Realizing the demand from both its merchant clients and their end customers for ways to address the heavy carbon emissions associated with ecommerce deliveries, especially around peak holiday season, platform provider ShippingEasy is offering a carbon offset program through Jan. 12, 2023.
Sustainability is increasingly on the minds of consumers, and more are waking up to the connection between their ecommerce purchasing habits and how they contribute to emissions. And parcel delivery volume worldwide will only continue to grow.
Avenues being pursued include various packaging reduction efforts, including a growing number of providers offering reusable boxes and bags, and the increasing use of store and curbside pickup and collection points.
For this program, ShippingEasy combines data from merchants, industry sources and peer-reviewed models provided by South Pole to estimate how much CO2 merchants’ shipments release into the environment. ShippingEasy uses tracking data, the weight of shipments, distance traveled and mode of transportation (ground vs. air) to calculate the volume of CO2 emitted. It then purchases a corresponding carbon credit from The Dempsey Ridge Project, a zero-emission, grid-connected wind energy source in Oklahoma.
Since South Pole’s launch in 2006, the company has developed nearly 1,000 projects in over 50 countries to reduce CO2 emissions.
According to a 2022 benchmark report from ShippingEasy sister company Metapack, both units of Auctane, 56% of consumers worldwide said they would accept a longer delivery time to make their online deliveries more sustainable.
“We’ve been thinking about sustainable shipping for a while,” said Christopher Vaughn, general manager of ShippingEasy. “This seemed like the right way for us to do our part in contributing back to the environment, based on the reality of what happens when products are shipped.”
Vaughn said ShippingEasy estimates that the credits during the promotional period will be enough to power two wind turbines at Dempsey Ridge for a year.
“The true greenest way to ship is to have someone on bike delivering an order, or on foot,” he said. “But bike couriers and someone on foot are not viable options for our merchants, so offsets are the best way for ShippingEasy to do its part.”
Shippers will get monthly reports on the amount of carbon tonnage offset through the program, and its impact. At the end of the period, Vaughn said, ShippingEasy will evaluate the program to determine if it will continue.
“They can use it as a marketing tool, sending email to customers saying ‘this shipment has been carbon offset,’ and putting badges on their site,” he said. “Every month, they can share the total positive impact of the tonnage offset, including a breakdown of the individual shipping unit the reductions came from.”