Carbon Neutral Shipping with Shopify Planet

Among other goals, sustainability seeks to reduce the impact we have on the earth and its resources by reducing our carbon footprint or carbon waste. While there is indeed an individual responsibility, it was revealed that 100 companies specifically are responsible for 71% of all the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This puts quite a bit of pressure on businesses that have to balance the demand for their products and services while also making conscious efforts to meet the increasing need for sustainability.

Consumers are becoming more and more eco-conscious. “Sustainable goods” has become a hot search query over the past six years as seen by the 71% increase in online searches globally. That being said, customers are more inclined to continue purchasing from businesses that are vocal and committed to sustainability practices. The past year alone has shown that  44% of consumers globally prefer brands that are eco-conscious.

This kind of consumer attention gets the attention of businesses, too. We have seen some businesses begin to track their emissions. Some others are even starting to think about the kinds of solutions they can implement to offset their emissions.

However, It’s one thing to attempt to offset carbon emissions or reduce one’s carbon footprint, it’s another thing entirely to try and reduce the damage by removing the carbon itself.

This is why supporting carbon removal technologies is essential to fighting climate change. Brands can go the extra mile to be not just carbon neutral, but attempt to make a positive change by backing these carbon removal efforts.

This is where Shopify’s Planet app comes in. The benefits of this app are two-fold. First, merchants on Shopify who use this app can support the growth of carbon removal technology. Second, these merchants can show their customers that they are a brand that views sustainability as an important goal.

The Shopify Planet App

The focus of the Planet app is all about carbon-neutral shipping and supporting carbon removal technologies. How? Well, with every processed and shipped order, merchants can subscribe to the app for carbon neutral shipping.

The cost is estimated to be only between 3.5¢ and 15¢ per order, depending on the tier. This money then goes to companies involved in the  Shopify Sustainability Fund. These companies that are supported by Shopify are innovating and creating solutions to fight the battle against climate change. Some of these solutions involve pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, converting carbon waste into energy, storing carbon, repurposing carbon into rocks and concrete, reforestation, and farming innovations.

The Planet app accumulates data from your store like order tracking data, industry data, and “peer-reviewed models” to track how much carbon dioxide (CO2) your shipments release. You then pay a monthly fee. The average amount you pay is determined by which of the three plans you choose to subscribe to. The actual cost takes three things about your shipments into account: weight, distance, and mode of transport. These costs then go towards the Shopify Sustainability Fund.

The Planet app dashboard allows you to see how much of a difference shipments are making, track the progress over time, and even share this information with customers. You can track how many carbon-neutral deliveries you make over what distance, and how much carbon you removed by going with more sustainable shipping options.

The Planet app also comes with a badge you can display for customers to see and know that your store supports sustainability efforts.

Shopify Planet Costs

The three tiers that you can choose from vary based on price and type of carbon removal technology.

Decade plan 

(About 3.5¢/order or $35 per tonne of CO2)

Includes:

  • Carbon neutral shipping
  • Atmospheric carbon removal
  • Over 10 years of carbon storage
  • Primarily solutions: Reforestation and soil carbon storage solutions

 

Century plan

(About 8¢/order or $80/tonne of CO2)

Includes:

  • Carbon neutral shipping
  • Atmospheric carbon removal
  • From 10 to over 1,000 years of carbon storage
  • Solutions are a blend of Decade and Millennium plan

 

Millennium plan

(About 15¢/order or $150/ tonne of CO2)

Includes:

  • Carbon neutral shipping
  • Atmospheric carbon removal
  • Over 1,000 years of carbon storage
  • Primary solutions are ocean-based carbon removal and capturing carbon directly from the air
Supporting Carbon Removal Technology

Earlier we mentioned that Shopify has partnered with companies they believe can help combat the climate crisis in a myriad of different areas. Be it land, air, or sea, here are a few of the Shopify Sustainability Fund partner companies that are making a change in the world.

Carbon Cycle and Carbofex

Both are individual companies that convert waste wood into biochar. Biochar is a charcoal that gets buried in the soil in order to capture atmospheric carbon effectively for more than 100 years.

Indigo

Indigo’s methods involve paying farmers to capture and store carbon in the soil, essentially changing the way the farm. Their goal is to move agriculture away from being one of the main climate change propagators to being a part of the solution.

Carbon Engineering

Their direct air capture technology pulls in air and removes CO2. They are partnering with other entities in the building of large industrial facilities with the goal of removing one million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Planetary Tech

By adding alkalinity to the ocean, Planetary Tech seeks to improve the way the ocean naturally captures and stores CO2. With ocean acidification reduced, the by-product is green hydrogen.

The Carbon Removal Challenge

In order to avoid the worst of climate change and keep global temperatures from rising, 1,000,000,000 tonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere needs to be removed annually.  Additionally, the world also needs to achieve net-zero emissions. All of this needs to be achieved by the year 2050.

One action that consumers and businesses can take is to support innovators of earth-saving technology. These companies are tackling the carbon emissions problem from all fronts. These solutions are scalable, however, they need financial backing to grow and speed up their efforts.

The Shopify Planet app is a means for both merchants and consumers to conduct business as usual while saving the environment. Not only can merchants be agents of change by directly funding these companies and their eco-tech, but they can also show consumers that they are taking responsibility and doing their part. Hopefully, this can set off a reaction where other merchants are influenced, and that carries all the way up to the large corporations that are causing the most damage.

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