Smart Transport member FedEx has announced it wants to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040.
The company has earmarked more than $2 billion (£1.43bn) of initial investment in three key areas: vehicle electrification, sustainable energy, and carbon sequestration.
The electrification of its global parcel pickup and delivery fleet will be key to achieving its goal, said FedEx, and by 2040, the fleet will consist of zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs), which will be achieved through phased programs to replace existing vehicles.
For example, by 2025, 50% of FedEx Express global pickup and delivery vehicle purchases will be electric, rising to 100% of all purchases by 2030.
Frederick W Smith, chairman and CEO of FedEx Corp, said: “We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges.
“This goal builds on our longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout our operations, while at the same time investing in long-term, transformational solutions for FedEx and our entire industry.”
FedEx’s pledge to electrify its fleet follows British Gas, which is owned by Smart Transport member Centrica, pledging to electrify its fleet of 11,500 vehicles by 2025 and Mitie making a pledge to have at least 2,021 pure EVs in its fleet by the end of 2021.
FedEx said that working with customers and continuing to invest in alternative fuels to reduce aircraft and vehicle emissions will also help the company reach its carbon neutral goal.
The $2bn investment includes a pledge of $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, accelerating research into methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial focus on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.
Dr Ingrid Burke, junior dean of the Yale School of Environment, said: “Addressing climate change is a complex challenge that demands urgent action, and natural carbon capture strategies will be one key part of that action.
“Through the creation of the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture, we aim to develop measurable carbon capture strategies to help offset carbon emissions globally.”
Since 2009, the company’s efforts have contributed to an approximately 40% reduction in CO2 emissions intensity across the enterprise while package volume increased 99% during that period.
Mitch Jackson, chief sustainability officer at FedEx Corp, said: “While we’ve made great strides in reducing our environmental impact, we have to do more.
“The long-term health of our industry is directly linked to the health of the planet, but this effort is about more than the bottom line – it’s the right thing to do.
“At FedEx, we are committed to connecting people and possibilities resourcefully and responsibly. The steps we are taking today will contribute a positive impact for generations to come.”