On Thursday, January 11th Johanna Neumann, the Senior Director of the Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, and Emily Mason, Advocate with Environment North Carolina, delivered a petition signed by more than 11,500 people urging the shipping leader to commit to putting solar panels on its warehouses and parking lots by 2035 as a means to successfully meet their carbon neutrality by 2040 goals.
Standing outside of the entrance to FedEx world headquarters, Neumann explained the vision behind the campaign: “As America works to reduce the pollution that’s warming our planet, and protect open space, and build an efficient, reliable and affordable electric system for the future, rooftop solar is one of our best solutions. And, one of the best places to put solar panels is on warehouse roofs.”
Rooftop solar is where Now Meets NextJohanna Neumann
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy
Mason added that the reason for bringing the petitions to FedEx’s World Headquarters was specifically to “build a relationship” and that they were asking FedEx “to open their doors to us…at their home, in Memphis where they started.”
Mason reiterated the request that FedEx:
- publicly commit to a goal of installing solar on all viable warehouse roofs by 2035
- publicly commit to a goal of installing solar on all viable parking lots by 2035
- require or incentivize companies FedEx does business with to make solar commitments as well.
Why rooftop solar presents a golden opportunity for FedEx
Environment America Research & Policy Center found that the United States has more than 450,000 medium and large warehouses with almost 16.4 billion cumulative square feet of rooftop space. FedEx owns and operates more than 5,000 facilities with at least 122 million square feet of rooftop space. Using the same methodology as Solar on Warehouses, if all of FedEx’s warehouse roofs had solar panels, the panels could produce enough energy to power 61% of the company’s electricity it purchased in 2021.
FedEx has climate and clean energy commitments and has 29 facilities with on-site solar, but has not publicly announced a goal of how much solar they plan to put on the roofs of their warehouses and parking lots and by when. When we were in Memphis, many everyday folks we spoke to on the street agree. It just makes sense for FedEx to commit to solar on their warehouse roofs.
Prior to the petition delivery on January 11th, Neumann reached out to FedEx to request an in-person meeting at their headquarters to discuss the campaign. The response from FedEx was friendly and stated their ongoing commitment to renewable energy and carbon neutrality, and thanked Environment America for highlighting some of their facilities with solar panels. However, FedEx did not acknowledge the request for a meeting or discuss additional solar commitments.
What’s next on the campaign to get FedEx to go solar?
At this point, FedEx knows what we are urging them to do and why, as per their acknowledgement of our email requesting a meeting to urge them to make a solar commitment. But, we still need your help to show them that committing to a rooftop solar goal is a good idea and that their customers support the move.
You can show your support for FedEx to go solar by sending them a message yourself. We’ve created a simple one-stop-shop where you can order your own set of “Go Solar” stickers. Then, the next time you ship with FedEx, you can put a sticker on the package, take a picture, and post with a hashtag #FedExGoSolar to show your support.
Send a message to FedEx: Go Solar
FedEx has a golden opportunity on top of its sunny warehouse roofs. This is their chance to be a leader amongst their competition in the shipping industry, and show consumers where they stand when it comes to making good on their promises to be carbon neutral. We hope that FedEx realizes this opportunity for what it is.
Solar on Warehouses
Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America Research & Policy Center
Johanna directs strategy and staff for Environment America's energy campaigns at the local, state and national level. In her prior positions, she led the campaign to ban smoking in all Maryland workplaces, helped stop the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and helped build the support necessary to pass the EmPOWER Maryland Act, which set a goal of reducing the state’s per capita electricity use by 15 percent. She also currently serves on the board of Community Action Works. Johanna lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family, where she enjoys growing dahlias, biking and the occasional game of goaltimate.