FedEx Express Hosts Largest “Green Roof” at Any U.S. Airport

CHICAGO, Oct. 20, 2011—When it comes to “green” roofs at airports, nothing in the country tops the FedEx Express cargo facility at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, recently opened the new package sorting center, which conducts operations under the largest continuous vegetated roof at an airport in the U.S.—or the size of three football fields. At just under 175,000 square feet, the roof is plainly visible from planes as they land at one of the world’s busiest airports. The recently-opened building is also the largest green roof on a freestanding building in the greater Chicago area.

FedEx is already known for its “green” initiatives, such as the addition of all-electric trucks into its fleet (including six currently making deliveries in the Chicago Loop) and the purchase of fuel-efficient Boeing 777s.  But green roofs at FedEx and elsewhere at O’Hare are more than just a pretty tapestry of greens, pinks and gold foliage. These roofs also benefit the environment by:

  • Reducing air pollution
  • Reducing storm water runoff
  • Extending the average life of a roof from 15-20 years to 40-50 years
  • Lowering energy costs by 35 percent a year
  • Reducing airport noise

“The cooperative effort between FedEx and the Chicago Department of Aviation’s O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) is a prime example of how to immediately reduce the environmental impact of airports and create value for business and for the community,” said Don Colvin, vice president, Properties and Facilities at FedEx Express.

“We have integrated responsible environmental practices into our daily operations, and we continuously work toward goals that challenge us to increase efficiencies, reduce waste and emissions and provide innovative solutions for our customers.”

“The creation of the green roof space is a key component of going green across the City of Chicago, and at O’Hare and Midway International Airports,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation. “I want to commend FedEx for making sustainability a priority on their new replacement cargo facility at O’Hare, which features one of the largest green roofs at an airport in the world.”

FedEx and the OMP are also pursuing LEED Gold certification for the facility, extending the company’s intent announced earlier this year of LEED certification for all new US FedEx Express properties.

The FedEx Express facility is the latest success in what has been years of initiatives to make O’Hare greener, such as building LEED certified airport facilities, recycling construction materials on the airfield, utilizing clean emission vehicles and construction equipment, installing energy efficient lighting, and even providing a habitat for honeybees with the nation’s first on-airport apiary.

About FedEx Corp

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $40 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 290,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit

About Chicago Department of Aviation

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) is self-supporting, using no local or state tax dollars for operations or capital improvements at O’Hare and Midway International airports. Together, Chicago’s airports generate more than $45 billion in annual economic activity and create 540,000 jobs for the region.  Please visit to learn more about the Chicago Department of Aviation.

About the O’Hare Modernization Program

The O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) transforms O’Hare’s airfield from an outdated system of intersecting runways into a modern parallel runway configuration. The program will reduce overall delays at the Airport by 79 percent, and bad weather delays by 95 percent.  It will create 195,000 new jobs and $18 billion in additional economic activity each year.  Please visit to learn more about the OMP.

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