UPS has extended its "carbon neutral" shipping program to 35 countries and territories in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The company initially launched the program in the U.S. last fall. The initiative gives customers the option of paying a flat per-package fee to offset the carbon impact of their shipments. UPS, in turn, purchases carbon offsets on the customers' behalf. In the U.S., the fee is 5 cents for a ground package, 20 cents for air and 75 cents for international shipments. Outside the country, the amount will vary by location, depending on the type of service selected and the origin and destination of a shipment, UPS said. Customers opting for the service simply check a box during the shipping process.
Along with the program's international expansion, the carrier is widening access in the U.S., making it available to all shippers at UPS.com as well as users of UPS CampusShip. Online retailers who have integrated UPS into their websites can offer their customers access to the carbon neutral program. Those who visit UPS Stores and other retail locations will soon have access to the option as well, UPS said. In launching the program, UPS purchased carbon offsets from the Garcia River Forest Climate Action Project, overseen by the Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund. In 2010, it promises to match offset purchases up to $1m. Calculations are based on a customer's current and historical operating data, including distance and mode of all shipments, and a comprehensive carbon inventory. The calculator is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, an international standard for carbon accounting and reporting.
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