Under the UPS carbon neutral program, the small package carrer will offer US shippers the option of paying a small fee to calculate and offset the climate impact of the shipment of each of their packages.
The per-package price for the optional service is $0.05 for UPS Ground services and $0.20 for UPS Next Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air and UPS 3 Day Select services. Based on customer feedback, says UPS, a flat fee is being used to make it simple and convenient for those wishing to participate. The price includes the cost of calculation, administrative costs associated with the service and the cost of the offsets.
Offsets will be purchased based on the carbon emissions associated with participating customer shipments. To encourage customers to participate in this flat-fee program, UPS will match the offset purchases, effectively doubling the offsets purchased in 2009-2010, up to $1 million.
UPS explains the calculation to measure the CO2 impact of customers’ shipments is based on a variety of current and historical operational data, including distance and transport mode. The UPS calculation methodology and processes are verified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS), an inspection, verification, testing and certification company. The calculator is based on Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the most widely used international standard for carbon accounting and reporting, says UPS. In addition, the carbon offset process is also certified by The CarbonNeutral Company.
“Our customers told us they wanted an easy, credible way to join us in our efforts to reduce the environmental impact of their supply chains,” said Bob Stoffel, senior vice president, engineering, strategy, supply chain and sustainability. “These services complement UPS’s own sustainability efforts while offering customers a new option to address the environmental challenges of their supply chains.”
The UPS carbon neutral service initially is available to the roughly 1 million US customers who use UPS Internet Shipping with their UPS account number. UPS plans to extend the program to other UPS customers in 2010.
In a second, related move, UPS also announced a carbon analysis service for its high-volume customers. Under this plan, available only on a contract basis, UPS will calculate the carbon impact of a customer’s entire UPS shipping activity. The calculations then can be used by the shipper to purchase offsets directly or through UPS. The proprietary calculator used for this service also is verified by SGS, said UPS.
“We believe these steps are important not just for UPS, but also for our customers,” Stoffel noted. “Our global economy depends upon reliable transportation, so we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment.”