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How to win at carbon offsetting in ecommerce

illustration of a hand holding a phone. the screen has a product page with the option to make the order carbon neutral. next to the illustration is the ecocart logo.

Sustainability is increasingly top of mind for today’s consumers. In fact, 92% of shoppers say they want to live more sustainably and 83% want to support brands that have a record of taking climate action. 

Brands are beginning to recognize this new reality and roll out new initiatives. But consumers are increasingly wary of so-called ‘greenwashing’ practices, where businesses mislead customers into thinking that their product or supply chain is more sustainable than it really is. 

In sum, they want to see evidence of authentic efforts to reduce carbon footprints. One of the easiest ways to do this? Carbon offsetting. 

Small businesses who lack the fiscal and logistical ability to overhaul their supply chains, or completely phase out other carbon-emitting activities, can leverage carbon offsets to counter their organization’s negative impact on the planet. Meanwhile, large businesses can leverage carbon offsets to balance out the emissions they can’t diminish.

What is carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is a practical and effective way for brands to reduce (or neutralize) their carbon footprint and work toward a more sustainable future. From the energy needed to manufacture goods, transport them, and get them ready for resale, all of these activities emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which directly contributes to the climate crisis.

By purchasing carbon offsets, brands can support projects that actively remove, reduce, or prevent future carbon emissions. These activities include things like forest protection and management, composting, creating clean energy sources, and more.

When a brand works to reduce carbon emissions and offsets the remaining carbon dioxide, this is called becoming ‘carbon neutral’. This means they make no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In other words, carbon offsetting allows brands to mitigate their carbon footprint when it comes to emissions that can’t be completely reduced or removed.

Using carbon offsetting to enhance the customer experience

Beyond the act of offsetting carbon emissions, brands need to build a story around why and how they’re pursuing this strategy.

By creating an environmental impact page for your website, you can create transparency and drive an emotional connection between customers and your carbon offsetting mission. 

Choosing offsetting initiatives that are highly relevant to your brand and/or your customers creates an even stronger story and makes it easier for shoppers to identify with your efforts. One way to pull this off is to fund an offsetting project whose location is relevant to your brand. The fact that the project is impacting a part of the planet that’s connected to your brand story or audience will make the impact even more tangible.

Once you’ve built out your impact page, the next step is threading your sustainability story throughout the rest of the customer experience. Much like when a brand’s packaging has a note explaining it’s made of eco-friendly materials, your digital experience should showcase their sustainability efforts and inform shoppers of what they’re supporting when they decide to make a purchase. 

This transparency is what helps brands to build trust with customers and drive business results. Examples of these touchpoints include:

  • Educational social media campaigns to drive discovery and acquisition
  • Live impact trackers to build community
  • Clear information on product detail pages
  • Of course, carbon neutral order options at checkout!

Carbon neutral shopping with EcoCart

EcoCart is the perfect partner to assist your brand with carbon offsetting the easy way. We power sustainable, carbon neutral experiences for over 1000 brands globally via our free, merchant-branded ecommerce plugin that integrates directly with all major platforms. 

How does it work? When a customer heads to the checkout, our algorithm will calculate the total carbon footprint and what it will cost to offset the order (this is usually somewhere between 1-2% of the cart total). This offsetting fund is then used to contribute to a project of your choice, from planting trees in deforested areas to building wind farms, which you can track in real-time and share with your customer base. 

We have scoured the globe for carbon offset projects that are innovative, permanent, and without unintended consequences. Every single one of the projects we fund is triple verified, which means:

  • The project’s financials, management team, project site, and carbon reduction method are carefully vetted.
  • At least one of the world’s major carbon standards reviews the project.
  • Global Offset Research verifies the project against a second list of international standards.

What results can I expect? As we stated above, consumers are constantly looking for new ways to contribute to a healthier planet. That’s why brands who are using EcoCart see an average conversion boost of 14% when adding our plugin to their checkout!

Achieve cleaner, greener shipping with Whiplash + EcoCart

gray background with whiplash and ecocart logos

Whiplash and EcoCart believe that joining forces to help offset the carbon-heavy ecommerce sector is the best path forward to create sustainable, long-lasting change. As a forward-thinking fulfillment provider, Whiplash’s partnership with EcoCart is a continuation of its embrace of technological solutions to combat inefficiencies across the supply chain. 

To date, Whiplash customers including H&M, Goop, and G-star Raw have collectively offset 4,123,477 lbs of CO2 and saved 135,194 trees – and the mission is only just beginning.

Ready to start your carbon offsetting journey? Find out more about the Whiplash/EcoCart partnership here.

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