United States (English)

Corporate/Environmental Innovators to Be Honored at Harvard

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—May 4, 2005—On Wednesday, May 4, FedEx Express President and CEO David Bronczek, Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp, and Eaton Corporation Senior Vice President James Sweetnam will be at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to receive the 2005 Roy Family Award for Environmental Partnership for their organizations’ joint creation of a hybrid delivery truck that reduces particulate emissions by 96% and increases fuel efficiency by 50%.

Stephen Walt, academic dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, will present the prestigious award for the “FedEx-Environmental Defense Future Vehicle Project.” Henry Lee, director of the Kennedy School ‘s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’ Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP), which coordinates the Roy Family Awards, will moderate a panel discussion on “Public Private Partnerships for a Cleaner Environment.” The event will take place at 5:00 pm on May 4, 2005, with a photo op of the principals taking place at 4:45 pm. The truck will be available at the Kennedy School for press ride-alongs between 10:30 am and 5:30 pm.

Over the past five years, Environmental Defense and FedEx Express (NYSE:FDX) have worked together to develop a hybrid diesel-electric delivery truck that meets stringent environmental and economic criteria and demonstrates the same performance and lifetime cost as the traditional FedEx Express delivery truck. With the hybrid electric powertrain designed by the Eaton Corporation, the first 18 production models of the new truck are now in service. Earlier this month, FedEx announced plans to add up to 75 hybrid trucks to its fleet in the next 12 months, contingent upon pricing and availability. If all goes well, the company hopes to make this a standard replacement vehicle in its weight class of 30,000 medium-duty trucks.

Presented biennially, the Roy Family Award celebrates an outstanding partnership project that enhances environmental quality through the use of novel and creative approaches. This project’s selection was based on its success at pushing cutting-edge technology into the market, careful balancing of environmental and economic concerns to create a win-win solution, and potential for widespread replication.

“The Future Vehicle Project demonstrates that hybrid trucks can be a practical, economically viable alternative, and could become the industry standard,” said the Kennedy School ‘s Henry Lee. “Because hybrid trucks reduce air pollution, they promise important improvements in human health. The trucks also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global climate change and improved fuel efficiency translates into reductions in oil dependency.”

“We’re honored that Harvard’s prestigious Kennedy School has recognized the environmental achievement and ingenuity of our project with FedEx,” said Environmental Defense president Fred Krupp. “For over ten years, Environmental Defense has quickened the pace of environmental progress by working with industry leaders, such as FedEx, McDonald’s and BP. This project demonstrates that by tapping into the inexhaustible energy source of human creativity, imagination and entrepreneurship we can protect the environment for ourselves and future generations.”

“The Roy Family’s exemplary support of sound global environmental policy is well documented and its recognition of the FedEx-Environmental Defense hybrid collaboration is a ringing endorsement of the potential of hybrid vehicle technology,” said David J. Bronczek, president, FedEx Express. “FedEx is honored to be selected with Environmental Defense and looks forward to continued pursuit of promising technologies that protect and respect the environment.”

“Eaton greatly appreciates this recognition along with our esteemed partners for the hybrid electric powertrain technology that we developed,” said Jim Sweetnam, senior vice president and group executive for Eaton’s Truck Group (NYSE:ETN). “This innovative technology reflects Eaton’s commitment to our customers, our communities, and especially to the environment.”


The hybrid truck partnership was selected from a group of highly qualified nominated projects from around the world that tackled tough environmental problems ranging from deforestation to urban sprawl. In the reviews involving over 30 experts both inside and outside of Harvard, however, the Future Vehicle Project ranked first in each of three reviews.

Reviewers commented on the project’s “intelligence, elegance and simplicity.” One reviewer summarized the comments of others: “The project creates a template that can be replicated in scale. The leverage is huge in many dimensions. It is creative in its use of the market to achieve environmental goals. It gets beyond rhetoric and adversarial confrontation, and demonstrates effective NGO and private sector partnership. It creates tremendous pressure to perform.”

The Roy Family has been a long-time supporter of the development of public-private partnerships to meet social goals. The family, through its businesses and involvement, is dedicated to promoting innovative approaches to environmental policy and the conservation of natural resources. The Roy Family Award attempts to provide positive incentives for companies and organizations worldwide to push the boundaries of creativity and take risks that result in significant changes that benefit our environment.

The first award, presented in March 2003, recognized efforts to design and implement the Noel Kempff Mercado Climate Action Plan in Bolivia . Noel Kempff Mercado is one of the largest carbon sequestration projects in the world. Carbon sequestration is the absorption of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere associated with global warming. Partners in this project included the American Electric Power Company, Pacific Corp and British Petroleum, Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza, the Nature Conservancy, and the government of Bolivia .

The runners-up for the 2005 Roy Family Award included:

  • Eden Again Project, Restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshland , Iraq .
  • Green Neighborhoods Alliance (GNA), Open Space Residential Design, Massachusetts .
  • Mexican National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), Biodiversity in Mexico .
  • WildAid/J. Walter Thompson, Asian Conservation Awareness Program.
  • Woods Hole Research Center/Institudo de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia (IPAM)/MAFLOPS, Family Forests Project, Brazil .