The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Home / case studies / Case study: How FedEx is promoting occupational safety

Case study: How FedEx is promoting occupational safety

Every day FedEx pilots span continents, FedEx drivers criss-cross countries, package handlers sort millions of shipments and customer service reps answer thousands of calls. Promoting the safety of its more than 340,000 team members across more than 220 countries and territories is thus a top priority for FedEx.

This case study is based on the 2016 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 that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.

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FedEx incorporates safety principles into all aspects of its international network of people  Tweet This!, facilities and technology. One accident is too many, and FedEx remains committed to employing new measures, educational programs and procedures in order to get them down to zero. After measuring and setting targets, FedEx took action to promote safe and secure flight operations and vehicle fleet safety, raise awareness about safety best practices, redesign team member safety courses to accommodate differences in learning styles, install additional video event data recorders, work with external collaborators to promote compliance with industry safety standards, measure and report on its global safety record, reduce lost-time injuries through the Safety Above All 2 initiative and, also, prevent workplace violence.

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Global Citizenship Report FedEx identified a range of material issues, such as ethics, bribery and corruption, surface vehicle fleet usage/aircraft fuel usage and associated GHG emissions, business preparedness, resiliency and disaster response, data security and privacy. Among these, promoting the safety of its more than 340,000 team members, in line with its Safety Above All philosophy, 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 organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

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
Customers
Team members
Shareowners
Suppliers
Governments
NGOs
Nonprofits
Multilateral agencies
Communities

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

FedEx regularly engages with its extensive network of stakeholders, including customers, team members, shareowners, suppliers, governments, NGOs, nonprofits, multilateral agencies and communities. Understanding the issues and challenges that matter to them helps FedEx to refine its global citizenship strategy.

FedEx’s first materiality analysis in FY14 identified the issues and opportunities most important to its business. FedEx sought input from external and internal stakeholders through workshops, interviews and surveys. This valuable intelligence is helping to shape FedEx’s strategy, goals, targets and metrics. FedEx is now undertaking a broader external stakeholder mapping and engagement effort. It will provide deeper insights into relevant global citizenship topics as FedEx grows and sustainability mega-trends increasingly impact global business.

What actions were taken by FedEx to promote occupational safety?

In its 2016 Global Citizenship Report FedEx set the following targets for promoting occupational safety, based on the company’s approach to materiality – on taking action on what matters, where it matters:

  • Promoting safe and secure flight operations

FedEx Express operates the world’s premier intercontinental air express network and the largest dedicated all-cargo air fleet. From its rigorous operational safety audits to its comprehensive Aviation Safety Action Program, FedEx Express has long been an industry leader in safe and secure flight operations. FedEx Express added Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) to hundreds of its aircraft, which greatly improve pilots’ ability to land in low visibility conditions and at night. Fire suppression systems developed and engineered by FedEx are installed on its Boeing 777F and MD-11 aircraft to reduce the risk of onboard fire while in flight and life-saving Automated External Defibrillators (AED) were installed through the entire trunk aircraft fleet, which includes more than 300 aircraft. Also, in close collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other global regulatory agencies FedEx Express is improving and expanding its Safety Management System – or SMS –, the formal process to manage risk in its airline operation. The aim of SMS is to prevent accidents, errors and failures before they occur. This requires careful recording and monitoring of potentially adverse conditions. SMS establishes organizational accountability for safety starting at the top.

  • Promoting vehicle fleet safety

With more than 54,000 courier vans, container transport and ground service vehicles on the move around the world, FedEx Express logs more than 1.1 billion miles annually in service to its customers. FedEx Express fleet safety starts with applied technology in the form of speed control limiters on its transport vehicles, along with advanced collision mitigation systems which warn drivers and even apply the brakes if necessary to slow the vehicle. Enhanced stability and traction control systems and lane departure warning technology help keep FedEx Express vehicles on the right path, as do the in-cab data and voice communication capabilities. On the human side, FedEx Express’s nearly 40,000 U.S. package delivery couriers are oriented regularly in safe, slow-speed maneuvering when approaching and departing a customer’s location. Additionally, FedEx Freight introduced 39 Road Driver Advisors across the U.S. These specialists support service center managers and drivers by facilitating safety education, coordination and analysis.

  • Raising awareness about safety best practices

In FY15 FedEx Express hosted “Accident Prevention Week” across all 50 stations in Brazil. The event raised awareness about safety best practices through team meetings and educational poster distribution.

  • Redesigning team member safety courses to accommodate differences in learning styles

FedEx Express redesigned team member safety courses to accommodate the differences in learning styles between baby boomers and younger generations joining the workforce. For example, new-hire couriers were trained using iPads, enabling mobility during the training and catering to their technologically savvy learning style.

  • Installing additional video event data recorders

FedEx Ground installed additional video event data recorders to capture accident information at 33 hubs, resulting in a 65 percent annual decrease in yard accidents across these sites.

  • Working with external collaborators to ensure compliance with industry safety standards

FedEx works with a number of external collaborators to ensure its continued commitment and compliance with industry safety standards, such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

  • Measuring and reporting on FedEx’s global safety record

Measuring and reporting on its global safety record enables FedEx to identify challenges and improve its performance. FedEx uses two key reporting metrics, Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR) and Preventable Recordable Vehicle Accident Rate (per 1 million miles driven). LTIR covers nonfatal injuries or work-related illnesses that cause a team member to lose work time. The Preventable Recordable Vehicle Accident Rate measures accidents that resulted in preventable fatalities or injuries. In FY15, FedEx’s LTIR improved by 4 percent and the Preventable Recordable Vehicle Accident Rate improved by almost 6 percent.

  • Reducing lost-time injuries through the Safety Above All 2 initiative

Through its companywide Safety Above All 2 initiative FedEx continues to focus on the critical educational and management aspects of reducing lost-time injuries. Safety Above All 2 places particular emphasis on educating new hires, developing facility safety action plans and delivering safety education for team members at all levels.

  • Preventing workplace violence

Workplace violence is never tolerated and preventing incidents is a top safety priority and a continuous effort at FedEx, supported by prevention programs and rapid response procedures across the company. Every FedEx team member receives annual training designed to prevent violent incidents at FedEx’s hubs and other facilities. FedEx encourages team members to report both potential for violence and actual incidents using its 24-hour FedEx Alert Line service or by contacting management, Legal or Human Resources. All such reports are promptly investigated by FedEx’s Workplace Violence Response Team.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-LA6: Type of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and total number of work-related fatalities, by region and by gender – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-2 Types of injury and rates of injury, occupational diseases, lost days, and absenteeism, and number of work-related fatalities

2) G4-LA7: Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 403-3 Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation

 

References:

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:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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