Carbon footprint in shipping. What is it and what can we do?
The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is produced by the activity of a person, animal, activity, event or organisation is whats known as the carbon footprint. Global warming and climate change is caused by increasing amount of harmful gases into the earth’s atmosphere and for many years the collective carbon footprint caused by human activity has been (and remains) much higher than the bio-capacity of earth. Therefore meaning that the planets ecosystem is unable to absorb the harmful emissions we produce and turn them back into oxygen.
When considering the carbon emissions in the shipping industry, we need to measure look at all aspects of the supply chain. The carbon footprint of a shipment is measured differently at each stage of the process. We the cargo is picked and packed; a carbon footprint is created. This is based on factors such as warehouse storage, packing materials, pallet types, loading methods etc. Once the cargo is loading onto the transport vessel, the carbon footprint measurement is based on the weight, the journey and the transport type. As we are able to calculate the proportion of fuel that is required to move kg of cargo, together with the number of grams of carbon emitted per kg of fuel burned; we can therefore measure the emissions and the carbon footprint directly associated with the physical movement of your cargo via land, air or sea.
Our team at Carbon Neutral Shipping Australia is working together with Australian freight forwarders in our mission to make shipping carbon neutral. We are also providing insights, tools and techniques to supply chain managers so that they are able to optimise the main carbon footprint contributors.
Although we can measure and optimise our own activity by adopting greener shipping methods, such as through assessing the suppliers of packaging or making the change to sustainable energy in warehouses or offices, it is difficult to fully claim a neutral carbon footprint across the entirety of our supply chain. The reason for this is an obvious one: to date the human race has not made the technological advances to replace raw materials to fuel our vessels. Although some major carriers are introducing green cargo ships on a small scale, satisfying global shipping demand is a whole other issue.
How do we achieve a neutral carbon footprint?
The transportation and logistics industry is the 2nd biggest producer of carbon dioxide emissions (behind the energy generation industry). With this in mind, it is critical that we all must work globally to minimise its carbon footprint and work towards making it neutral. At Carbon Neutral Shipping Australia we have partnered with climate projection organisers globally; our partners engage in projects which are replacing traditional methods which have a high carbon footprint with emission free solutions.
We empower our clients with the ability to increase the bio-capacity of the planet, giving the earth the tools to absorb to the carbon emissions that we individually produce. If product 50 tons of carbon dioxide due to the transportation of your cargo, we will recommend suitable climate protection projects in order for you to offset your carbon emissions – making your carbon footprint a neutral one. So, if your shipment produced 50 tons of carbon dioxide, we could introduce you to our global tree plantation initiative to plant the required number of trees in order to absorb the 50 tons, or you could be apart of geothermal energy plant development due to replace a traditional power station.