Parcel carrier DPD says it is to become the first in its industry to offer free carbon neutral shipping to its clients, who include UK ecommerce retailers.
From July 2012 DPD says it will become the first express parcel carrier to provide its customers with free carbon neutral shipping. It is launching a Total Zero commitment to the effect that customers will be able to send carbon-neutral parcels of all weights, sizes and types all over the world, at no extra cost to them.
The Total Zero principle, which will apply in DPD's five biggest markets, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, will be achieved through a three-step process.
By measuring its carbon footprint over the last few years DPD says it has developed a detailed understanding of its emissions. It then adopts measures such as only sending parcels by road within Europe, rather than by air express, route optimisation, and eco-driver training so that collections and deliveries are made in the most fuel-efficient manner. The company also says its one-hour delivery service Predict has increased first-time delivery successes by 10% and reduced fleet mileage. Other measures include energy-efficient sensor-controlled lighting and double deck trailers.
Where non-avoidable CO2 is produced, DPD will offset the emissions through carbon reduction projects that it pledges to deliver at no cost to customers. DPD's parent company GeoPost expects to invest around €5m a year to fund carbon offsetting projects in the developing world as well as local schemes in Europe.
Dwain McDonald, DPD's chief executive, said: "By its very nature, parcel delivery is a highly carbon intensive industry. At DPD we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and we are committed to reducing the impact our operations have on the planet. Carbon neutral parcel shipping will help us meet this goal.
"To be carbon neutral means firstly to count emissions, then to reduce them and finally to offset the remaining emissions that can't be avoided. Over the last few years we have built-up a detailed understanding of the amount of carbon generated by our operations and sought practical ways to reduce it.
"Approximately 95 per cent of our CO2 emissions arise from our parcel transport operations and buildings, and we are constantly looking for ways to reduce this figure. Since 2008 we have introduced a range of insetting measures to reduce energy consumption and emissions, these have cut the amount of CO2 produced per parcel by ten per cent and we are continuing to look at ways to bring this figure down further. Offsetting will then be used to neutralise the remaining emissions that can't be avoided."
Dwain McDonald continued, "Like us, many of our customers are concerned about the environment and want to reduce their own carbon footprint. Through our Total Zero commitment to carbon neutral shipping, we are helping our customers deliver their own CO2 reduction objectives - at no extra cost to them or their customers."