Home: Issue 5 2011 › Priviledge & responsibility

Priviledge & responsibility

Priviledge & responsibility

04/07/2011 | Channel: Technology, Logistics / Packaging, Business

FedEx is seeing great success from its EarthSmart programme. Beth Galetti sheds some light on the programme

How did you get to where you are today?
I joined FedEx in 1997 as a senior programmer analyst in the United States drawn to the company for its workplace reputation, international orientation and masterful combination of innovation and service. After being promoted to manager of program management and quality engineering, I moved to the position director of global shipment information. Attracted to FedEx international operations, I assumed the role of vice president information technology Americas overseeing IT aspects of IT in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean for FedEx. Since 2007, I have made FedEx EMEA home where I currently serve as vice president planning and engineering.

Could you explain what you do as a company and elaborate a little on the company’s history?
Operating since 1973, FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company providing customers and businesses around the globe with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business solutions. FedEx proudly connects business and people in over 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company consistently ranks among the world’s most admired brands and trusted employers. With over 290,000 dedicated team members across the globe, FedEx takes pride in its peoplecentred philosophy recognising the strength of its business lies in the innovative spirit and dedication of its team members.

Can you tell me more about the launch of sustainability programme EarthSmart across the UK and Europe?
EarthSmart is the next generation of environmental sustainability at FedEx igniting innovation, learning and action to help make our business - and the world - more sustainable, both economically and environmentally. With EarthSmart, we have created shared avenues to deliver tangible benefits to the environment on three fronts: business solutions, workplace culture and community outreach activities. The launch of EarthSmart in EMEA and the UK celebrates our team’s accomplishments in advancing environmental sustainability in the region. Coinciding with the UN Year of the Forests and World Earth Day, the EMEA launch of EarthSmart incorporates a philanthropic campaign in which over 16,000 trees will be donated to a children’s organisation Plant for the Planet.

And the successes you’ve already had with this programme?
EarthSmart has generated an impressive suite of solutions by tapping into the company’s well-known strengths - innovation, technology, international reach and exceptional teamwork. Examples of our EarthSmart achievements include:
  • The expansion of our environmental fleet to include zero emissions vehicles: the all-electric vehicles in Paris and London enable our couriers to make a full eight-hour shift of deliveries before needing to recharge them.
  • Our strategic investment in Boeing 777 F aircraft offers clear environmental benefits: The 777F dramatically enhances our ability to move more freight to more distant markets emitting 18 per cent less emissions and using 18 per cent less fuel than MD-11 aircraft.
  • Offering innovative tools for customers: With the automated shipping tool FedEx Electronic Trade Documents (ETD), customers can an upload their international shipment documentation electronically, saving them time and money while also helping to reduce their environmental footprint.
Why is sustainability at the top of FedEx agenda?
We recognise connecting people and markets around the world is both a privilege and responsibility. Our commitment to responsible corporate citizenship is unwavering; sustainability stands at the heart of our business. After a decade long commitment in the field, FedEx is looked upon as a trusted leader and reliable partner for change. We recognise the immense value we offer in protecting the environment by leveraging our expertise and assets.

Are there any other hot topics or big challenges that FedEx is currently dealing with?
Most certainly: we diligently share our in-depth knowledge with regulators to ensure FedEx know-how can positively impact public policy issues affecting the economy, the environment and our customers. Our public policy leadership demonstrates vision and commitment for a sustainable future both here and abroad. In the US, FedEx executives have passionately advocated for alternative transportation models before the US Senate in favour of the electrification of vehicles and the end of dependency on oil.

Within Europe, FedEx has successfully advocated for the development of a high-speed freight rail network. By using existing rail links to deliver express cargo to Europe’s major trading points, our proposal offers an environmentally friendly alternative to air and ground fleet.

How does operating as part of a global company benefit FedEx in the UK and Europe?
As a key facilitator of global trade and provider of reliable, innovative solutions, FedEx enjoys renowned reputation as a reliable solutions provider in logistics. Businesses and individuals in the UK and Europe recognise our brand, trust our track record of excellence and understand that we deliver quality in facilitating access to emerging and established markets. Our FedEx operations in EMEA can respond to the specific sensitivities of the region while at the same time offering a broad range of world-class solutions. It is a win-win situation for the region and the company.

Do you still enjoy working in this industry?
Of course, the logistics industry is an exciting and dynamic sector for work! Centred at the crossroads of cultures and marketplaces, the express transportation industry is a bustling hub of activity and innovation. Professional opportunities filled with rigour and dynamism abound as we work with a diverse range of customers to develop tailor-made solutions. The result is simply impressive: personal satisfaction, intellectual stimulation and professional development.

If you could pass one word of advice/a piece of your wisdom to my readers, what would it be?

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert’s advice (by James Callaghan).

FedEx launched EarthSmart globally in the midst of economic downturn when economists advised of a bleak economic future and CSR specialists feared corporate commitments would be stripped to the bare minimum. And yet, in those dire circumstances, FedEx held on to its core values by re-investing in sustainability. We made a bold and courageous decision to stick to what we knew was right. The result? EarthSmart came into fruition. And one year later, we can celebrate remarkable success with a team that delivered value. It is this kind of courage that makes me proud of my team members and proud of the company.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
The launch of EarthSmart has generated tremendous enthusiasm within the organisation. Just one month after the launch, the FedEx team can proudly celebrate two additional environmentally achievements in the region: FedEx European hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle in France received the highly-regarded ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 14001:2004 certification for environmental management and in the Brussels area, a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly FedEx station was opened for over 140 of our employees. And the plans for more achievements are just around the corner.

Stay tuned!