GreenShipping targets carbon reduction
By Lee van der Voo, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
A two-year-old Hood River business that's helping neutralize shipping-related carbon emissions is testing a new service with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and two other undisclosed companies. With success, GreenShipping.com’s new Dashboard will launch in February, enabling companies to track hard-to-corral data on carbon emissions in real time.
GreenShipping.com began business as a carbon-neutral shipping program in April 2008. Its founder and CEO Ken Whiteman, whose prior career was spent in software development in the high-tech sector, wanted to develop an automated carbon-tracking tool to help companies track emissions from shipping.
In the past, companies that track carbon emissions have grappled extensively with how to account for emissions from the supply chain. Carbon emissions are traditionally tracked in three scopes: the first calculates emissions from company-owned vehicles, employee travel and in-house production processes; the second tracks emissions from electricity use.
But efforts to track the third emissions scope — emissions related to business but outside a company's direct control, such shipping — have been tough. Companies have relied heavily on consultants to do it, and consultants can offer only one-time data and no ongoing monitoring.
Whiteman developed GreenShipping.com to mitigate the problem. "What we would do is we would take the tracking numbers from the shipments and we would use the tracking number to calculate what their carbon footprint was," he said.
GreenShipping.com now serves more than 100 companies, including North Face, Sokol Blosser Winery and Oregon Growers & Shippers. Most purchase carbon credits to offset emissions from shipping, either through GreenShipping.com, which sells offsets through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, or through off-setters of their own choosing. Customers who buy the offsets are awarded Green Shipper certification and can use the designation to promote their efforts.
Lee van der Voo, lvdvoo*at*gmail.com, is a freelance writer for Sustainable Business Oregon.
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