Sustainable E-commerce: The Time Is Now
In making sustainable e-commerce a reality, the conversation is no longer about why. It’s how and when we combine strategy and action to make an impact.
At the same time, we’ve seen just how critical our industry is in accommodating the massive growth of e-commerce and meeting fast-changing consumer demands.
AMEA has a crucial role in what’s next
The global trade recovery is being led by East Asia. The region is leading the revolution in cross-border e-commerce: Asia’s e-commerce market is tipped to reach US$1.6 trillion in revenue in 2021. At FedEx, e-commerce is driving significant growth. So exactly how Asia Pacific (APAC) pursues a sustainable future will have far-reaching impact beyond this part of the world.
Governments are stepping up targets to reduce emissions and Asia is already making progress on sustainability. Japan and South Korea lead APAC in sustainable trade policies which advance economic, environmental and social measures. They’re followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
What’s more, the acceleration of digital innovation during the pandemic has been good for the environment. Online shopping, paperless transactions, and contactless delivery are changing lives in a digital economy anticipated to add US$1 trillion to Asia’s GDP in the next 10 years. In our view, building our business to serve cross-border commerce of this scale in a sustainable way requires bold vision - with a clear goal and commitment to innovation.
Ambition and action in equal measure
One of the goals we’ve set is to make our global operations carbon neutral by 2040. That’s no small feat given our industry and scale. It will outpace goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement by a decade.
Of that investment, FedEx is pledging $100 million to Yale University to help establish the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. This will accelerate research into methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial focus on helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions.
That’s just one example of ambitious yet realistic action. Not just solving problems in the aviation sector, but developing solutions to reduce other global sources of emissions - which can then be shared with businesses and governments.
Reduce, replace, revolutionize
We continue to build sustainable infrastructure with state-of the-art technology, such as the new FedEx Southern Africa hub in Johannesburg, in support of growing Asia-Africa trade. And our digital solutions recently rolled-out in Singapore and Hong Kong, providing paperless, mobile shipping that helps customers contribute to reducing our paper footprint.
We also support small business customers with cloud-based circular operations and sustainable products, even donating our old wooden shipping pallets to be upcycled into furniture in the Philippines.
Collaboration is key to our collective future
We know it will take much greater collaboration and partnerships across all sectors - companies, governments, institutions, scientists, and communities combined. It will require both complex and simple solutions, both large and small steps. And it will take many different strategies working together at the same time to create real results.
For more information on how we’re working for environmental good, check out our 2021 Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report here.
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