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FedEx Packaging Is Now More Sustainable – Here’s Why

By FedEx | First published: January 25, 2022    Updated: March 8, 2024

To protect the planet for generations to come, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to drastically reduce environmental impact and operate more sustainably. If you’re transporting packages regularly, find out how greener packaging can help you ship more sustainably.

With the explosion of e-commerce in the last decade, a major shift has taken place in packaging trends. From recyclable materials to multi-use, today’s consumers want eco-friendly, biodegradable packaging from sustainable, ethical sources. Both e-tailers and logistics players are finding new ways to address the demand.
As much as 13 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year, with Asia responsible for almost 65% of global mismanaged plastic waste.

Plastic and packaging pollution is a mega-issue globally

Packaging can say a great deal about your brand’s attitude to your product and the environment. It’s a way to show we care. As much as 13 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year, with Asia responsible for almost 65% of global mismanaged plastic waste.

And of the top 10 worst plastic polluters in the world, four are in Asia, with China’s pollution output massively outweighing other regional polluters Japan, Indonesia and Thailand.
As much as 13 million tons of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year, with Asia responsible for almost 65% of global mismanaged plastic waste.

Ocean wave at sunset

Richer, more developed countries in the Western world often send their plastic waste to less-developed countries such as the Philippines. But most plastic waste is handled domestically, entering our world’s oceans through rivers or the atmosphere through incineration. Impact on local communities can be toxic.

Moving away from single-use packaging

Today, single-use plastic – and all packaging that takes energy and resources to produce and then dispose of at scale – is a global problem. One that governments, businesses, and consumers are increasingly trying to tackle.

Retailers, importers and exporters in particular are at the front line, needing to transform processes and find more sustainable ways of operating to reduce carbon footprint and emissions. And packaging has always been central to what we do at FedEx.

As a company that delivers around 15 million packages every business day, sustainable packaging has been one of our key objectives for some time. From paperless billing to reusable packaging, check out how we’re working to create a more sustainable supply chain below:

Carbon offsetting

All FedEx branded envelopes have been carbon neutral for over a decade. We also invest in offsets for every envelope shipment at no cost to customers, so you can send documents free of worry about your carbon footprint. And the envelope itself is made of 100% recycled paperboard.
Hand turns up dial on CO2 emissions dashboard

Recycle and reduce our paper footprint

FedEx-branded packaging is 100% recyclable and composed of 36% recycled content. And the majority of our paper is forest-friendly, certified by sustainable forest programs such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

We’re even investing in more and more ‘treefree’ paper alternatives and incorporating alternative fibres into our product mix to save trees.

You can now track and measure your emissions

One of our latest innovations, FedEx Sustainability Insights, is a tool for customers to track emissions at package and account level. Empowering businesses to deliver more sustainably, this revolutionary cloud-based tool uses real-time FedEx network data to help our customers:

  • Evaluate and manage your carbon impact
  • Review your FedEx shipping history to help you better understand your shipping patterns and environmental impact
  • Create customized reports to provide transparency to customers and stakeholders

Pass on packaging hacks to our customers

We want our customers to ship more efficiently and use the least packaging possible. That’s why we price dimensionally based on volume, allowing us to make the best use of space in our aircraft, vehicles, and distribution centers.

For us, it not only improves loading efficiency and reduces our emissions, but also encourages customers to make conscious adjustments that maximize product density and reduce packaging materials.

FedEx Packaging Services works with customers to optimize package size and design, which reduces their costs and environmental impacts.

RELATED: Top tips for eco-friendly packaging
Asian male opens new shoes from FedEx box

We even have special engineers on the case

Yes, packaging engineers exist at FedEx! The team assesses existing packaging and recommends more efficient designs. They also work closely with customers to meet their sustainability objectives, whether that means using less polystyrene foam, less film to wrap an item or more recyclable materials.
Two male couriers sort large number of FedEx boxes and packages

We have a dedicated Packaging Lab

Our state-of-the-art facility offers package, freight and materials testing. Optimizing your packaging helps you increase sustainability and reduce your footprint – plus helps you reduce damage and waste.

RELATED: Apply for package testing with FedEx

Some of our solutions can be used again and again – and again!

Cold chain solutions such as Medpak VIoC are designed to be used many times over – with the customer essentially just ‘borrowing’ the transportation facility each time they send temperature-sensitive shipments. And for our everyday shipments, we’ve developed an entire reusable packaging range to help our customers ship greener.
FedEx branded flat envelope designed for reuse

Say goodbye to excess packaging by going online

The introduction of FedEx Electronic Trade Documents (ETD) allows customers to simply upload their international shipment paperwork electronically. This reduces paper use, saving time and money and helps reduce environmental footprint.

We’re working hard to Reduce, Replace and Revolutionize – our sustainability motto. And responsible packaging supports our commitment to at least 5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, from Climate Action and Sustainable Cities And Communities to Responsible Consumption And Production.

But with our goal to help you ship as responsibly and sustainably as possible, we’re constantly exploring new innovations.

Ge the full download on Reusable Paks and packaging options for your business here.
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