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Mar. 21, 2019

Flexport.org: One Year of Moving Sustainability and Social Responsibility Forward

Susy Schöneberg

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since we first introduced Flexport.org here on our blog. We’ve been busy! Incredibly, and with great pride, I can say that Flexport.org has become an integral part of Flexport’s culture and our company’s commitment to using our technology and supply chain expertise for good. More importantly, I’m excited to share some of the progress and impact we’ve made this past year – as well as shine a light on where Flexport.org is going and what we hope to accomplish in the year ahead.

What a difference a year makes

Flexport.org was founded to help our clients, NGOs and nonprofits, and donor organizations move their missions forward in terms of delivering humanitarian aid, increasing environmental sustainability, and demonstrating social responsibility. We offer discounted international freight services and pro bono supply chain advice. We activate our client community to match goods with the people and causes who need them. And, through our partner Carbonfund.org, a leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit climate solutions provider, we enable customers to offset up to 100% of their shipping-related carbon emissions.

Flexporters sorting donated medical equipment for Medshare

Almost immediately, we’ve seen clients, aid partners, and our own employees gravitate to Flexport.org and our incredible potential for doing good. The positive impact has been profound. Over the past year, we have:

  • Worked with hundreds of nonprofits and corporate partners, Medshare, Americares, Delivering Good, Airlink, Bridges to Prosperity, Good360, and customers Bombas and ThirdLove

  • Offset >11,000 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to the carbon sequestered by ~190,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years; or, calculated another way, the emissions from driving around the world in an average passenger vehicle over 1,100 times (28M miles). We also launched our fully carbon-neutral Less than Container Load (LCL) ocean shipping service.

  • Facilitated urgent aid shipments for disasters/aid responses, including the historic flooding in Kerala, India, all of the California wildfires and several major U.S. hurricanes (including product donations from Flexport clients), and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan

  • Unlocked 20-25% in shipping savings* for nonprofits and prevented 3.9M pounds of landfill waste** through 487 Flexport.org shipments

  • Volunteered for 65 events across 9 of our offices

Solidifying the mission to help fulfill those of our partners

When we started Flexport.org, we knew we could do a lot of good, and we felt that others would rally to our cause to protect our environment and help those in need. But, candidly, Flexport.org has grown and accelerated at a pace none of us expected. This has forced us to do some necessary – but also very exciting! – work to clarify our organization’s purpose and story in order to most effectively convey our message to those who would benefit most from hearing it.

In mid-February, we officially launched the Flexport.org brand with a fresh, new logo, design system and informational materials, as well as a brand new website that more fully communicates our offerings and the benefits we deliver. The brand is distinct but not entirely divorced from the Flexport brand; we are one company with a shared mission to make global trade easier and more accessible for everyone. Yet, critically, our Flexport.org branding reflects our environmental and social good focus through the use of the color green and a photography style that feels human and hand-crafted.

At the core of our brand is our promise of “Moving Your Mission Forward.” To our nonprofit, NGO and other social impact partners, achieving their missions are at the heart of everything they do. But too often, the massive complexity and high costs of delivering aid can raise tremendous barriers to success. Our promise speaks directly to our ability to help enable organizations to deliver global aid and impact, and meet their sustainability goals, with greater ease and lower costs.

A glimpse into the future of Flexport.org

This year, we’re looking to build and expand on the strong foundations we’ve built. We’re working hard to reach even more nonprofit organizations and grow our partnerships. We’re looking to increase responses to not only urgent crisis and disaster relief, but also long-term recovery efforts that require serious attention even after the initial media spotlight fades. We’re collaborating closely with more and more clients to unlock their sustainability goals through carbon offset and emissions reductions, as well as product donations. And, we’re exploring ways to accelerate and assist funding shipments for critical humanitarian aid; more on that to come in the months ahead!

On the back of a $1 billion round of funding led by the SoftBank Vision Group, we also have a renewed commitment to invest in the growth and impact of Flexport.org. As our founder and CEO Ryan Petersen wrote in our blog announcing the funding:

“With our new investment, we must continue to do the right thing for our customers, our employees, our vendors, our investors, our regulators, and the communities in which we operate. I believe firmly in the value that our platform brings to the world every day by enabling economic growth and empowering entrepreneurs. But, perhaps nothing makes that impact more tangible than Flexport.org’s ongoing efforts to support humanitarian relief, economic development, and environmental sustainability.”

Thank you to all of the partners, customers, and Flexport volunteers around the world who have helped get us off to such an amazing start. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

If you or your company would like to support any of our current disaster relief and humanitarian aid efforts with product donations, please get in touch with us at org@flexport.com

*Evaluated metric: transportation costs as a % of supply chain budget. Source for aid industry average: ACF (2017). Flexport data reflects Jan-Dec 2018.

**Flexport data, 2018

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