and apply innovative solutions to enable opportunities for our business and customers. Central to our Practical Sustainability philosophy are four interconnected building blocks — performance, transparency, innovation, and leadership — that drive strategic, transformational stewardship to strengthen our operations, grow our business, and add value to society.
Q: How are you decoupling business growth and GHG emissions?
A: Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize is the global strategy that informs our approach to Practical Sustainability.
Reduce: Minimize or eliminate impacts from activities and operations.
Replace: Apply the right solutions in the right applications.
Revolutionize: Discover and utilize cutting-edge technologies and solutions.
Throughout the organization, our Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy guides environmental efforts to drive efficient use of resources and cost savings in four key areas:
• Aircraft efficiency
• Vehicle efficiency
• Sustainable facilities
• Sustainable materials and recycling
In each of these areas, our Practical Sustainability philosophy helps us determine the right sustainability initiatives, which are then guided by input from the experts on our Sustainability Impact Teams (SITs). Collectively, these efforts have contributed to an approximately 37% reduction in CO2 emissions intensity (on a revenue basis) across the enterprise from FY09 to FY18, a period in which revenue grew by 84%.
Q: How is your company leading on sustainability?
A: Using our Practical Sustainability building blocks of performance, transparency, innovation and leadership, along with our Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy, we have focused on the following:
• Setting ambitious fuel efficiency and emission reduction targets.
• Modernizing our aircraft and vehicle fleet.
• Incorporating alternative fuels into our fleet.
• Using more purchased transportation, including interline commercial air carrier and intermodal rail transport.
• Engaging team members and customers in energy efficiency initiatives.
• Advocating for regulatory and policy changes that support emissions reduction, efficiency improvements, and cleaner technology.
You can find much more in this regard at csr.fedex.com.
Mitch Jackson will be speaking at Ethical Corporation's Responsible Business Summit West 2019 in San Diego 9-10 October. He will join 250+ CEOs, investors and heads of business to share practical ideas on how business can take the lead and accelerate action on social and environmental issues.
This Q&A has been shared in the run up to the Responsible Business Summit West, taking place in San Diego, October 9-10, 2019.
We’re in the midst of transformation. The fourth industrial revolution coupled with the necessity to reduce global warming to 1.5C requires all stakeholders pulling in one direction, with grave consequences for failure.
This also presents an opportunity for business to innovate, invest and collaborate. The opportunity to deliver technologies and circular strategies which accelerate the move to a sustainable economy, conserve the natural environment and deliver business success. Grasping the chance presented whilst simultaneously responding to investor demand to be more transparent on ESG-related risks.
The Responsible Business Summit West will challenge 250+ CEOs, sustainability leaders, Investors, government representatives and NGOs to show how they’re going to leverage new technologies and investments to deliver the blueprint for the future economy – over two days you will learn how to move from dialogue to action on the key opportunities that lie ahead.
Hear from 60+ innovators and experts driving the clean, inclusive future:
Ethical Corporation’s mission is to help businesses around the globe do the right thing by their customers and the world. We believe this is not only how to ensure a future for all but makes good business sense. We serve CSR, compliance, risk and governance communities with topical and insightful business intelligence and meeting places.
We provide business intelligence to more than 3,000 multinational companies every year. Our customers are also NGOs, think-tanks, academia, governments and consultancies. We publish the leading responsible business magazine, website, and research reports. Our conferences are widely recognized as the best in the field.