An ambitious goal for the world’s largest cargo airline, FedEx Corp. announced that it is aiming to achieve carbon-neutral operations globally by 2040 with a $2 billion initial investment. 

This initial spending is designed to advance the company’s push for vehicle electrification, sustainable energy and carbon sequestration. 

“We have a responsibility to take bold action in addressing climate challenges,” said CEO Fred Smith. “This goal builds on our longstanding commitment to sustainability throughout our operations, while at the same time investing in long-term, transformational solutions for FedEx and our entire industry.”

By 2040, FedEx hopes to have its entire parcel pickup and delivery (PUD) fleet composed of zero-emission electric vehicles. The corporation plans to phase in programs so that by 2025, 50% of global PUD vehicle purchases are electric, with 100% of all purchases by 2030. 

Additionally, FedEx said it plans to continue to invest in alternative aircraft and vehicle fuels to reduce emissions. 

Since 2012, FedEx Fuel Sense and Aircraft Modernization programs have saved an estimated 1.43 billion in combined gallons of jet fuel. It estimated it reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 13.5 million metric tons. 

Worldwide, FedEx has already been pushing to make at least 5,000 facilities more sustainable by investing in efficient facilities, renewable energy and other energy management programs. 

“While we’ve made great strides in reducing our environmental impact, we have to do more. The long-term health of our industry is directly linked to the health of the planet, but this effort is about more than the bottom line – it’s the right thing to do,” said chief sustainability officer Mitch Jackson. 

Included in FedEx’s first investment is $100 million to assist Yale University in establishing the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture. The center is investigating methods of carbon sequestration at scale, with an initial aim to help offset greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to current airline emissions. 

By building on successes in the aviation sector, the Yale Center plans to develop methods that could improve carbon storage systems such as biological ecosystems and the geological carbon cycle. Through these efforts, scientists aim to create a portfolio of carbon removal strategies that have impacts on a global scale through improving how quickly carbon can be absorbed, how much can be contained, and how long it can be stored.

“Addressing climate change is a complex challenge that demands urgent action, and natural carbon capture strategies will be one key part of that action,” said Yale School of the Environment Dean Ingrid C. Burke. 

Since 2009, FedEx’s efforts have accounted for about 40% reduced CO2 emissions intensity across the entire company, even as package volumes increased 99%.