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Carbon offsets

From planes, to trains, to automobiles, when orders ship all over the world they leave an unavoidable carbon footprint. That’s why we made carbon offset a priority for Shop.

Every time you check out with Shop Pay, we offset the carbon emissions of your order’s delivery through tree protection projects. You can view the estimated number of trees that you protect with each order, as well as the total number of trees protected by the entire Shop community. This commitment is part of Shopify’s Sustainability Fund.

We work with Pachama, experts in using carbon offsets to prevent deforestation around the world. Pachama’s projects are certified to comply with best-in-class protocols and standards, including the Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard. Pachama verifies that the projects we invest in have the positive environmental impact necessary to offset the carbon emissions from your deliveries. Pachama also makes sure that its carbon offset projects protect endangered forests, which means trees that are in danger of being cut down and used in a way that would release carbon into the atmosphere.

Shop’s current carbon offset project protects trees in the Peruvian rainforest, one of the largest and most biodiverse rainforests in the world. We chose the Brazil Nut Concession REDD+ Avoided Unplanned Deforestation Project, which protects over 350,000 hectares of tropical forest from deforestation. This region is an important carbon sink, which means that it captures and stores a high amount of carbon dioxide produced by humans: 14.5 million tons of CO2 emissions are prevented because of this project. This is a Verified Carbon Standard certified project that will be monitored by Pachama using their machine learning, satellite imaging, and remote monitoring technology. Our price per ton covers the project costs to protect the existing forest, increase the biomass through improved forest management practices, and verify the project’s progress.

For this project, we chose to protect an existing forest instead of planting new trees. Both of these actions are essential, but in this case we selected tree protection because newly-planted trees take years to develop, and established trees have incredible capacity to store large amounts of carbon. We know that carbon offsetting is only one way to combat climate change, and we’re also exploring future technologies that will let us do even more. Learn more about the vision of Shopify’s Sustainability Fund.

Shop calculates the carbon emitted from the delivery of your order and then translates those emissions into the number of trees we need to protect to offset the carbon.

The carbon emissions are estimated based on transportation method, package weight, and delivery distance:

  • Transportation method - We calculate the speed of the delivery based on the time between checkpoints, and then select the most logical transportation method between long flight, short flight, or truck. Each transportation method is associated with a different level of carbon emissions.
  • Package weight - We use the measured weight of a package when it’s available, and if it’s not, we use an average shipment weight.
  • Delivery distance - We use the shipping address, delivery address, and any checkpoints in between to estimate the distance that the delivery travels, then we use the haversine formula to calculate the distance between pairs of latitudinal and longitudinal points.

The average tree seedling in the rainforest captures about 1 kg or 2 lbs of carbon. We use this calculation to determine the number of trees we need to protect to offset the delivery of your order, and we always round up to at least one tree.

 

You can view the estimated number of trees that you protect with each order, as well as the total number of trees protected by the entire Shop community.

Steps

  1. In Shop, tap your account tab.
  2. Tap Carbon offsetting, and then view the community impact and your impact.
  3. Optional: To post about carbon offsets on social media or in a private message, tap Share.

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steve watts
steve watts


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