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What is Carbon Neutral Shipping?

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Climate change is an increasingly important issue that needs to be addressed by businesses large and small. One of the ways companies are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint is by implementing carbon neutral shipping. But what exactly does this mean?

What Is Carbon Neutral Shipping?

Simply put, carbon neutral shipping means that any particular company reduced its shipping related emissions and offsetted the rest so that your overall environmental impact is zero. There are several ways to reduce emissions, including using more efficient delivery methods, limiting packaging materials, and/or switching to clean energy vehicles. The remaining emissions can be offset by the purchase of carbon credits. Consumers are increasingly choosing goods from companies that offer carbon neutral shipping, consequently more and more companies are looking for ways to reduce transportation related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) without sacrificing delivery times.

How Companies Can Achieve Carbon Neutral Shipping

Achieving carbon neutral shipping starts with understanding where the company’s emissions come from and setting reduction targets accordingly. This will involve conducting a thorough emissions assessment which should include all sources of GHG emissions related to transporting goods including fuel used, electricity consumed, packaging, etc. Once you have identified areas of improvement you can begin making changes to reduce emissions.

The Logistics Provider

The logistics provider plays a huge role in the company's ability to achieve carbon neutrality. Choosing a provider that is committed to sustainability and has practices in place to minimize their own environmental impact can be an important part of achieving net-zero emissions from shipping. Companies should look for providers who use recyclable packaging and lighter materials, utilize low-emission delivery vehicles such as electric vehicles, or work with partners who are committed to sustainability as well.

Optimize your shipping

Optimize Your Shipping

Another key element of achieving net-zero emissions is optimizing the shipping process and minimizing waste along the way. Reviewing routes, identifying opportunities for consolidation, and utilizing multi-modal transport when possible are all great ways to reduce unnecessary trips and decrease emissions associated with shipping goods. Additionally, using digital processes like paperless invoices and automated tracking systems can also help streamline processes and save time and money while improving efficiency along the supply chain.

Carbon Offsetting

Even after taking all these steps, there will still be some emissions that cannot be avoided due to logistical constraints or other factors. For this reason, companies look into purchasing Carbon Credits. By offsetting the carbon released from their shipments with an equal amount of reduction elsewhere—essentially balancing out the emissions from the shipment with renewable energy or other methods that help reduce emissions like protecting endangered rainforests. While this does not directly reduce the emissions from your shipment, it does help promote renewable energy sources and other green initiatives that have a positive impact on the environment.

Implementing carbon neutral shipping is one way for companies to reduce their environmental impact while also meeting sustainability goals set forth by shareholders or other stakeholders within the organization. It starts with understanding where your company’s emissions come from, then making changes to reduce those emissions as much as possible, and lastly investing in offsets. This way the overall environmental impact is zero when it comes to transporting goods to customers. With these steps taken, businesses can help make a difference when it comes to climate change without sacrificing customer satisfaction levels.

Want to know how to reduce your carbon footprint? Click here to learn ways.

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