FedEx Corporation is an international company that was founded and based in America. The company offers e-commerce, transportation, and business services to both businesses and customers internationally. FedEx also provides an integrated business applications in which the operating companies registered under its FedEx brand compete collectively but managed collaboratively. The company has four segments on which it operates namely: FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, FedEx Services and FedEx Freight. It is one of the most trusted and admired company by both employees and customers and is currently employing over 275,000 staff and contractors around the globe (FedEx Corporation, 2011a). According to FedEx Corporation (2011b), the company has consistently maintained high ranking among the world’s best companies due to its strong corporate culture which not only inspire its employees to always remain focused on ensuring safety, but also to demonstrate the highest professional and ethical standards.
With regards to its corporate social responsibility, the company recognizes that it has a greater impact than just providing services to its customers and partners. The company therefore has a strong commitment to promote a great workplace, provide leadership in environmental protection, and to be a caring corporate citizen in the communities where it operates. FedEx is not only passionate about its services but also strives to improve lives of communities around the world (FedEx Corporation, 2011a). Its social responsibility department is mandated to provide support to communities it serves and also to strengthen the company’s image globally by strategically investing its resources, network, as well as employees. As a good corporate citizen, the company contributes towards emergency and disaster relief by providing transportation and logistics support as well as funds to help the affected. The company has a partnership with different relief agencies including American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International and United Way International among others. FedEx helps in ensuring that relief aid reaches the affected in a timely and efficient manner. The company also participates in pedestrian and child safety campaigns as well as in programs that promote education especially in areas of technology and cultural diversity (FedEx Corporation, 2011a).
Most importantly, FedEx recognizes that their business of ensuring global connections has a great impact on environment; however, the company strives to minimize such an impact. For instance, the company collaborates with its contractors and suppliers to understand and reduce the environmental impacts of the materials it uses in all its businesses. Moreover, the company is ahead of the park in adopting alternative energy in its operations. According to FedEx Corporation (2011a), the company uses renewable power in its operations thus promoting sustainable use of energy. In the transportation industry, FedEx strives to become an environmental leader. It not only adopts innovative transportation technologies that are environmental friendly, the company also partners with other stakeholders in developing sound environmental policies as well as in promoting effective management of our environment.
FedEx choice to participate in promotion of effective environmental management as one of its core corporate social responsibility is a worthy cause. As a major player in the transportation industry, FedEx can be one of the major pollutants of our environment. Fortunately, the company has realized this and has taken necessary steps to mitigate environmental degradation and to play a key role in promoting effective environmental management. Moreover, the company’s choice to enlist promotion of effective environmental management as one of its core corporate social responsibility policy provides the company with a self-regulating mechanism, which it uses to monitor and ensure that it actively complies with the law, international norms, and ethical standards. Through its numerous CSR activities, the company understands that it has a responsibility to promote sustainable living in the communities it operates in. Thus, it must ensure that its operations impact positively on the environment, communities, consumers, employees and stakeholders. As a good corporate citizen, FedEx understands that to be successful, it needs to protect and promote a good workplace and quality of living in general
Like many other multinational companies, FedEx’s CSR programs are driven by the current trends in the global marketplace. According to Eisingerich and Ghardwaj (2011), as corporations seek expansion through globalization, a number of challenges have emerged to limit such growth and the firms’ profitability. Such factors include government regulations, environmental restrictions, tariff, as well as emerging laws on labor exploitation. CSR programs have therefore provided avenues for companies to adhere to practices that not only promote their growth but also ensure they operate in a sustainable environment. And with the current competition in the global arena, multinational companies have never been under much pressure to align their labor practices in all their supply chain by embracing CSR. In addition, increased awareness among consumers and other stakeholders in recent decades has continued to pile pressure on companies to behave responsibly. The newly empowered communities are not only challenging the conventional concepts of CSR, but are demanding more and more from companies.
Having been ranked among the top 50 companies with good CDR performance, FedEx owes a lot to its CSR programs. In last year’s edition of Top 50 Company in Corporate Social Responsibility Index, FedEx was ranked 13 out of 50 companies by consumers (FedEx Corporation, 2011b). In the survey, respondents were required to evaluate CSR efforts of different companies based on ethical practices, environmental management, participation in community, and how employees are treated. Based on the outcome of this and many other surveys, it is important to note that companies have all the reasons to engage in CSR activities. Companies that rank high on CSR efforts are bound to attract and retain the best brains in the job market. With the current trends, potential recruits would first inquire about a company’s CSR programs and policies and a company that has a comprehensive policy may just have an edge over the rest in a particular industry (Eisingerich & Ghardwaj, 2011).
Moreover, CSR programs are a sure way of mitigating and managing risks and accidents. Stories of giants and profitable companies going under just because of avoidable mistakes are well known in the American corporate arena. Scandals simply paint a bad picture of the company. Smart business owners know that in crowded and competitive business world, CSR is a tool that can be exploited to market the company. CSR programs can help in building consumer loyalty depending on how serious the company entrenches ethical values in its operations as is viewed by the consumer (Eisingerich & Ghardwaj, 2011). Going by its current ranking, FedEx can be mentioned in the same breath as the American Apparel as reputable companies founded on strong ethical values.
It is important to note that no modern company can afford to ignore the CSR in its business operation. Companies have all to gain by implementing CSR policies. By being a good corporate citizen, a company not only outlines its mission but also provides a guide to its customers regarding its ethical practices. Today FedEx is ranked as one of the best companies not only in the American transportation industry but also internationally. Thanks to its comprehensive CSR activities on consumers, communities, environment, stakeholders and workforce as well as on public in general. With the establishment of international standard, ISO 26000 whose objectives is to recognize companies that strive to promote CSR, only companies that are set up to make losses can afford to abdicate their responsibilities as good corporate citizen.