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We offset all CO2 emissions caused by orders placed during Black Friday Cyber Monday
One of the most exciting aspects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping weekend is the fact that independent businesses are making sales all over the world. Our annual BFCM Live Map tracks orders in real time and shows how e-commerce connects people around the world.
However, an average of one kilogram of CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere for each parcel sent. On a busy shopping weekend like Black Friday, the emissions caused by the dispatch of goods increase significantly.
We know there is a link between trade and sustainability. Our focus is on shaping this relationship in a positive way. We combine our mission to drive global trade with our commitment to help reverse climate change.
As part of this commitment, Shopify will offset all CO2 emissions caused by orders placed on our platform during the BFCM weekend 2020.
For the more than one million business owners who use Shopify, no matter where in the world they are, whether their orders just travel across town or around the world, Shopify will offset the carbon emissions of every single shipment .
This commitment is part of Shopify's Sustainability Fund, which invests at least $ 5 million annually in the most promising technologies and solutions to combat climate change. We've looked in depth at what the BFCM means for our planet. With that in mind, we've decided to use some of our investments this year to counter the negative side effects of shipping-related emissions during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
Reading tip: Shopify not only compensates CO2 for the BFCM! We explain here how we select the projects that we would like to support.
Why Black Friday Cyber Monday?
To give you an idea of the extent of the BFCM shopping weekend, let's look at some numbers from 2019:
- Shopify Business Owners: Inside generated $ 2.9 billion in sales in 175 countries during the BFCM weekend.
- More than 25.5 million people made purchases from Shopify merchants, with sales peaking at more than $ 1.5 million per minute.
- 19% of all orders were cross-border, i. H. they were sent from one country to another.
Nobody can predict what this year's BFCM will look like, but it is likely that the total number of orders and the distances they travel will increase. And that means a lot of shipping-related emissions.
Reading tip: You can read a statement on environmental protection and CO2 from Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke here.
Why the carbon offset?
Shipping is a very dirty process at the moment. The transport sector is responsible for a quarter of total global CO2 emissions. Regardless of whether an order is shipped by ship, plane, train or truck, most vehicles are still powered by fossil fuels. To make the transportation industry more sustainable, companies need to introduce clean fuels and improve vehicle efficiency, among other things. However, this cannot be implemented in time for this year's BFCM.
However, there is another option that we can use immediately: carbon offsetting. Such offsets are not a perfect solution, but they are a necessary tool as we expand the use of carbon reduction technologies.
Offsetting all emissions from shipping over the BFCM weekend requires a significant amount of offsets. As we learned in the first year of our sustainability fund, there just aren't many options for eliminating carbon dioxide. The currently existing solutions are expensive and are still in the expansion phase.
What is currently available in relative abundance are nature-related compensations from projects such as forest protection, reforestation and regenerative agricultural processes. We have acquired a mixture of several nature-related solutions and a technical technology to cover 100% of the shipping-related emissions of the BFCM. The calculation of these emissions is based on the package weight, the distance covered and the respective transport method.
Shopify believes in commerce and sustainability. Both can exist in harmony.
When we start this year's BFCM Live Map on Black Friday, you will notice a newly added feature that will allow us to track the amount of CO2 offset during the weekend. We can't wait to show you.
Reading tip: In the meantime, do you want to find out all about our efforts to reverse climate change? It's this way.
What kind of compensation?
Below we will show you where our compensations come from:
- Pachama: A verified marketplace for forestry CO2 offsets. Pachama connects environmentally conscious companies with projects that reforest and protect forests, which in turn removes CO2 from the atmosphere. Pachama uses satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to validate and monitor every project on its platform. We have tried to compensate projects in Alaska, Uganda and Colombia especially for the BFCM.
- Nori: A marketplace that focuses exclusively on carbon capture and storage credits from verifiable sources. Nori is currently working on regenerative agriculture projects that connect farmers with buyers who want to neutralize their emissions through soil-based carbon sequestration.
- Soil Value Exchange: Also known under the abbreviation SVX, the focus here is on changing the grazing methods on ranches so that the soil can store significantly more carbon dioxide. Shopify was SVX's first customer. Since our announcement in September, SVX has signed a second buyer and is looking into working with several livestock organizations.
- CarbonCure: The company's technology injects CO2 during the concrete mixing process. The CO2 then mineralizes, improving the strength and performance of the concrete, while at the same time permanently removing the carbon. The company recently completed a major investment round to continue its international expansion. CarbonCure is used in almost 300 concrete plants worldwide, which has led to the permanent storage of more than 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
We have carefully verified that all of these are high quality, science and technology based offsets that really make a difference in the fight against climate change.
The transport sector is responsible for a quarter of total global CO2 emissions.
But it's not just about the compensations. We buy more than that. We offer early financing to companies that haven't had customers before. This is how we can help these companies scale their businesses, improve their verification and monitoring techniques, and prove (or disprove) their technologies. We help to stimulate these markets.
What happens after the BFCM?
When this year's shopping season comes to an end, our climate commitment will of course not end. Here are two ways Shopify is already addressing the negative impact of shipping-related emissions every day of the year:
- Offset: This Shopify app enables merchants to choose to offset all their deliveries of goods.
- Shop: For every order placed via Shop Pay, Shopify offsets all shipping-related emissions.
Global trade is essential. Since the earliest trade routes, people have bought and sold things from far and wide, and that is a good thing. Shopify will always focus on creating more entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship improves the livelihoods and economic prosperity of people around the world. At the same time, we have to take care of our planet in the long term so that future generations can continue to buy, sell and, above all, live worldwide.
Reading tip: How sustainability affects buyers and e-commerce and how you, as an entrepreneur, should act now, we explain to you here.
Shopify believes in commerce and sustainability. Both can exist in harmony. And this year's BFCM is the perfect opportunity to see this in action.
Have fun selling to our dealers and happy shopping to everyone!
Let your customers know!
If you own a shop on Shopify and want to let your customers know that all Black Friday orders will be carbon neutral this year, you can send them an email using our template.Install Shopify email and send BFCM mail
Illustration by Borja Bonaque
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Posted by Hendrik Breuer: Hendrik is the editor of the German Shopify blog. Do you want to publish a guest post? Then please read this guide first.
This article by originally appeared in English on the Shopify.com blog and has been translated.
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