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FedEx Shares Sustainability Efforts with MBA Students at Net Impact

November 15, 2011

How is FedEx a sustainability company?!?” puzzled one MBA student. The question surprised me a bit since I work here and regularly receive our sustainability updates.  

I responded, “FedEx is absolutely, positively a sustainability company!” I began to enlighten the MBA student (and her accompanying friend) on the many investments that FedEx has made to foster a better world for its employees, customers and overall stakeholders in Disaster Relief, Child Pedestrian Safety, Education, Diversity and Environmental Sustainability. In just a few minutes I was able to help her understand that FedEx is made up of thousands of team members who truly do care about the community and environment in which we work.

Her inquiry at the Expo best highlighted the reason why FedEx served not only as an exhibitor but also as a sponsor of the 19th Net Impact Annual Conference at the LEED-certified Oregon Convention Center in Portland, OR in late October. Many of the students, to my surprise, were unaware of the contributions that FedEx has made so far to contribute to a more sustainable world for future generations.

Net Impact is a global organization that represents a new generation of leaders from various sectors and industries who are committed to using their business skills to foster a better world. With more than 280 chapters worldwide and 20,000 members in its roster, Net Impact dedicates itself to helping college and graduate students, as well as professionals, transform their careers to make a net impact that boosts not only the bottom line but also benefits people and the environment – the triple bottom line.

For the past four years, FedEx has sponsored Net Impact’s annual conference. The program hosts undergraduates, MBAs and various professionals including consultants, corporate social responsibility (CSR) practitioners, nonprofit leaders, and sustainability specialists to tackle tough CSR and sustainability challenges, build their careers and professional networks, and participate in interactive sessions that expand their interest in sustainability. These students are the absolute best and brightest, and they will be leaders in the sustainability field in the coming years.

This year, FedEx team members participated in the conference’s Expo where we shared our Earthsmart, Saving Saginaw and Business for Good Map websites to demonstrate to students the level of involvement and investment that FedEx delivers in fostering social responsibility and developing a more sustainable world. This was much appreciated by the students who were not aware of all that FedEx does as a company beforehand.

Net Impact participants also took time from their breaks to enjoy the outdoors of Portland via bike rides that were provided by FedEx. Mitch Jackson, Vice President of FedEx Corporation, spoke to students in two sessions that weekend: How Partnerships and Passions can Fuel Sustainability Initiatives: A Case Study and Business Skills for a Changing World: What Global Companies Need from B-Schools. Keshav Sondhi, Manager for the Global Vehicles Asset Management group at FedEx Express, conducted a workshop for students called The Art of Reframing Problems: An Intrapreneurship Workshop.

After a jam-packed weekend, it was safe to say that our team was a little exhausted from non-stop intense conversations about sustainability with some of the best minds in the country. However, we knew the effort was well worth it after seeing the many smiles of the students riding the FedEx bikes, interacting with our team members at the Expo, and learning how companies like FedEx support them in working towards fostering a better world for the next generation.

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