During a recent session of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce aviation forum, FedEx announced that it has a goal of using renewable fuels for 30 percent of its fuel needs by 2030. The company is confident that this action will both reduce air-transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a New York Times article published yesterday, CEO Fred Smith cited using biodiesel derived from jatropha, ethanol produced from switchgrass and other second-generation biofuels to help reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases that are prevalent in petroleum based fuels.
However, Smith did cite a caveat for adoption and use of biofuels, “These non-fossil fuels must be capable of being easily mixed with existing petroleum aviation fuels that use existing infrastructure,” he said.
President Obama has demonstrated his strong support of environmental and renewable energy initiatives during his first 100 days in office, and most experts have given him high praise. But with the majority of federal legislation favoring next generation biofuels, Smith suggested to the administration that they need to dedicate more significant dollars to fund research, development and deployment of these alternative fuels.
Another effort to curb FedEx’s energy use is to also replace older planes with new ones that use less fuel and fewer emissions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, aviation fuel use accounts for approximately 10 percent greenhouse gas emisions from the transportaton sector.
It is hoped that Fed-Ex’s annoncement will encourage others in the aviation industry to follow suit.