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Businesses Take Responsibility for Advancing Sustainable Transportation
Companies like FedEx Corp. are uniquely positioned to work with nonprofits and governments to help improve some of the world's worst traffic. Photo by discopalace.

Transportation and logistics companies like FedEx Corp. are uniquely positioned to work with nonprofits to help improve some of the world's worst traffic. Photo by discopalace.

Mitch Jackson is the Director of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability for FedEx Corporation (and he also writes for the FedEx Citizenship Blog.) This month, FedEx is beginning work with EMBARQ — the producer of TheCityFix — as an extension of its corporate environmental strategy in communities. We would like to welcome Mitch and FedEx to TheCityFix community (check out his profile on TheCityFix Social!). We look forward to the dialogue and his efforts to catalyze sustainable mobility.

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
– From the movie, “Casablanca”

From Mitch Jackson:

As a company that delivers more than 7 million packages a day to more than 220 countries and territories, FedEx seeks to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways. We do this in a myriad of ways, including maximizing efficiencies of our operations, supporting innovation for eco-technologies and providing leadership in responsible environmental stewardship.

Many of the countries we serve are in the developing world and have been experiencing substantial economic growth over the past decade or so. Unfortunately, with this growth has come congestion from vehicles. This affects those cities in multiple ways: it increases safety concerns with the dense mix of vehicles and pedestrians; it increases pollution due to the increased vehicle traffic; and, it strains economic elasticity by “gumming up the works” with more delays and less productivity.

That’s why FedEx is pleased to be collaborating with EMBARQ in Mexico, seeking ways to improve mass transit programs through logistical expertise, consultation, and funding.It gives us the opportunity to focus on issues that are material to us:

  • Congestion: Improving mass transit in these growing cities will reduce congestion, making businesses and residents more productive day in and day out. If you think about it, what FedEx provides through our logistical networks is, essentially, carpooling for packages. We wish to take this experience and knowledge and find common factors that exist with mass transit programs. This will benefit FedEx in several ways: it reduces the number of vehicles we need to operate, it reduces our environmental footprint, and it increases our service levels for customers.
  • Environment: This reduced congestion also benefits the environment – reducing air, water and noise pollution. We feel that our Reduce, Replace and Revolutionize program offers some examples and potential learning for cities as they seek to improve mass transit capabilities, consisting of the following:

    FedEx utilizes routing efficiencies in order to reduce the number of vehicles needed.

    FedEx seeks to downsize vehicles that travel more miles in order to maximize fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    And FedEx seeks fuel-efficient and environmentally beneficial technologies, such as hybrid electric and electric vehicles, in order to maximize efficiencies — particularly in heavily urbanized settings.

  • Safety: Naturally, improving pedestrian and vehicle safety is a longstanding, critical focus for us. In fact, FedEx has been a staunch supporter of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations that seek to prevent childhood injuries. So, this alignment of improved mass transit capabilities should improve pedestrian and vehicle safety also, through less vehicles and pedestrians on city streets.
  • Competitiveness: Reducing congestion through improved mass transit contributes to the efficiencies of businesses and residents, as noted above. This can also be beneficial to international trade and competitiveness, as well, since these efficiency improvements can make businesses more viable in world markets.

The collaboration between FedEx and EMBARQ in Mexico provides the potential for a better environment, less congestion, increased safety and enhanced competitiveness around the world. As the old quote goes from the movie Casablanca, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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