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Shopify makes it easier for merchants to be carbon-conscious 

Shopify makes it easier for merchants to be carbon-conscious
Shopify makes it easier for merchants to be carbon-conscious

Shopify says e-commerce is a “powerful vehicle for change” that shakes up how other companies respond to the world’s sustainability problems. “By voting with our dollars, individuals and businesses making conscious choices can change the world.”

While we are currently in Earth Week, each year, on Earth Day, April 22, the world takes stock of its ambitious sustainability and zero carbon emissions plans. It’s a week of reflection on whether any of those plans transcended into a real life-changing movement to protect our environment.   

The first Earth Day was held in 1970. This year marks the 54th anniversary under the theme ‘Planet vs. Plastics.’ According to history, activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the earth. It was first marked on the calendars on March 21, but the following year, it was changed to the date we still recognize today. 

Over the last two years, with the help of their Planet app, Shopify’s merchants neutralized shipping emissions from more than 25 million orders. It also removed 23,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere. 

To help other sustainability projects, Shopify funded more than $1 million for carbon removal

How does Shopify’s Planet app work?

“We need to not only make commerce better but also take better care of our planet.” Shopify aims to ensure it stays in the industry for at least a hundred years. 

Planet estimates merchants’ shipping emissions by looking at delivery distance, transportation method, and the product’s weight. Merchants can choose a subscription plan and pay an average of up to 15 cents per order to fund carbon removal. 

From this year, customers can also fund carbon removal projects by adding 25 cents to their order. 

Who ensures the money lands in the right hands? Shopify says the funding goes to companies developing carbon removal technologies, like bio-oil sequestration or soil carbon storage. 

With a Planet app, merchants can offer their customers carbon-neutral shopping on their orders. Customers can avoid questionable carbon offsets by having a list of preferred candidates. The Shopify Planet app also has a badge showing your climate commitment.

“Whether you pay for carbon-neutral shipping yourself or enable your shoppers to participate, Planet connects your brand with modern shoppers,” says the e-commerce platform.

Why prioritize sustainability?

A recent study by Stuart shows that shoppers would consider abandoning retailers who don’t prioritize sustainable delivery. A quarter of the respondents say they would switch retailers if “green delivery options weren’t provided.” Meanwhile, another 27% would pay extra for eco-friendly deliveries. 

PwC research affirms this: eight in ten consumers would pay up to 5% more for sustainably produced goods.

At the same time, supply chain management company Blue Yonder discovered the same findings in its independent study. The company interviewed over 1,000 US respondents. It was revealed that 78% of respondents say sustainability is a “determining factor” when purchasing a product.

READ MORE: Blue Yonder: Consumers willing to prioritize sustainability over price, convenience

Making it easier for customers

American startup Perfectly Natural Soap says Planet has been a game changer in their business, making it easier to achieve carbon neutrality in their shop operations. “It’s part of our broader plan, but every bit helps, and given its ease of use and administration, it’s a no-brainer for us.”

Another American company, Ora Cacao, is elated by this initiative, which will make it easier to do the right thing. “Love that we can buy carbon removal for all shipments with this app. Thank you, Shopify, for investing so much with the Sustainability Fund to make it possible for small companies like ours to have a positive impact.”

NOW READ: Retail alert: 25% of consumers demand sustainable delivery options

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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