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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.


Report overview

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.

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