This month, UPS expanded its carbon neutral shipping program to 35 countries and territories. Millions more UPS customers now have the option to pay a small fee to calculate and offset the carbon emissions associated with their shipments.
A blogger Heather on the greenestdollar.com was skeptical about the program, and did some due diligence about the offering. She asked about where the extra money goes, how the carbon is calculated and why we chose the Garcia River Project as one of our first offset beneficiaries.
She concluded that based on the credentials we offered, she was just going to trust we are doing the right thing and plans to ship UPS carbon neutral.
Here’s why I’m thrilled that Heather was skeptical:
There’s a lot of greenwashing out there and also a lot of questions about carbon offsets. So Heather was right to dig around for answers.
Behind the scenes, the sustainability team here put a lot of effort into making sure we were transparent about our motives and our methodology. There’s an extensive FAQ that answers all the questions we anticipated from customers. And we had our methodologies and processes verified by a third party SGS and our offset purchase processes certified by The CarbonNeutral Company.
One of the biggest questions from customers that we’ve gotten is why we are offering offsets, which some people think aren’t the best way to address our company’s environmental impact. We agree. That’s why we have so many other efforts to cut our impact – saving fuel through conservation, cutting the miles we fly and drive, investing in alternative fuels. These are listed extensively in our sustainability report (a new one is due out in a few weeks) and in our pressroom.
But when enough customers ask, we do try to give them what they want. And carbon offsets was a natural progression from carbon emissions calculation. Customers were the ones who led us to a small flat fee instead of a sliding scale. (What Heather called a “measly nickel”) And yes, we do a real carbon calculation for all carbon neutral shipments and then buy offsets that reflect the total amount of emissions associated with the shipments.
So here’s the other thing that seems to raise eyebrows: why are our customers paying instead of UPS? That’s why UPS is matching offset purchases from UPS carbon neutral up to $1 million – to make sure people know we are paying our fair share too.
So, if you are looking for a way to ship greener, take a look at UPS carbon neutral. As Heather says, it’s one measly nickel for the planet.
|Category:||Sustainability, UPS News|
|Tags:||carbon neutral, carbon offset, CarbonNeutral Company, Environment, Garcia River Project, green, SGS, sustainability|