FedEx Blog

FedEx Blog

EarthSmart @ Work

April 17, 2012

The overriding goal of effort should be to achieve effect; else why undertake it?

EarthSmart is our commitment to connect the world responsibly and resourcefully by integrating innovative, more sustainable practices into the way we work and the services we offer our customers. It is made up of three pillars:

  • EarthSmart Innovations
  • EarthSmart @ Work
  • EarthSmart Outreach

EarthSmart Innovations is the designation program for product, service, asset, and solutions innovations.

EarthSmart Outreach is our volunteer and philanthropic efforts with the company’s focus on environmental sustainability in three key areas: Sustainable Transportation; Sustainable Cities, and Sustainable Ecosystems. 

But, what I really wanted to focus a bit on in this post is EarthSmart @ Work. In previous posts, I’ve talked about Practical Environmentalism and its focus upon Performance, Transparency, Innovation and Leadership. EarthSmart @ Work best fits into the Performance category in that it is, and should be, a foundational basis for a sustainability program. 

Specifically, EarthSmart @ Work seeks to build a culture of environmental sustainability through education and innovation, to engage team members across the enterprise to understand and implement sustainable practices at work, at home, and in the community; and to promote behavior change in the workplace as it relates to environmental sustainability efforts.;

So, what are the considerations for an EarthSmart @ Work initiative? Well, it:

  • Supports the EarthSmart @ Work focus area(s) of Recycling, Waste minimization, Fuel usage/emissions, and/or Facility energy consumption
  • Results in measurable environmental benefits
  • Results in benefits to the workplace, employees, customers and/or the community
  • And, costs/investments have been considered

A few examples of current projects within FedEx that meet this include:

FedEx Express

Fuel Sense: Configuring flight plans, optimizing extra fuel, minimizing the need for ground power units for aircraft – these are just a few of the advancements that FedEx Express Air Operations have made – more than 30 different programs that are helping us reduce our emissions and save fuel.

Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize: Reducing fuel consumption and emissions by re-structuring vehicle routes, rightsizing vehicles and creating new, efficient sustainable transportation. This program has allowed us to reduce the number of miles we drive and decrease the number of vehicles we need.

FedEx Ground

Ground Green: Leading the charge to reduce landfill wastes, and working in conjunction with the EPA Waste Wise program. This comprehensive campaign encourages team members to recycle everything from paper to cardboard to wooden pallets, and even shreds paper wastes to use for packing materials. It’s resulted in millions of pounds of waste not disposed of in past, and continues now.

FedEx Freight

Energy Watch: Keeping a watchful eye on consumption of electricity, natural gas, fuel and solar power is part of this program. Each location’s on-site sustainability leader, the local environmental action facilitator (LEAF) oversees it, mixing in a little friendly competition among sites.

Waste Watch: Keeping the other watchful eye on waste consumption, recycling and water usage. Again, the LEAF oversees, with more friendly competition among sites.

FedEx Office

Simplify Your Center: Streamlining operations at more than 1,800 FedEx Office locations, focusing on day-to-day administrative functions like electronic shipping and using reusable bags instead of disposable envelopes can make a big, positive difference. And, it fits in quite nicely with the broad environmental choices we give customers on paper within the centers.

The aim of EarthSmart is to improve the company’s environmental performance and find ways for FedEx to contribute to sustainability on a broader scale by working with others who share that vision, both within and out of the Company. So, while I’ve listed a few of the EarthSmart @ Work initiatives, it’s not the totality of the program – a program that we want our team members to continue to grow.

It’s like I stated at the beginning of this post: why undertake effort, if not to achieve effect? It reminds me of the story of an executive telling a project team that they would be rewarded for results, not effort. I cannot help but think that nature is no less demanding in this regard. 

Find out more about EarthSmart.

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