FedEx Sustainability Report: Aircraft CO2 Intensity Drops 4%
FedEx reduced its aircraft CO2 emission intensity by 4 percent from FY 2011 to FY 2012, for a cumulative reduction of 18 percent compared to FY 2005, according to the company’s 2012 Global Citizenship Report.
The company’s 650-plus aircraft generate the majority of its Scope 1 CO2 emissions. Last year, it increased its targeted aircraft emission intensity reduction for 2020 (measured as pounds of CO2 per available ton mile) from 20 percent to 30 percent, still using FY05 as its baseline year.
FedEx says it achieved a significant portion of the reduction by replacing aircraft with more fuel-efficient models. It added 16 Boeing 757 aircraft, which it says are 36 percent more fuel-efficient on a payload-adjusted basis than the 727-200s they replaced. It also added seven Boeing 777s, which use 18 percent less fuel and provide greater payload capacity than the MD-11 aircraft they replace. In FY14, FedEx plans to introduce the Boeing 767 to its fleet.
The replacements resulted in avoided CO2 emissions of 353,792 metric tons and fuel savings of more than 37 million gallons in FY12.
The company says its Fuel Sense initiative found still greater emissions reductions, avoiding 466,000 metric tons of CO2 and saving 49 million gallons of jet fuel in FY12. The strategy includes more than 30 programs affecting every phase of aircraft operations from pre-flight planning to in-flight routing to post-flight operation. For example, FedEx Express uses departure-queue management to reduce waiting time on the runway. Software automation and communication between FedEx and air traffic control teams at its Memphis, Indianapolis and Paris hubs allow real-time usage of runways and air traffic resources, which saves about 45,000 gallons of jet fuel each month.
FedEx says the report is aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative G3.1 Guidelines, although it did not specify an application level.
In previous years, the company reported its greenhouse gases only in terms of CO2 emissions. Starting this year, it is also using CO2 equivalent, to account for methane and nitrous oxide. FedEx says it will continue reporting its enterprise emissions in CO2 terms for the next few years to allow for year-over-year comparisons (shown in the chart, below.)
The company’s most significant direct energy use is for its company-owned and operated aircraft and ground vehicles, so much of the report’s environmental section focuses on these impacts.
Collectively, FedEx says its most effective sustainability initiatives helped it generate more than $320 million in fuel and energy cost savings and materials recycling revenues in FY12, and avoid more than 1 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy use and GHGs
Last year, FedEx’s direct energy consumption included 157,293 terajoules for aircraft fuel, 37,727 for vehicle and emergency generator fuel, and 3,589 for facilities.
Scope 1 emissions totaled 14,602,697 metric tons CO2e in FY12.
All of its indirect energy use came from purchased electricity – 5,895 terajoules in FY12, a slight decrease from the previous year due to ongoing energy efficiency initiatives. Scope 2 emissions totaled 959,109 metric tons CO2e.
The company’s Scope 1 and 2 absolute emissions in FY12 amounted to 14,878,779 metric tons of CO2 (15,561,806 metric tons of CO2e) which increased slightly by 0.6 percent over FY11. In that time frame, FedEx increased its total annual revenues by 9 percent. Taken on their own, enterprise Scope 2 absolute emissions decreased by more than 3.5 percent during FY12, which the company attributes to ongoing energy efficiency initiatives at its facilities.
Scope 3 emissions in FY12 totaled 1,084,088 metric tons CO2e. This includes emissions from FedEx Express feeder aircraft contract operators; the fuel the company sells to FedEx Ground contractors; and, for the first time, employee business travel.
As reported in March, in FY12 FedEx Express beat its goal of a 20 percent increase in global fleet fuel efficiency by 2020 against a 2005 baseline, with a 22 percent improvement.
It replaced the old goal with a targeted 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency for its global express vehicle fleet, by the same deadline and against the same baseline.
FedEx’s fleet includes 90,000 vehicles owned by FedEx Express and FedEx Freight, which generate about 20 percent of its Scope 1 emissions; and vehicles operated by FedEx Ground contractors, which account for most of its reported Scope 3 emissions.
The company says FedEx Express saw its biggest fuel efficiency improvements from changes to local pick-up-and-delivery vehicles using internal combustion engines, through FedEx’s Vehicle Refresh Plan. Through the program, FedEx engineers use detailed analysis to understand the power, torque and payload capacity requirements of various route profiles, and help match the right vehicle to each route. This saved 17 million gallons of fuel and over 173,000 metric tons of CO2 in FY12.
In particular, the company says it benefited from the mass deployment of about 10,000 clean diesel Sprinter vans, which are about 70 to 100 percent more fuel efficient than the vehicles they replaced.
In FY12, FedEx Express increased its alternative-fuel fleet by 18 percent, for a total of 118 electric vehicles and 364 hybrid-electrics. It says that these vehicles saved 112,000 gallons of fuel and more than 1,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in FY12 alone.
FedEx Express continues testing newer EV models as well as retrofitting standard delivery vehicles with all-electric drivetrains, from suppliers including Smith Electric Vehicles and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. It is also working with General Electric, Con Edison and Columbia University on a smart grid pilot project in lower Manhattan, focused on creating an advanced infrastructure of EV charging facilities. FedEx Express also operates 76 trucks fueled by compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in its Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America markets.
In FY12, the company says it saved 59,910,238 KWh of electricity and 42,270 metric tons of CO2e in 164 FedEx facilities through lighting improvements. These included T5HO fluorescent high-bay lights for interior sorting areas and employee parking lots, LED lighting for loading docks and T8 fluorescent lighting for office buildings.
FedEx now has nine solar-energy facilities, six in the US and three in Europe. In September, the Solar Energy Industries Association listed FedEx among the top 20 commercial users of solar electricity in the US. FedEx Office also bought 25,000 MWh of renewable energy credits in 2012.
The company says it is not feasible for it to determine how much of its purchased electricity comes from renewable sources, because it operates thousands of facilities with numerous local electricity utility suppliers.
In FY12, FedEx’s recycling rate rose to 58 percent, from 36 percent in FY11 – a rise of 38.6 million pounds, from 47.9 million pounds in FY11 to 86.5 in FY12. Total waste at FedEx facilities in FY12 was 74,624 US tons.
But the company says it still has some waste data gaps. At FedEx Ground facilities, it only tracks regulated hazardous and nonhazardous waste, not municipal solid waste. It also says it has no way to track waste disposal at many of its FedEx Office stores, which have waste disposal services bundled with facility leases.
In FY12, FedEx recorded 82 significant spills of hazardous materials such as oil, fuel and chemicals across its FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight U.S. operations. Fines related to environmental violations amounted to $26,074 across all FedEx operating companies in that year.
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