Freight Forwarding: Sustainability in Practice – Carbon Offsets (2/3)

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This post is part 2 of a deep dive into sustainability in practice focusing on carbon offset for the freight forwarding industry, find part 1 here.

It has been a volatile year for freight forwarding. In addition to soaring rates and reduced space, only 4 out of 10 shipments are arriving within 3 days of ETA. In this type of environment, it’s not easy to find time to tackle sustainability. 

But we need to act. The container ships we rely on to carry 90% of the world’s trade goods, emit one billion metric tons of CO2 every year. With big targets to hit by 2030 and Zero Emissions Day just around the corner, on September 21st, there’s no better time to get started. 

The good news?

Taking action has never been easier. Digital freight forwarders like Explorate are helping companies like yours simplify supply chain management and take on sustainability targets with confidence. You can now access emissions data of every shipment and certified carbon credit programs in one click. 

Here’s a quick guide to making sustainability fit in your everyday operations and start offsetting your emissions today. 


Where to start

Accurate, real-time data about your shipments and its emissions
This allows you to minimise delays, streamline processes and make better decisions based on the efficiency of the different shipment lanes and carriers.

Full supply chain visibility
Helps you consolidate your shipments to reduce carbon emissions and costs.

Easy to implement sustainable initiatives
Initiatives like carbon offsetting are gaining huge momentum in the freight forwarding industry, as businesses realise sustainability is now a business imperative rather than a choice.

Keep on reading to learn how to achieve a more sustainable supply chain by incorporating an effective carbon offset initiative.


Does Carbon offset really work – and can it help freight forwarders? 

The short answer is yes. Carbon offsetting, when done right, can be a valuable first step  towards achieving a sustainable supply chain. 

While there’s no one-solution-fits-all, carbon offsetting allows you to reduce your carbon footprint, while you explore longer term solutions e.g. reduction or green fuel replacement.


What is carbon offset and how does it work?

Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for the carbon dioxide that you emit into the atmosphere. 

It’s helping businesses to reduce all emissions, even those that you can’t eliminate at the moment, or you can’t do it as fast as you’d like to.  

How carbon offset works

Getting started

  1. Know your emissions
    Quantifying your emissions is a solid baseline to make well-informed decisions. If you’re with Explorate, you can see the emissions of your shipments even before you book. We use real-time port and vessel data to calculate them and we also let you know, right there and then, how much it will cost to offset them. 
  1. Buy Carbon Offset Units
    Find the right credit program and offset the equivalent to your carbon bill through carbon credits. Carbon credits, or carbon offset units, avoid or reduce the same amount of carbon elsewhere in the environment using projects such as renewable energy or reforestation.
  1. Cancelled Emissions
    Our planet has a single huge carbon buildup, so removing emissions in one part of the world has the same net impact as if they didn’t happen in another part of the world. 

Things to watch out for 

When you use carbon offsetting you need:

1. Transparent costs
You need a digital platform that lets you know upfront how much it would cost to offset your emissions and gives you full control of the process.

See the carbon emissions of your shipments in the Explorate app
How to offset carbon in one click in Explorate

2. Reliable partners
This was top-of-mind for Explorate when offering our customers a carbon offset solution. We’ve partnered with Cloverly, a well-known technology platform in the offsetting industry, and our carbon offset program offers high-quality projects.

As Rob DePaola, Director of Customer Success at Cloverly says:

“To remove carbon permanently, we know that quality matters. We only work with reputable, internationally recognized suppliers who provide high-quality carbon credits. Gold Standard, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the American Carbon Registry (ACR), and other internationally recognized organisations ensure the quality, accuracy, and integrity of the offsets.”

Transaction transparency is also fundamental.

“We believe in transparency and visibility of impact.” he adds. “That’s why every time customers choose to make an activity carbon neutral with Explorate and Cloverly, we provide a unique transaction receipt that helps them visualise the impact they are having.”

Having a  sustainable supply chain is easier than ever, and is the best business decision you can make.

“Offsetting the carbon footprint of your supply chain is one of the most responsible choice you can make for the planet.” says Rob “It’s also the responsible choice for your brand’s reputation, which relies on the integrity of your operations and those of your suppliers. Every part of your supply chain is susceptible to scrutiny from stakeholders, at all levels. And while you work to control the carbon emitted from all links in your supply chain, you can offset what is unavoidable today.”

Get in touch and find out how we can help you start offsetting your emissions today. 

Follow our blog and don’t miss part 3 of our sustainability series, where we’ll meet the young talent leading the way to a more sustainable freight forwarding industry.