Climate change is one of the rare issues that generate amazing unanimity at the United Nations. There is a lot of talk, discussion and even sanctions in some cases but little changes are observed on the ground, out in the real world. At a time when most green initiatives lose steam in some time, most projects get stalled or run out of funds, deadlines are reviewed and then almost done away with and every country is trying to protect its own interests while appearing holier than thou on the international platforms; very few companies are actually doing what will have a desired impact.
One such company is FedEx. Very few companies can claim that they have achieved their green vehicle targets. Fewer would be able to claim that they have achieved the targets before the deadline. FedEx has not only exceeded its green vehicle targets, which it had set out for its own fleet, but it has done so seven years before the preset year. And now, FedEx Express has hiked vehicle efficiency target after this early success.
FedEx had set a target of 20% improvement for its global vehicle fleet efficiency and it had expected to achieve it by 2020. That was the hope and also the objective. But the company recorded 22% increased efficiency in 2013, seven years before the deadline. Now FedEx has revised its target and hiked it up by 10%. FedEx is aiming at an improvement of 30% for its global vehicle fleet efficiency.
It is the only parcel courier or shipping company that has this distinction. There are greener vehicles on the streets if you send a parcel to USA or to the Netherlands, but increased efficiency to the tune of 22% is unheard of, especially for a courier that spans across the globe and has one of the largest fleets.
FedEx has been working with motor companies and engine makers to make vehicles that would suit their operations. They have been successful in choosing the right kind of vehicles for specific routes, which have saved on fuel and cut down on carbon emissions. Even the flights operated by FedEx have recorded increased fuel efficiency. The company saved 20 million gallons of fuel in 2013 alone.
FedEx has since then built its fleet of greener vehicles, including 390 hybrid-electric vehicles and 200 and that’s just in the United States. The company is also trying to reduce the size of the engines used in the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter which can make them around 70% to more than 90% more fuel efficient.