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FedEx Chief Sustainability Officer: Karen Blanks Ellis Succeeding Mitch Jackson

June 20, 2024 by Joe Panettieri

Karen Blanks Ellis will succeed Mitch Jackson as FedEx's chief sustainability officer after Jackson retires on June 30, 2024, the package shipping, delivery, logistics and e-commerce giant announced.

Here are four things to know about Karen Blanks Ellis' experience and FedEx's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: FedEx, founded in 1971, is based in Memphis, Tennessee. The company, backed by roughly 530,000 employees, specializes in transportation, e-commerce and business services. FedEx manages roughly 16.9 million packages per day.

2. Sustainability Goals and Focus Areas: FedEx is striving to have carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Key focus areas, according to the FedEx 2024 ESG Report Executive Summary, include vehicle fleet electrification, sustainable fuels, fuel conservation and aircrage modernization, facilities that leverage renewable energy, and data and packaging solutions.

3. FedEx's Next CSO: Karen Blanks Ellis previously was FedEx managing director for strategic environmental management & sustainability. She joined FedEx in 1997. Her experience at the shipping company involves environmental compliance, planning, and engineering. Ellis previously held engineering positions at Cummins Engine Company and Proctor & Gamble, the CSO announcement noted. Ellis will she will shift to CSO on July 1, 2024, after Jackson retires. Jackson is a 39-year veteran of FedEx.

4. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement, Ellis said: “In every role I have held at FedEx, I’ve been proud to work for such a forward-thinking and respected corporate actor in sustainability. Now as chief sustainability officer, I will have the honor of taking this work forward in the company’s next chapter. I am excited to build upon Mitch’s decades of leadership and advance the sustainability strategy across our global network—particularly as we continue to work toward our goal of carbon neutral global operations by 2040.”

New FedEx CSO: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

The bottom line: Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO customer needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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