FedEx Finds Unexpected Benefits from New Fuel Technologies: Q&A with Mitch Jackson
by Alyssa Danigelis (Environmental Leader) Each business day, FedEx serves over 220 countries and territories with more than 600 aircraft as well as more than 190,000 on-road and off-road vehicles, which includes around 132,000 company-owned vehicles. The shipping company, which has $60 billion-plus in revenue, operates on an immense scale.
Over the past decade, FedEx reports saving more than 158 million gallons of vehicle fuel. This has been achieved by reducing usage through efficiencies, replacing vehicles with more efficient models, and increasing the company’s use of electric vehicles, fuel cells, natural gas, hybrids, and clean truck technologies.
“We want to reduce or eliminate impacts from our operations or activities. That’s first and foremost,” says Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and chief sustainability officer at FedEx. He oversees sustainability strategy at the corporate level for the company’s enterprises, including the large express, freight, and ground divisions.
One of our goals is to obtain 30% of jet fuel from alternative sources by 2030. We have been working with select companies on alternative sources of fuel so we can start using it. One slated to come online is with a company called Red Rock Biofuels to provide us with several million gallons of fuel annually for a period of years.
This fuel comes from forest detritus — wood stock that has fallen onto forest floors, cleared away, and used as biomass to make fuel with lower carbon inputs. Clearing that out also helps minimize the forest fire risk in the Pacific Northwest.
One of the challenges is getting the refinery capacity up to provide the fuels so we contracted with Red Rock to buy half of the fuel they would produce from this upcoming refining operation. And we continue to look for other alternative sources for jet fuel as well. READ MORE