Is there such a thing as a 100 percent carbon-neutral national shipping carrier for small business owners? There is, and it’s called Sendle, coming to the U.S. today.
Sendle is a national shipping carrier with $26 million in funding that is making its push to “unlock capacity in existing shipping networks,” touting itself as entirely carbon-neutral.
Carbon-neutral shipping may relieve some of the mounting guilt. This November, eMarketer’s latest holiday forecast expects sales to cross $1 trillion for the first time, and shipping transportation accounts for the largest portion, by 2017 estimates, of total U.S. GHG emissions.
“Everything we do is through the lens of how can we help level the playing field for small business owners,” said cofounder and chief executive officer James Chin Moody. Moody’s background focuses on engineering and the environment, which includes positions with the World Economic Forum and Australia’s national research agency.
Before the 2014-founded company moved to Seattle, it was based in Australia. It’s also a registered B Corp that works to help smaller merchants actually afford to be responsible businesses (in regards to their logistics), according to Moody.
To do so, the company maintains strong relationships with its logistics network and uses data to optimize existing carrier trips, filling empty space in existing national and regional delivery vehicles to the tune of offsetting “6.5 billion kilometers of carbon since inception,” in Australia, (the testing grounds for Moody’s “post-purchase” and “logistics as battlegrounds” thesis) which is the equivalent of driving a 1-ton truck from Earth to Pluto.
The platform is integrated into eBay and Shopify at launch in the U.S., starting at around $3.87 for two-day small business shipping. At present, the company partners with USPS, as well as other carriers, excluding partnerships with UPS and FedEx.
In explaining Sendle’s sustainability angle, Moody shares how it comes to two things: “we look to where we fill packaging” and then “offset every delivery.”
“It’s actually cheaper for retail than all of the major carriers,” said Moody, who said merchants can save up to 85 percent off retail. “It doesn’t have to be a choice, you can actually be a responsible business and be more efficient,” he added.
UPS and FedEx do expand offerings to include carbon-neutral (in the former, a carbon-neutral shipping service or the latter: envelopes), with both disclosing their carbon impacts to environmental nonprofit CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) that releases climate performance grades. For small merchants operating in the Amazon age, Moody believes maximizing e-commerce efficiency is a “commercial imperative,” and shipping logistics is a defining aspect.
One that is ripe for improvement, and greater responsibility for the environment. By year’s end, Sendle plans to offer compostable packaging to its U.S. market, following the high demand in Australia.
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