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The Shipwire Blog/UPS and Greenhouse Gas Offsets

UPS and Greenhouse Gas Offsets

According to recent headlines, UPS is going to be phasing in a greenhouse gas emissions offset option for their shipments in order to satiate green customers’ desires. This is because customers are often (rightfully) worried that when they ship items through the mail, they are causing greenhouse gases to be emitted into the atmosphere.

Shipwire merchants, your comments are wanted. Do you want Shipwire to offer you the ability to automatically elect to buy carbon offsets when you ship from Shipwire warehouses?

This is how it works: customers can opt into an optional fee of 5 ¢ for UPS ground services and 20 ¢ for next-day, second-day, or three-day select services. This fee will go to buying carbon offset credits – basically taking pollution credits off the market. This way, customers can feel that their shipments are not causing a net gain in carbon dioxide in the air.

Not only is UPS offering carbon offsetting, but they are verifying the process through a third party organization, Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS). SGS will, according to UPS, verify that the fees are actually offsetting the carbon footprints of shipping.

Why is UPS offering this service? UPS spokespeople state it is because customers are becoming more and more environmentally minded and would feel much more comfortable shipping items if they knew that they were taking part in a carbon neutral transaction. Who could blame them? It’s a smart move for UPS, a smart move for consumers, and is an action that will hopefully benefit the environment. We’ll be curious to see what the adoption is.

UPS plans to publicly roll out this new feature in 2010.

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