Etsy CEO Josh Silverman detailed plans this week to offset 100% of carbon emissions generated by shipping. He said Etsy had become the first e-commerce company to do so.
Now each time someone purchases an item on Etsy, the company automatically purchases verified emissions reductions — offsets — through their partner 3Degrees.
“These purchases support environmental projects, including protecting forests that improve air quality and absorb carbon, sponsoring wind and solar farms that generate clean energy and replace fossil fuels, and developing greener methods for producing auto parts,” Silverman wrote in a post for Etsy’s blog.
The new initiative comes no additional cost for buyers or sellers, the e-commerce retailer said. Axios reported that Etsy anticipates spending less than $1 million annually on offsetting.
“The initial thinking was that we would create an option at checkout that allows buyers to choose to offset the cost of shipping a package,” Silverman told Axios. “When I saw it was less than a penny per package, why on Earth would we add a checkbox, why don’t we just do it.”
Their partner 3Degrees said that, in 2018, 98% of Etsy’s carbon footprint came from items shipped from sellers to buyers. 3Degrees helped the company identify four emission reduction projects for investment: the UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project in Minnesota, the Meridian magnesium project in Ontario, Canada, as well as the Giriraj Bundled Wind Power Project and the Solar Grouped Project by ACME, both in India.
“We intend to seek out new opportunities to collaborate with industry leaders, shippers, and policymakers to develop long-term reduction solutions,” Silverman wrote on the company’s site. “Working together, perhaps the day when all packages are delivered on emission-free planes and trucks will be closer than we all think.”
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