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What is carbon neutral shipping?

carbon neutral shipping promoted in order tracking pages

Imagine a world where shipping goods across the globe has a minimal impact on the environment, where businesses and consumers alike prioritize eco-friendly practices. This may seem like a distant dream, but the reality is closer than you think, thanks to carbon neutral shipping. Join us as we explore the what, why, and how of this essential shift in the world of shipping and logistics.

Key Takeaways

  • Reduce global carbon emissions and create a more sustainable future through Carbon Neutral Shipping.

  • Understanding and implementing the principles of Carbon Neutral Shipping can help businesses reduce their environmental impact.

  • WeSupply can help you take your shipping game to the next level, all while enabling you to contribute to reducing your company’s carbon footprint. This can be achieved through streamlined recycling in the case of returns via Intelligent Dispositions, printerless returns via QR code shipping labels and offering your customers the possibility of In-Store or Curbside Pickup.

  • Embrace Carbon Neutral Shipping to make a positive change for our planet!


Our planet is facing an unprecedented challenge as the consequences of climate change become increasingly apparent. At the same time, the eCommerce industry continues to boom, with shipping playing a pivotal role in the world’s economy.

As a result, the demand for eco-friendly shipping solutions has never been greater. Carbon neutral shipping emerges as a viable strategy to curb emissions and protect our environment, given this context.

Global Carbon Emissions: The Rising Concern

Our planet is grappling with a crisis of epic proportions. Carbon dioxide and other global greenhouse gas emissions, released from burning fossil fuels, are trapping heat in the atmosphere and causing global temperatures to rise. Shipping, a vital component of the global economy, accounts for a staggering 24% of global carbon emissions. The amount of carbon emissions produced in this process, if left unchecked, could lead to catastrophic consequences for our planet and its inhabitants.

As the world unites to combat climate change, carbon neutral shipping is gaining traction as a powerful tool to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Working towards net zero emissions and a cleaner, greener future is possible by offsetting emissions through carbon credits and sustainable practices.

eCommerce and the Increasing Importance of Sustainable Shipping

The eCommerce industry is transforming the way we shop, fueling a global demand for products delivered directly to our doorsteps. However, this convenience comes at an environmental cost. Shipping, a major contributor to global carbon emissions, is under increasing scrutiny as consumers become more environmentally conscious and seek out eco-friendly brands.

Sustainable shipping practices, such as using eco-friendly packaging materials and investing in renewable energy projects, are fast becoming essential components of a successful eCommerce business. Adopting carbon neutral shipping alternatives allows businesses to enjoy cost savings, increased efficiency, market competitiveness, and meet the growing demands of eco-conscious consumers.

With WeSupply’s Branded Tracking Page functionality, you can not only ensure your customers stay up to date with the status of their order, but also that you underline your brand’s commitment to Carbon Neutral Shipping and other environmental policies.

While Carbon Neutral Shipping practices are important, you should also consider extending this to your returns process. With WeSupply’s Printerless Returns functionality, you can ensure customers receive their return shipping labels via QR code, thus eliminating the need for printing a PDF and saving paper in the process.

Printerless returns via QR code

Book a quick call with our experts to see how Printerless Returns improves your customer experience by allowing them to ship their returns without a printer.

Defining Carbon Neutral Shipping:

Carbon neutral shipping is the practice of transporting goods in a way that minimizes or offsets the carbon dioxide emissions produced during the shipping process. This is achieved by using fuel-efficient transportation, adopting renewable energy sources, or supporting projects that reduce or offset carbon emissions. By considering the carbon neutral shipping cost, businesses can make more environmentally responsible choices in their supply chain.

This section delves into the principles and objectives of carbon neutral shipping, its role in carbon emissions, and its differences from zero carbon shipping.

Understanding Carbon Neutral Shipping: Principles and Objectives

The primary objective of carbon neutral shipping is to counterbalance the emissions created by the shipping process, thus helping to create a more sustainable future. Businesses can work towards achieving carbon neutrality and minimizing their environmental impact by:

  • Measuring the carbon footprint

  • Adopting sustainable packaging solutions

  • Optimizing transportation and delivery routes

  • Investing in carbon offsets and green energy solutions

The Role of Shipping in Carbon Emissions

Shipping is a crucial player in global carbon emissions, accounting for a significant portion of the total emissions. The primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping are the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, coal, and oil, which release harmful greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. These emissions contribute to global warming and have a detrimental impact on our environment.

To mitigate the negative environmental impacts of shipping, businesses must take proactive steps to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt sustainable practices. Carbon neutral shipping is one such strategy that can help minimize greenhouse gas emissions and protect our planet.

Distinguishing Carbon Neutral from Zero Carbon Shipping

While both carbon neutral and zero carbon shipping share the common goal of minimizing the environmental impact of shipping operations, they differ in their approach. Carbon neutral shipping involves offsetting emissions created by the shipping process through carbon credits and other sustainable practices. In contrast, zero carbon shipping aims to eliminate emissions entirely, resulting in a truly sustainable approach to shipping.

By understanding these differences, businesses can choose the most suitable strategy to achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprint.

Charting the Path: Implementing Carbon Neutral Shipping:

Transitioning to carbon neutral shipping may seem daunting, but it is a vital step towards a more sustainable future. In this section, we will explore the various steps involved in implementing carbon neutral shipping, from assessing your carbon footprint to adopting sustainable packaging and optimizing transportation routes.

We will also look at the importance of investing in carbon offsets and green energy solutions to help neutralize emissions and protect our planet.

Extending Carbon Neutrality to Returns & Exchanges

WeSupply’s printerless returns feature, combined with Intelligent Dispositions directing returned items to recycling centers, ensures that even product returns contribute positively to the environment.

Evaluating the Current State: Assessing Your Carbon Footprint

The first step towards carbon neutral shipping is to assess your current carbon footprint, which is a measure of the total greenhouse gas emissions that your business is responsible for. By gaining a clear understanding of your emissions, you can identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tools such as the Carbon Fund’s Business Emissions Calculator and Greenly’s carbon footprint assessment service can be invaluable in helping you determine your current emissions, set targets to reduce carbon emissions, and decide where to purchase carbon offsets if needed.

Green Packaging: Adopting Sustainable Packaging Solutions

One of the most effective ways to reduce the environmental impact of your shipping operations is to adopt sustainable packaging solutions. By using eco-friendly materials such as recyclable and biodegradable packaging, you can significantly reduce waste and minimize your carbon footprint. Companies like noissue and Packlane, which have partnered with ShipBob, offer custom branded packaging that is both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally conscious.

Minimizing the amount of packaging used can also lead to cost savings in the form of a smaller dimensional weight, which is a pricing technique used by carriers to calculate the amount of space a package takes up. By reducing packaging and opting for environmentally friendly materials, businesses can make a positive contribution to reducing their carbon footprint and creating a more sustainable shipping strategy.

Strategic Shipping: Optimizing Transportation and Delivery Routes

Optimizing transportation and delivery routes is another crucial component of carbon neutral shipping. By employing route optimization software, businesses can:

  • Plan and optimize the most efficient routes for deliveries, service calls, and pickups

  • Minimize travel time

  • Reduce fuel consumption

  • Improve overall efficiency in logistics operations

Popular options such as Onfleet, RoadWarrior, Route4Me, and Routific can help businesses make the most of their logistics operations and contribute to a greener future.

Investing in Carbon Offsets and Green Energy Solutions

Carbon offsets and green energy solutions play a pivotal role in achieving carbon neutral shipping. By utilizing carbon offset shipping, businesses can neutralize the emissions associated with their shipping operations and contribute to a greener future. Carbon offsetting, through the purchase of carbon offsets, helps fund environmental projects, such as renewable energy projects and reforestation efforts, which naturally clear carbon from the air. By purchasing carbon offsets through platforms like the Carbon Offset API, companies can further support these efforts.

Investing in green energy solutions, such as solar power, wind power, and biomass energy, can further reduce a business’s carbon footprint and help align their operations with sustainability goals. By embracing these tools and technologies, businesses can work towards achieving carbon neutrality and reducing their environmental impact.

Spotlight on Industry Leaders:

Leading shipping companies like UPS, Amazon, and Shopify are making significant strides in reducing emissions and pursuing sustainable shipping models.

In this section, we will explore their efforts to embrace carbon neutral shipping and the various initiatives they have implemented to reduce their environmental impact.

UPS: Pioneering Sustainability in Logistics

UPS is a trailblazer in sustainable logistics, implementing a wide range of initiatives to reduce emissions and increase sustainability. These include investing in renewable energy sources, using electric vehicles, and offering carbon neutral shipping options to their customers.

UPS is setting a strong example for other businesses by proactively addressing the environmental challenges associated with shipping, demonstrating their commitment to a more sustainable future.

Amazon: Global eCommerce Giant’s Green Shift

Amazon, the global eCommerce giant, is making a significant shift towards eco-friendly shipping practices. Through their “Shipment Zero” initiative, Amazon is committed to making 50% of all their shipments carbon neutral by 2030, helping them reach their goal of net-zero carbon.

They are also investing in renewable energy sources, using electric vehicles, and exploring the use of zero-carbon shipping fuels by 2040, further solidifying their commitment to a greener future.

Shopify: Empowering Online Stores with Eco-friendly Solutions

Shopify is another industry leader dedicated to empowering online stores with sustainable shipping solutions. They offer a wide range of eco-friendly tools and resources to help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, including green packaging, route optimization software, and carbon offset platforms.

By supporting online stores in their quest for sustainability, Shopify is playing a crucial role in driving the adoption of carbon neutral shipping and helping to create a greener future.

WeSupply: Leading the Post-Purchase Revolution with Eco-Friendly Innovations

WeSupply empowers businesses to elevate their shipping practices, simultaneously championing environmental sustainability. Through Intelligent Dispositions, companies can streamline recycling processes for returns, use printerless returns with QR code shipping labels, and offer the modern convenience of In-Store or Curbside Pickup.

Hassle-free pickup experience

Curbside check-in is a convenient way to check in when your customers arrive at the store. Helps you collect all the necessary information to streamline the process for both your customer and store associate.

This revolutionary software not only ensures efficiency in shipping but also places a strong emphasis on reducing a company’s carbon footprint. By integrating WeSupply, businesses can offer a seamless post-purchase experience while actively participating in eco-friendly initiatives.

Unraveling the Incentives:

Embracing carbon neutral shipping offers numerous benefits for businesses and the environment alike. This section explores the following advantages:

  • Financial benefits

  • Operational benefits

  • Meeting eco-conscious consumer expectations

  • Navigating regulatory compliance

Financial and Operational: Cost Savings and Efficiency

Cost savings from reducing inefficient deliveries, electricity and fuel consumption, and packaging are results of adopting carbon neutral shipping. These savings improve businesses’ bottom line and boost their competitive edge in the marketplace.

Additionally, implementing carbon neutral shipping can enhance a company’s reputation and attract environmentally conscious customers, further solidifying the financial and operational benefits of this sustainable approach.

Branding and Reputation: Meeting Eco-conscious Consumer Expectations

As climate change worsens and more consumers turn to online shopping, they are becoming more aware of the impact carbon has on the environment and are consequently more likely to opt for sustainable shipping solutions that align with their values.

Adopting carbon neutral shipping practices allows businesses to meet eco-conscious consumer expectations, enhance their brand reputation, and ultimately drive customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Staying Ahead: Navigating Regulatory Compliance

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change, regulatory requirements for carbon neutral shipping are becoming increasingly stringent. Businesses can avoid costly fines and other penalties and uphold a positive reputation with customers and other stakeholders by staying ahead of these regulations through the adoption of carbon neutral shipping practices.

By embracing carbon neutral shipping, businesses can ensure their long-term success while contributing to a more sustainable future.

Harnessing Tools and Technologies:

A variety of tools and technologies are available to support carbon neutral shipping, from route optimization software to carbon offset platforms and green energy solutions.

This section explores these tools and technologies and discusses their role in helping businesses achieve sustainability goals and reduce their carbon footprint.

Smart Logistics: Route Optimization Software

Route optimization software is an essential tool for businesses looking to achieve carbon neutral shipping. By planning and optimizing the most efficient routes for deliveries, businesses can minimize travel time, reduce fuel consumption, and improve overall efficiency in logistics operations.

Popular options like Onfleet, RoadWarrior, Route4Me, and Routific can help businesses make the most of their logistics operations, contributing to a greener future and reduced carbon emissions.

Neutralizing Emissions: Carbon Offset Platforms

Carbon offset platforms play a crucial role in offsetting greenhouse gas emissions associated with shipping operations. By purchasing carbon credits through these platforms, businesses can offset their emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Platforms like the Carbon Offset API make it simple and easy for businesses to calculate the carbon emissions of their shipments, allowing them to take proactive steps to reduce their environmental impact and achieve carbon neutrality.

Green Energy Solutions: Innovations in Powering the Supply Chain

Green energy solutions, such as solar power, wind power, and biomass energy, can significantly reduce a business’s carbon footprint and help align its operations with sustainability goals.

By investing in these innovative solutions, businesses can work towards achieving carbon neutrality, reducing their environmental impact, and ensuring a greener future for the shipping industry and the planet as a whole.

WeSupply: Tech-Driven Tools for Business Sustainability & Carbon Reduction

WeSupply utilizes cutting-edge tools and technology to promote eco-friendly shipping practices. With features such as Intelligent Dispositions, companies can streamline their recycling processes for returns and embrace paperless approaches through QR code labels. Additionally, the convenience of In-Store or Curbside Pickup becomes accessible.

This innovative software not only focuses on refining shipping efficiency but also underscores the importance of reducing carbon emissions.

The Future Awaits: Predictions and Innovations in Carbon Neutral Shipping:

As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, carbon neutral shipping will continue to play a crucial role in reducing emissions and minimizing our impact on the environment.

This section explores:

  • Upcoming trends in sustainable shipping

  • The strategic alignment of business and environmental goals

  • The innovations that are poised to shape the future of carbon neutral shipping.

Upcoming Trends in Sustainable Shipping

The future of sustainable shipping is bright, with exciting trends emerging that focus on reducing the environmental impact of shipping operations. These trends include:

  • Increased adoption of green packaging solutions

  • Optimization of transportation and delivery routes

  • Investment in carbon offsets and green energy solutions

As businesses continue to prioritize sustainability, these trends will help shape the future of the shipping industry, driving a greener tomorrow for all.

Another key trend in sustainable shipping is the increasing demand for carbon-neutral fuels, such as biofuels, hydrogen, and synthetic fuels. These carbon-neutral fuels offer a promising alternative to carbon-heavy sources like coal and natural gas, and their adoption is likely to play a crucial role in decarbonizing the shipping industry and achieving global sustainability goals.

Strategically Aligning Business and Environmental Goals

Aligning business and environmental goals is essential for businesses looking to embrace carbon neutral shipping and contribute to a greener future. Businesses can achieve this by:

  • Reducing their carbon footprint

  • Enhancing their reputation

  • Attracting eco-conscious customers

  • Staying ahead of regulatory compliance This can be done by prioritizing sustainability in their operations and investing in eco-friendly practices.

As we move towards a more sustainable world, the strategic alignment of business and environmental goals will be key to ensuring the long-term success and viability of the shipping industry.


Embracing carbon neutral shipping is no longer a luxury, but rather an imperative for businesses looking to thrive in the 21st century. Adopting sustainable shipping practices and harnessing innovative tools and technologies enables businesses to reduce their environmental impact, secure a competitive edge, and meet the ever-growing demands of eco-conscious consumers.

As we collectively work towards a greener tomorrow, carbon neutral shipping will play an increasingly crucial role in shaping the future of our planet.

The Imperative Shift: Embracing Carbon Neutral Shipping for a Greener Tomorrow

The shift towards carbon neutral shipping is not only an environmental imperative but also a business opportunity. Embracing this transition unlocks a myriad of benefits for businesses, from cost savings to enhanced brand reputation.

As we look towards the future, the innovations and trends in carbon neutral shipping will continue to evolve, shaping the way we transport goods and paving the way for a more sustainable and eco-friendly tomorrow. Together, we can make a difference and leave a lasting, positive impact on our planet for generations to come.


In conclusion, carbon neutral shipping is a powerful solution for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, meet eco-conscious consumer demands, and stay ahead of regulatory compliance. By evaluating their current carbon footprint, adopting sustainable packaging solutions, optimizing transportation routes, and investing in carbon offsets and green energy solutions, businesses can chart a path towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future. As we embrace the innovations and trends shaping the future of carbon neutral shipping, we can collectively work towards a greener tomorrow for our planet and future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a carbon-neutral shipment?

Carbon neutral shipping is when companies aim to offset the carbon emissions created from shipping their products, typically through emissions reduction and offsetting. By doing this, we can help reduce our collective environmental impact and prevent climate change.

How do I offer carbon-neutral shipping?

Offer carbon-neutral shipping by working with a fulfillment provider that has efficient and sustainable solutions for packaging and shipping products, minimizing waste, using eco-friendly materials, purchasing carbon offsets, avoiding plastic packaging, utilizing small packages, and integrating green energy into your supply chain.

How much is UPS carbon-neutral shipping?

UPS carbon-neutral shipping is just a few cents extra per package, with an optional flat fee available for customers who’d like to make a larger contribution. Encourage sustainability and support the environment with UPS!

What are the benefits of carbon neutral shipping?

The benefits of carbon neutral shipping include cost savings, increased efficiency, catering to eco-conscious consumers, and being proactive about regulatory compliance.

What tools and technologies can help businesses achieve carbon neutral shipping?

Route optimization software, carbon offset platforms, and green energy solutions are powerful tools that businesses can use to make their shipping operations carbon neutral.

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