Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability at FedEx, spoke to a Purdue crowd about environmentally friendly changes that increase business performance and reduce the organization’s carbon footprint. The speech was part of the Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics.
Mr. Jackson stressed the concept of “practical environmentalism” as a way companies can justify investing in green initiatives. As business leaders, not only do we have an ethical responsibility to employ sustainable practices but if done properly, environmentally friendly initiatives can be used as a source of profitability.
Mr. Jackson spoke about the importance for businesses to focus on internal performance, and said that this focus naturally leads companies to innovate. Once they have an innovative idea, it is their responsibility to take on a leadership role and increase the level of transparency so that beneficial practices can be adopted and implemented on a wide scale. In this way, Mr. Jackson hopes that competitors will mimic sustainable strategies that will benefit the global community.
Speaking with several students prior to his speech, Mr. Jackson imparted a practical bit of advice: If you see a problem you have an obligation to suggest a solution. This very practice had produced favorable results for FedEx, as the entire organization has stepped up to innovate its business and push toward more sustainable business practices. The Purdue community can benefit from this advice by not only acknowledging challenges that may exist, but finding innovative solutions to address and overcome obstacles so that we can continue to be difference makers.
Hassan Faraj - MBA ‘12
Austin Owens - MBA ‘12