Towards Carbon Neutral: How Carriers Are Reducing Their Carbon Footprint

I’m a bit of a nature nut, and I’m glad to see that shipping carriers are starting to take responsibility for the amount of carbon dioxide that they’re putting into the atmosphere.

They’re doing this for a number of reasons: to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and sustainability, but also to stay competitive in the industry, because consumers are also becoming wise to their own carbon footprints and want to reduce them as much as possible.

Many carriers have goals to eventually become carbon neutral, meaning they have a net zero carbon footprint — they don’t contribute to or reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But, how do they do this? What actions are they taking to become carbon neutral?

Carbon Reduction

For carriers, the first step to becoming carbon neutral is carbon reduction. Carriers are reducing the amount of carbon they put into the atmosphere in several ways:

Replacing older, less efficient aircrafts with aircrafts that are more fuel-efficient and have a greater payload capacity.

Deploying all-electric and hybrid vehicles into the fleet.

Providing shipping supplies that are made out of post-consumer recycled materials.

Constructing new office and warehouse buildings under the LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) framework, which includes transitioning to more renewable sources of energy like solar or wind.

After a carrier has reduced the amount of carbon dioxide that they put into the atmosphere, the next step towards carbon neutrality is to partner with organizations that provide carbon offset programs and help fund them.

Carbon Offset

Carbon offset programs support environmentally sustainable projects. For carriers to reach carbon neutrality, a carrier will fund a carbon offset program with a portion of the customer’s shipping rate.

Carbon offsets work like a trade-off, the carrier’s vehicles and aircrafts still emit carbon dioxide, but a customer will voluntarily pay more for their shipping rate (or it may be included in the standard rate) to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere somewhere else in the world.

The most common carbon offset programs are related to solar or wind farms and forestry because those two initiatives help to neutralize carbon emissions, but you can also find humanitarian and transportation related carbon offset programs.

Choose a carrier who’s carbon neutral program speaks to you, and you will minimize your own carbon footprint as well as theirs. You won’t be making the world any better, but you won’t be making it any worse either… Just stayin’ neutral.

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