The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / GRI Standards / Case study: How FedEx increases facilities efficiency

Case study: How FedEx increases facilities efficiency

FedEx is active in over 220 countries and territories around the globe with more than 5,000 operating facilities, including air and ground hubs, local stations, freight service centres and retail sites. Maintaining efficient operations – emphasising efficiency in energy use, facility design and construction, paper and other materials used and waste management – is, thus, a top priority.

This case study is based on the 2018 Global Citizenship Report by FedEx published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on all new U.S. FedEx Express buildings, FedEx has workplace sustainability initiatives that provide pathways for team members to adopt energy-saving habits  Tweet This! and devise innovative approaches, with the input of energy experts to test and implement new efficiency initiatives. In order to increase facilities efficiency FedEx took action to:

  • improve energy efficiency
  • certify facilities
  • implement sustainability programmes

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Global Citizenship Report FedEx identified a range of material issues, such as ethics, bribery and corruption, data security and privacy, driver and workplace safety, business preparedness, resiliency and disaster response. Among these, increasing facilities efficiency stands out as a key material issue for FedEx.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups FedEx engages with:  

Stakeholder Group
Industry groups
Sustainability experts
Government agencies
Team members

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics FedEx engaged with its stakeholders through a survey and roundtable engagement session.

What actions were taken by FedEx to increase facilities efficiency?

In its 2018 Global Citizenship Report FedEx reports that it took the following actions for increasing facilities efficiency:

  • Improving energy efficiency
  • As in previous years, lighting retrofits are a priority for FedEx and, in FY17, it upgraded an additional 28 facilities. Collectively, all facilities upgraded helped FedEx save 220,390,449 kWh of electricity and avoid, in FY17, 164,018 metric tons of CO2e emissions. Since 2007, lighting retrofits at 1,085 facilities have saved more than 1 billion kWh of electricity. In FY17, FedEx Office also began piloting an energy management system that allows for more efficient climate control and monitors the health of office equipment, with the aim of ultimately reducing energy and repair costs.
  • Certifying facilities
  • Certifying facilities to external standards is one way for FedEx to take a more comprehensive look at its performance, across a number of environmental criteria. During FY17, FedEx Express completed two more LEED-certified facilities in the U.S., bringing the total number to 14 and covering an area of 218,698 square meters. FedEx Express also operates three LEED-certified facilities outside the U.S., which include the FedEx International Centre (formerly TNT Centre) in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands. FedEx Ground has six LEED-certified facilities in the U.S., and the FedEx Office Headquarters in Plano, Texas is also LEED-certified. During FY17 FedEx Freight began work on its first LEED facility, expected to open in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in FY19. The number of FedEx Express facilities certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard grew to 649 in almost 50 countries in FY17, primarily as a result of the acquisition of TNT. In addition, one FedEx Supply Chain facility in the U.S. is ISO 14001-certified.
  • Implementing sustainability programmes
  • The FedEx Ground sustainability champion programme, designed to increase employee participation and engagement in sustainability initiatives, grew significantly in FY17, adding 214 champion sites. Since implementing the programme, 574 sustainability champions volunteered to lead new sustainability initiatives and programmes, at 81 percent of the nearly 600 FedEx Ground facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, the FedEx Freight GREEN Site internal certification programme, which recognises facilities that complete certain actions to reduce environmental impacts, like recycling and conserving energy, saw the number of GREEN Sites more than double in FY17 compared to FY16, to extend GREEN Site Level 1 certification to all FedEx Freight locations.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization

2) Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption


Disclosure 302-1 Energy consumption within the organization corresponds to:

Disclosure 302-4 Reduction of energy consumption corresponds to:


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SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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1) This case study is based on published information by FedEx, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:




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