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FedEx delivers more fuel efficiency progress

FedEx delivers more fuel efficiency progress

Posting in Energy

The logistics and delivery giant increased its electric vehicle and hybrid electric fleet 20 percent in FY2011, reaching 410 vehicles.

Logistics giant FedEx delivered its latest corporate social responsibility and sustainability report in late July. Not surprisingly, one of its overriding agendas is driving continued improvements in fuel efficiency.

Like many of its peers and rivals, FedEx is steering its strategy through both a focus on more efficient driving habits as well as the adoption of alternative fuel technologies. To that end, the company increased its all-electric and hybrid-electric fleet by 20 percent by the end of fiscal year 2011. That brings the total to 408 vehicles, which have logged approximately 9.5 million miles. And, yes, that is a small number when you think that FedEx has something like 430,000 fleet vehicles worldwide. FedEx is also driving efficiencies with non-electric vehicles. Its latest update in June 2011 involved about 4,400 vehicles.

According to the new report, FedEx also added six Boeing 777 airplanes, which carry 14,000 pounds more cargo than the planes they replace while reducing emissions by 18 percent per load. The company owns something about 650 aircraft, in case you are wondering. So again, a small step, but a significant/symbolic step.

Long term, FedEx is driving toward a goal of 20 percent better fuel efficiency for its fleet by 2020.

Two other areas where the company is seeking the benefit of technologies to aid its sustainability goals: recycling and renewable energy generation.

FedEx already has five facilities (four in the United States) that are using solar energy, to the tune of five megawatts annually or 11.2 gigawatt-hours. The biggest installation is the FedEx Express warehouse in Oakland, Calif., which is creating 6.36 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.

It has much more upside potentially in the area of recycling. In fiscal year 2010, the company recycled or reused about 26 percent of its overall waste. That seems to be a lot less than other major companies that I have been following.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure