As a sustainability measure, carbon-neutral shipping is a key topic in the areas of logistics and online retail. But what does “climate-neutral” mean exactly, what are the benefits of carbon-neutral shipping, how can CO2 emissions be offset – and how much does it cost?
We explain the main costs and benefits of carbon-neutral shipping.
How can shipping and logistics become climate-neutral?
The shipping industry has set out to do its part to meet the Paris Agreement climate targets. One of its aims is to reach climate neutrality by 2050 to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius compared with the pre-industrial era and slow down climate change as much as possible before it’s too late.
The areas of transportation, shipping, and logistics already see significant reductions in CO2 emissions. Solutions include shortening and optimizing delivery routes and using low-emission modes of transport, including rail and electro-mobility for mid-distance journeys or bicycles and electro-mobility for the last mile, meaning to the customer’s doorstep.
You can read about these innovative and sustainable shipping solutions for the last mile in one of our other articles.
Customer communication also plays an essential role in making shipping processes sustainable (find out more in this article). These solutions all make a crucial contribution by saving as much CO2 as possible.
Nevertheless, a large proportion of carbon emissions cannot be avoided, such as those emitted during the manufacture and transportation of goods. However, with a few, and relatively inexpensive measures, e-commerce businesses can become more climate neutral. Carbon offsetting is one of the essential tools for achieving this.
Carbon offsetting: how to ship climate-neutral
Carbon offsetting is generally the best path to carbon neutrality. It is the most effective solution for compensating emissions that cannot be further reduced within a company or along the supply chain, despite all efforts.
Climate-neutral shipping ensures that the CO2 generated is verifiably offset. A company can choose to offset their carbon emissions directly through internally supported measures, like reforestation projects or external carbon-capture measures. Or companies can opt to offset indirectly through an organization that carries out carbon-capture activities on its behalf, such as an environmental organization or a recognized climate project whose results are transparent and measurable and the captured CO2 can be verified.
However, this support costs money. After all, environmental organizations need funds to finance their activities, such as reforestation. Still, the cost of carbon offsetting is very reasonable. For example, for e-commerce retailers, climate-neutral shipping methods cost just a few extra cents per package.
Benefits of carbon-neutral shipping
There are many good reasons why shippers and online shops should think about C02-neutral shipping. It may cost slightly more, but the few extra cents per shipment are a good investment in the future. Here are some of the benefits:
Investing In carbon-neutral shipping pays off with consumers
Carbon pricing was introduced throughout Europe on January 1, 2021, for climate gas emissions from fossil fuels. It affects transportation, shipping, and logistics in particular. Saving CO2 means saving money and offers a real competitive advantage in the medium term. CO2 prices may still be low today, but they are sure to rise in the future.
Sustainable business model
As an online shop or mail-order business, you can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability – an increasingly important factor in consumer purchase decisions.
Carbon-neutral shipping to attract and retain customers
An advantage of carbon-neutral shipping is that commitment to sustainability is becoming an increasingly relevant purchase criterion. So you can use carbon-neutral shipping to attract and retain customers and increase referrals.
- Carbon-neutral shipping can become a unique selling point and underline your position as a future-oriented company
- Carbon-neutral shipping helps you to target new, environmentally conscious customer groups
- Carbon-neutral shipping improves customer retention
Note: When offering climate-neutral shipping via carbon offsets, it's crucial to work with a reputable climate partner. In this way, shippers can ensure the funds are used for the promised CO2 offsetting and flow into the right projects. Certificates should verify this.
Carbon-neutral shipping with 7SGreen
Seven Senders has launched its own product for climate-neutral shipping: 7SGreen. With this solution, the CO2 generated with each shipment is offset – at a fixed price of 3 cents.