Is your business ready to make the switch and go carbon-neutral? Maybe you're just learning about Carbon Neutrality, and you're curious if it's worth pursuing, or perhaps you're just interested in going carbon neutral and don't yet know how to go about it. No matter which way, your business's shipping practices are a great jumping-off point.
Going carbon neutral can be challenging, and it almost always requires changing something about your fundamental business practices — but there are many real rewards.
What is Carbon Neutral Shipping?
"Carbon Neutral" is just a term that means that your business practices add a net-zero amount of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide or methane, into our Earth's atmosphere. The emissions from greenhouse gases are one of the many reasons for climate change, so industries and businesses must reduce them as much as they can. Carbon neutral shipping is just one crucial strategy for achieving that, especially since the transportation sector is a more significant contributor to carbon dioxide levels.
There is currently no way to remove carbon emissions from shipping altogether because most of the transportation industry still relies on gasoline, oil, and other fossil fuels. There are, however, some simple ways that any business can move toward carbon neutrality and reduce its carbon footprint in an accurate and meaningful way. First, we should ask: What benefits can a company expect from carbon-neutral shipping?
Why Go Carbon Neutral?
Many businesses are hesitant about carbon-neutral policies. They're certainly a big commitment, with benefits that might not immediately be apparent. However, there are some well-known benefits of carbon neutrality that every business should know:
Many studies have shown that customers prefer to choose sustainable brands and that many, particularly millennials, are even willing to spend a little more for them.
Carbon-reduction practices can create substantial cost savings by reducing wasteful power consumption, packaging, and shipping practices.
Carbon reduction helps protect the Earth, which we all live and do business on, by preserving common resources that enable all businesses to stay productive and profitable.
How Can My Business Use Carbon Neutral Shipping?
So, what can a business do to make their shipping closer to carbon neutral? There are several different methods, and each has its place.
Going carbon-neutral involves two steps.
First, a business needs to measure how much carbon its shipping activities generate. To find out, start with a tool such as the Carbon Fund's Business Emissions Calculator, which allows you to break down your business's carbon footprint one category at a time.
Second, once you've got an idea of what your business is putting into the Earth's atmosphere, you need to reduce or offset the net carbon emissions. There are no laws requiring companies to offset carbon emissions outside of California, where there is a mandated compliance program for controlling emissions. As a result, the unregulated offset market has some less-than-scrupulous participants. It's up to business owners to ask questions and find a reputable program. Here are a few strategies available to reduce or offset the net carbon emissions of your shipping:
Purchase carbon offsets from a reputable supplier. A carbon offset contributes to sustainable development and climate cooling projects that companies purchase in "credits" to offset their carbon footprint. For most businesses, carbon offsets are one of the primary ways to reduce the net carbon output of their shipping. Please, note the word "reputable" — it's vital to ensure that the money from carbon offsets is going to the suitable projects, so try looking for offsets that have been certified by organizations that investigate and verify offset sellers. Here are three signs of an excellent carbon-offset program:
It's certified by a third-party agency. An independent organization should evaluate carbon offset programs. Trusted organizations include the Gold Standard, the Climate Registry, Green-e Climate, and the Verified Carbon Standard.
The parameters of the project are well-defined. Know what you're buying. Is it a greenhouse-gas project at a landfill? A forestry project? Also, ask when the project began. Shady operators may try to sell you an investment in a project that happened years ago.
It's permanent. This is particularly important in forestry programs. Ask for written assurances that trees planted or spared from harvesting today will not be cut down in the future.
Analyze and evaluate shipping routes to reduce fuel consumption, idle time, and other wasteful practices that increase the carbon footprint. Consider consolidated shipping practices such as using third-party LTL carriers.
Determine if your packaging includes unnecessary materials and determine whether your packaging could be replaced with green or custom-designed packaging that cuts waste.
Does Green Paper Products Use Carbon Neutral Shipping?
Good News: If you're already a customer of Green Paper Products and use our Economy or Standard shipping - it's already shipping Carbon Neutral at no extra cost to you! And don't forget, all purchases over $89 already include FREE Carbon Neutral Economy Shipping. You can check out our shipping policies here.
At Green Paper Products, we love nature and the outdoors, so we want to preserve the environment for future generations. So we are excited to announce that as of March 2021, Green Paper Products has committed to carbon-neutral shipping for all standard and economy shipments from our website.
Making this change is a massive step toward a cleaner and healthier future for our environment. So every time you purchase an item from Green Paper Products, choose Economy or Standard shipping, and 100% of carbon emissions from shipping will be offset through a verified emission reduction project via our partners at UPS.