What is the Impact of Shipping & E-Commerce?
Every time we travel in some way, we generate an environmental impact to a greater or lesser extent. Obviously, if we choose to walk, the impact is negligible. However, if we take a vehicle, the situation changes, and if the vehicle is from the last century, it becomes even worse.
Precisely for this reason, both individuals and companies need to be aware of what is involved in transporting both people and goods. The concept of carbon footprint involves all greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted during an activity, both directly and indirectly.
Therefore, in the delivery of products purchased on online platforms, there is a footprint associated with the transport of these products. You, as a citizen buying something online, cannot choose the carrier that will bring it to your doorstep, but you can choose a seller who takes responsibility for it.
That seller must take actions to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting the products or even neutralize it. In this way, the GHGs in the atmosphere before and after your shipment are the same. This is what it means to be "carbon neutral". If you have ever ordered from the Terra Zero Store, you probably have seen a statement on the package stating that "You have helped to plant a tree". Well, without going any further, it's absolutely true.
There are many ways to reduce the transport footprint directly, such as switching from petrol/diesel transport vehicles to hybrid, electric or biofuel vehicles. However, there are emissions that are technically impossible to reduce, for example from the manufacture of these vehicles. At this point, instead of reducing emissions, what needs to be done to curb the increase in GHGs is to offset them. In other words, we must somehow manage to transform the GHGs that we cannot reduce into gases that do not affect global warming. The simplest and most traditional way is to plant trees, and yes, that is precisely what we do. Working in partnership with companies like One Tree Planted, we plant trees to offset the GHG emissions from all our activities. So, we're proud to say we're carbon neutral.
Note that the footprint of your environmental impact encompasses much more than just GHGs and the footprint generated during transport, but we'll leave that for another blog.