Do you remember the first office you ever worked in? Mine was a very old building in downtown Memphis. The fluorescent lights buzzed overhead, turning everyone a sickly green. When I plugged an electrical cord into the wall, I saw a spark occasionally. When it got stuffy in my office, I would brace myself and tug open the old wooden window, which would often stick. Boy, it was fun!
Today, FedEx has invested in office buildings of the future. At our World Headquarters in Memphis, I am proud to say that Building I has achieved Energy Star certification! This is an important achievement, because it certifies that the building is among the most energy-efficient office buildings in the nation. Energy Star compares comparable office buildings and only recognizes performers in the top 25% .
Its sustainability features and amenities include workstations located near windows to provide natural light, which is proven to increase employee satisfaction and well-being. There are conference rooms on every floor, traditional break rooms supplemented with coffee bars on each floor, and energy-efficient lighting. It also has a “green” cleaning policy, which means that almost all the cleaning chemicals used in the building meet green seal standards and are environmentally friendly.
I’m very proud of our entire Express World Headquarters campus, which is located in the southeastern corner of Memphis, Tennessee. As a company, FedEx is almost 40 years old, and for about 30 of those years, its thousands of Memphis employees were scattered in rented spaces all over the city, many miles apart. Now, thousands of Express employees are together on this lovely campus, which improves communication, increases productivity and boosts employee morale. Right next door is the Southwind golf course where the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament is played each year. Just being able to glance outside and see trees, grass and sky seems to lift my mood and give me new energy.
The entire campus received the prestigious LEED Gold Existing Building Operations and Maintenance Award in 2011. This award acknowledges a facility’s ability to achieve high performance as well as healthful and environmentally sound practices. These include a large-scale recycling program, which I’m particularly proud of. (Did you know there are drop-off points for not only paper, plastic and glass, but also aluminum cans, toner cartridges and even used batteries?)
The WHQ campus also has a purchasing policy that includes Energy Star-labeled office equipment, designated smoking areas located away from the buildings, and environmentally friendly landscape and exterior building practices. There is a 1.5 mile exterior lighted walking/jogging trail and a fully equipped fitness center, which helps encourage employees to focus on their health.
My next goal is to achieve Energy Star certification for the entire campus. We’re working on that now. It’s taking some time because when the campus was built, individual buildings did not have the ability to measure their unique energy use. (Building I came later and was equipped with this ability from the beginning.) So, we have had to retrofit the buildings with this capability, which is required for certification. In a few more months, we hope to achieve Energy Star certification for the entire campus, and that will make us better citizens of Memphis, Shelby County and the world.