The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How FedEx promotes employee health and wellness

With more than 5,000 operating facilities globally, FedEx connects the global economy through innovative technologies, pioneering approaches, and customer-focused solutions. FedEx is committed to supporting the physical and behavioural health and wellbeing of its team members and their families  Tweet This!, by providing an array of programmes that help its people and their loved ones stay at their best level of health, lifelong.

This case study is based on the 2020 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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FedEx believes that its success depends on the talent, dedication, and well-being of its people. Providing them with competitive healthcare, wellness, retirement, and other benefits supports its team members’ quality of life and enables them to perform at their best. In order to promote employee health and wellness FedEx took action to:

  • offer high-quality, affordable benefits
  • provide access to healthcare
  • promote work-life balance
  • implement an employee assistance programme
  • apply wellness programmes

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2020 Global Citizenship Report FedEx identified a range of material issues, such as economic impact and access, ethics, integrity, bribery, and corruption, GHG emissions associated with transportation fleet, social impact of FedEx supply chains. Among these, promoting employee health and wellness 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
Supply chain workers
Team members
Local communities
Non-governmental organisations

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics FedEx engaged with its stakeholders through phone interviews with representatives from academia, customers, industry associations, media, NGOs, and suppliers, as well as through an online survey.

What actions were taken by FedEx to promote employee health and wellness?

In its 2020 Global Citizenship Report FedEx reports that it took the following actions for promoting employee health and wellness:

  • Offering high-quality, affordable benefits
  • FedEx’s total benefits package for team members includes competitive and, in many cases, innovative health benefits for eligible full-time and part-time team members and their dependents. In the U.S., where FedEx has approximately 220,000 participating team members, it covers more than 70% of total eligible health and disability costs for part- and full-time employees at the plan level. This set of services includes medical, behavioural, dental, vision, and pharmacy coverage with flexible options for each. According to the IBM Watson Health database, the out-of-pocket costs for FedEx team members are lower than at most other companies. In addition, participating part-time and full-time team members are eligible for health reimbursement accounts, employee assistance counselling, free generic prescription coverage, company-paid life insurance, and many other benefits.
  • Providing access to healthcare
  • FedEx’s team members are increasingly using telehealth tools to connect with medical professionals for personalised healthcare, remotely from their mobile devices or computers. From FY18 to FY19, team members’ use of telehealth jumped 360% and, in 2020, telehealth access became free of charge. Along with FedEx’s 24-hour nurse line, near-site healthcare facilities – such as the ones close to FedEx Express headquarters, Memphis hub, and in Irving, Texas – assistance with second opinions, integrated personal health teams, a medical decision support group, and tiered access networks, team members have a variety of flexible options for their healthcare, whether they live in rural areas or large cities. Team members can also use a digital navigation tool to find doctors, see account balances, and get other healthcare information on their mobile devices. FedEx is among an estimated 40% of large employers that offer this convenience.
  • Promoting work-life balance
  • In addition to family-friendly benefits such as paid maternity and paternity leave and financial assistance with adoptions, FedEx offers a Work-Life Balance Programme to all U.S. team members. Members can access specialists and online resources for advice and support on common life events and challenges, such as parenting, childcare, and financial matters. In 2019, a total of 146,847 team members – 45% of eligible U.S.-based team members – participated in work-life balance programmes.
  • Implementing an employee assistance programme
  • PeopleHelp offers confidential counselling services to employees, eligible dependents, and all household members, regardless of if they are participating plan members, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services provided include unlimited telephone consultations with a licensed clinician to explore treatment options, identify resources, and develop action plans. In addition to consultations, educational offerings such as webcasts on various topics, online personal health programmes, and wellness seminars are available.
  • Applying wellness programmes
  • Team member wellness programmes, including healthy weight management and tobacco cessation programmes, nutritionist support, stress management classes, and other resources, reflect FedEx’s holistic approach to supporting well-being. Other wellness offerings at some operating companies include free on-site flu shots, on-site mammograms, and fitness challenges. Team members can also access LifeCare for guidance navigating both big and small events, such as finding childcare, handling the death of a parent, or buying a car. Other available resources to help reduce life’s stressors include legal assistance, identity theft protection, and home and auto insurance.

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

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health

Disclosure 403-6 Promotion of worker health corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

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.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



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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