A new company called ShipGreen has been formed to offer a carbon-neutral shipping alternative to U.S. retailers and their customers. ShipGreen claims to be the first company to enable online retailers to provide shoppers with the ability to calculate and offset the carbon emissions created by each product shipped. As a result, customers can reduce the carbon footprint of each individual purchase. ShipGreen partnered with academics from the University of California, Berkeley to create a mathematical model for calculating the emissions from shipping individual products. Most companies offering "green" shipping use an average of all products shipped to establish the amount of carbon emissions and offsets for each purchase, ShipGreen said. The ShipGreen algorithm takes into account the weight of each item as well as the distance and means of travel. "Our model is unique because we serve both the company and the customer, making it possible for each to make a real difference in the world while doing something that seems routine," said Jason Sperling, co-founder and chief executive officer of ShipGreen. A module is installed on the retailer's site, giving customers an opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint of online purchases. During check-out, shoppers can see the amount of CO2 created by shipping their order; they can then decide to add to their purchase an investment in their choice of carbon-offset projects such as hydropower, wind farms and reforestation.
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