13. CLIMATE ACTION

2 reasons to pay more attention to how you ship | GreenBiz

2 reasons to pay more attention to how you ship | GreenBiz
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

2 reasons to pay more attention to how you ship  GreenBiz

2 reasons to pay more attention to how you ship | GreenBiz

This article is sponsored by Sendle.

The Importance of Sustainable Shipping for a Brighter Future

When was the last time you thought about shipping? Most likely when eagerly awaiting an item, or you received a frustrating notification that your package has been delayed. It’s easy to overlook the shipping industry when people don’t know how parcels move from Point A to Point B.

When all goes well, it’s a system hiding in plain sight. The thrilling part happens after the delivery — the fun of unwrapping a package even when it’s not your birthday.

But if you think about it, a remarkable amount of behind-the-scenes effort moves each shipment. Say you live in St. Louis and sold a guitar case to someone in Cleveland. For $7 through a service such as Sendle, that guitar case will be picked up from your home, driven to a local depot, sorted, trucked, sorted, trucked, sorted and finally put on a truck or van and delivered to your buyer’s home — all in three days or less. That’s a lot happening for a little over $2 a day.

But if you’re still wondering, “Why should I care as long as I get my delivery?” Think this: Shipping plays a major role in two of the biggest issues of our time — climate change and inequality.

The Scale and Relevance of Shipping

Part of why shipping matters is its scale. Every single day, millions of parcels are zipping across our world. These small, boxy ambassadors of e-commerce bliss aren’t just tokens of our online shopping sprees; they represent something much bigger. Collectively, they are the backbone of our global economy.

For example, research finds that over 161 billion parcels were shipped globally in 2022, while that volume jumps to 256 billion packages to be shipped in 2027. By growing by leaps and bounds, the shipping industry could not be more relevant or pivotal than it is today. The way we ship isn’t just about moving goods. It’s about how our society chooses to operate. Every single person involved in parcel delivery carries decisions about our planet, our economy and our shared future.

The Impact on Climate Change

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation is one of the top five contributors to anthropogenic U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a percentage of transportation, shipping and logistics produce 3 percent of global greenhouse gases; but this may grow by up to six times by 2050 as online shopping online becomes standard worldwide. It’s great if we all ride public transit or drive electric cars, but if we haven’t figured out clean shipping, we have not solved the problem.

There are shipping companies that minimize the carbon footprint of their deliveries. For example, Sendle doesn’t operate its own fleet and add Sendle trucks to the road. Rather, Sendle taps into existing shipping providers and fills their vehicles to ensure every trip is as efficient as possible. With this model, we help our shipping partners make their routes more profitable, passing that savings along to our small business customers. We purchase high-quality carbon offsets to account for the remaining carbon emissions and address the impact of every Sendle parcel sent.

At Sendle, we know that shipping doesn’t have to cost the planet. Unfortunately, we’ve found that the industry largely doesn’t share in our vision — even though the path the world is on isn’t even good for the shipping industry from a purely economic standpoint. Why? Because the impacts of climate change are already here and can be felt throughout the industry.

The signs of climate change are insidious. They can cause delivery delays and service outages due to extreme weather events. Investments in decarbonization, such as switching to electric vehicle fleets, require funds, but they are the smarter business choice than the multi-billion dollar price tag of inaction. That’s why Sendle is committed to working with our partners to reach net zero emissions by cleaning up the carbon mess created by shipments and preventing it by transitioning away from fossil fuel-powered deliveries. But we realize that we can’t do it alone. As a result, Sendle has challenged its competitors to take accountability for their carbon footprints — with some success, which we’ll share below.

Challenging the Industry and Promoting Fairness

For example, we invented the Sendle sticker in Australia to offset a parcel no matter who delivers it. The Sendle sticker was part of an Australian initiative to offset Australia Post’s emissions and put pressure on the national postal service to go carbon neutral. We provided Sendle stickers for Australians to pop onto their Australia Post packages and we offset their emissions for them. Australia Post soon announced that it would deliver a subset of their parcels carbon-neutrally. It’s a start, but there’s more work to be done. You can do your part by challenging your shipping provider on how they account for their emissions, or by choosing one that is already using electric vehicles and offsetting emissions.

Once we tackle carbon output from shipping, we just unpack another problem. Most of us already intuited the environmental impact lingering behind frequent deliveries and the cardboard boxes piling up on our doorsteps. But what you might not realize is how much shipping contributes to inequality. Let’s start by looking at the shipping industry itself.

In most countries, shipping is dominated by a single player, essentially a functional monopoly, such as Australia Post or Canada Post. In the U.S., though, the shipping market is dominated by players such as FedEx and UPS. When you look at how these companies set their rates and services, one thing is clear: They pander primarily to their biggest customers. While keeping their largest customers happy makes sense as a business strategy, small businesses end up cross-subsidizing the very same big businesses they’re competing against.

Millions of small, home-operated, online retail businesses need simple, reliable, affordable and sustainable shipping. In fact, high shipping costs are the top reason for online cart abandonment. Large players subsidize shipping costs to get customers to check out. But when shippers charge small businesses twice as much as their preferred larger customers, small businesses can’t compete.

An innovative shipping model that is built specifically for small business such as Sendle’s brings together small business volumes to ensure they get better rates and access to shipping infrastructure that is otherwise only accessible to big businesses. Certified Benefit Corporations (B Corps) such as Sendle are not only accountable to shareholders.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

The article highlights the connection between the shipping industry and climate change (SDG 13) as well as the impact of shipping on inequality in the market (SDG 10).

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • SDG 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
  • SDG 13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
  • SDG 10.2: Empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
  • SDG 10.7: Facilitate orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies

The article emphasizes the need for integrating climate change measures into shipping practices and policies (SDG 13.2) as well as improving education and awareness on climate change in the industry (SDG 13.3). It also highlights the importance of promoting social and economic inclusion in the shipping market (SDG 10.2) and facilitating responsible migration and mobility of goods (SDG 10.7).

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator for SDG 13.2: Number of countries with integrated policies, strategies, and plans for climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
  • Indicator for SDG 13.3: Number of people who have been educated, trained, or sensitized on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
  • Indicator for SDG 10.2: Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and disability status
  • Indicator for SDG 10.7: Number of countries that have implemented well-managed migration policies

The article does not explicitly mention specific indicators, but these indicators can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. The number of countries with integrated policies and plans for climate change (SDG 13.2) and the number of people educated on climate change (SDG 13.3) can be used as indicators. Additionally, the proportion of people living below a certain income threshold (SDG 10.2) and the number of countries with well-managed migration policies (SDG 10.7) can also serve as indicators.

4. Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 13: Climate Action 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning Number of countries with integrated policies, strategies, and plans for climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities 10.2: Empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status Proportion of people living below 50 percent of median income, by age, sex, and disability status
10.7: Facilitate orderly, safe, regular, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies Number of countries that have implemented well-managed migration policies

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: greenbiz.com

 

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