A Connected World is a More Sustainable and Prosperous World

A Letter from FedEx Corporation Chairman and CEO, Frederick W. Smith
Apr 7, 2016 10:30 AM ET
Campaign: FedEx | Reports

A Connected World is a More Sustainable and Prosperous World

Every day FedEx pilots span continents, our drivers criss-cross countries, package handlers sort millions of shipments, and customer service reps answer thousands of calls. Each one of our more than 340,000 team members takes responsibility for not only moving the goods and resources that fuel global commerce, but also for helping make the world a better place to live — now and in the future.

We see our job of connecting the world and our responsibility as global citizens as one and the same. When we help businesses access new markets, they grow and create jobs that boost standards of living in their communities. A more connected world sparks innovation when shared ideas, goods, and technologies interact to transform how we live and work.

A bold commitment to our communities

Since FedEx was founded, we’ve supported our communities through team member volunteer efforts and financial contributions. We are now taking a longer view. We’ve challenged ourselves to place our investments where they can make the most difference to the world.

On behalf of our customers and communities, FedEx is pleased to announce an expanded, targeted FedEx Cares program. We will invest $200 million in more than 200 communities by 2020 to create richer opportunities for positive change around the world. Our priorities are specific but wide-ranging: We will continue to empower entrepreneurs, develop sustainable transportation, create employment pathways for the underserved, make roads safer, and deliver resources — particularly for disasters — where they’re needed most.

Two issues, fundamentally linked, are at the heart of our FedEx strategy: Trade, which is how our customers participate and compete in the global economy, and Energy, the essential resource needed to power global commerce.

Removing barriers to trade

We know from history that trade accelerates when it’s easy. As global connections have evolved and thrived, the planet is vastly more connected and prosperous. Communities are stronger and more resilient. Our lives are richer, filled with greater choice and opportunity.

But we have more to do if we are to break out of the current pattern of slow global economic growth.  We know first-hand how customs processes and conflicting trade rules make it tough for small and medium-sized businesses to compete in international commerce. Our priorities align with theirs: Make trade more efficient by simplifying regulations and getting rid of red tape that wastes precious resources, time, and capital.

Our vision to connect the world responsibly means we advocate policies and agreements that support open and efficient trade. In the past year, this included the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). These ambitious agreements will unlock new opportunities to accelerate job growth and global commerce.

Sustainable energy makes trade more efficient

As a heavy user of fossil fuels, we know how important it is to reduce our consumption and make trade-related energy more sustainable. Respect for our environment makes this an imperative. And reducing reliance on oil lessens the market volatility that slows growth.

Many years ago, FedEx had the foresight to participate in research that explored innovative sources of energy. We realized it would be years before alternative jet fuels could be produced in the quantity we needed at a competitive cost. But in 2009, we committed to obtaining 30 percent of our aviation fuel from alternative sources by 2030. We’re looking forward to receiving our first shipment of aviation biofuel in 2017, and through 2024 we expect to use at least 48 million gallons of blended fuel (6 million per year) at our hub in Oakland, California.

This important milestone is the result of a long-term agreement to purchase biofuel from Red Rock Biofuels. We’re proud to work with this innovative company, which converts scrap and forest waste to make fuel. The process contributes to smart forest management practices that reduce the intensity of forest fires. Innovations like this have the potential to help farmers and communities around the world turn waste into a new form of clean energy. Helping others replicate a waste-to-biofuel model could create sustainable local industries and new jobs near airports around the world.

As the Roman statesman and philosopher Marcus Aurelius once said: “The universe is change.” We couldn’t agree more. We believe the strategies we’ve implemented, the goals we’ve set, and the progress we’ve made continue to change lives for the better. Thanks to the efforts of our FedEx team members around the world, we will continue to deliver the future for generations to come.


Frederick W. Smith
FedEx Corporation,
Chairman and CEO