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Supporting Natural Carbon Capture Solutions

By FedEx | May 20, 2024

What is carbon capture and how can it help the planet to tackle climate change? Our support of the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture enables research into scalable solutions to permanently remove and store carbon, contributing to a greener future.

Across the globe, an upward trend in the globally averaged temperature is resulting in more extreme weather events and negatively impacting the health of the planet.

But what solutions exist for the carbon dioxide emissions already in the atmosphere or those that can’t be reduced through available technologies? Throughout our planet's history, carbon emissions have been balanced by nature itself. However, since the beginning of the industrial revolution, there’s been a tipping point – and the world is now producing carbon faster than we can remove it.

What is carbon capture?

Carbon capture, or carbon dioxide removal, is any activity initiated by humans that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, which is accompanied by carbon sequestration which stores the captured carbon.

Natural carbon capture takes inspiration from existing natural biological and geological processes. These have been going on for millennia – such as the carbon cycles in forests, rocks, oceans, and other natural systems that absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it.

That means that the largest potential solution for removing excess carbon from the atmosphere already exists: the Earth itself. If we can harness the power of nature and better use our forests, rocks, soil, and oceans to store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we have one more tool to help us address climate change.

Exploring natural carbon capture in collaboration with Yale University

Globally, we need to accelerate scientific research and find breakthroughs for scalable solutions that can capture and store carbon for long periods of time. That’s why in 2021, FedEx committed $100 million to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture.

The Center’s research doesn’t benefit just a single company, industry, country, or sector. With findings being shared broadly, the global community will benefit from Yale’s research.

Now in its third year, the Center is developing natural, long-term carbon removal solutions across biological, geological, and industrial mediums.

Since 2021, Yale has recruited four globally recognized faculty members while leveraging the expertise of over two dozen existing Yale faculty members. By funding dozens of cutting-edge research projects, Yale has already begun to disseminate research findings that could one day lead to the reduction of gigatons of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to one year of emissions from the entire aviation industry.

Yale’s pioneering research will also inform the ongoing development of standards for a high-quality carbon credit marketplace.
FedEx plane flying above clouds

Co-creating and collaborating to develop solutions

We are rapidly innovating and deploying methods to reduce our carbon footprint. But if we are to keep pace with our ambition to achieve carbon neutral operations by 2040, we need to keep working on finding solutions to neutralize, as well as reduce.

We’re collaborating with universities, climate tech accelerators, conservation non-profits, investment funds, and other stakeholders to advance our shared journey toward a more sustainable future. By forging the right partnerships and sharing information and breakthroughs for the greater good, we can scale future solutions and support carbon reduction much more quickly.

Carbon capture is just one of a comprehensive suite of solutions for addressing greenhouse emissions, particularly for the aviation industry.

With Yale’s leading research, we hope that these techniques can bolster the availability and durability of high-quality natural carbon removal strategies at scale. While aggressive emissions reduction efforts take precedence, the public and private sectors also need to pursue all avenues to identify other necessary climate solutions, like natural carbon capture, that will help the world reach its climate goals.

To download our latest ESG report, head here.

To find out more about our carbon capture journey, download our fact sheet here.
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