Carbon Neutral Shipping: The Guide for E-Commerce

Carbon Neutral Shipping: The Guide for E-Commerce

Cathy Carpetta

Cathy Carpetta

December 14, 2023

The surge in e-commerce growth has heightened the focus on environmental sustainability, especially on the impact of shipping. In 2020, the shipping and return of products were responsible for 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon-neutral shipping emerges as a vital solution in this context. Helping e-commerce brands reduce their environmental impact and meet the needs of eco-conscious consumers.

Why eco-friendly logistics is not an option any more

The shift towards green logistics is not just a trend but a necessity in the face of global environmental challenges.

With the transportation sector responsible for 11% of the global CO₂ emissions, it's important for the rapidly growing e-commerce sector, projected to reach US$3,099.00 billion in revenue in 2023, to lead in sustainable practices.

  • 79% of UK shoppers are favourable to sustainable delivery methods and even willing to pay more for them.
  • 49% are concerned with home delivery sustainability.
  • About half of fashion consumers are calling for initiatives that reduce carbon footprints and promote eco-friendliness at checkout.
  • 45% of UK shoppers expected fashion brands to commit to plastic-free products.
  • 70% of surveyed customers are willing to wait 5 extra days for home deliveries in exchange for an environmental benefit.

What is carbon neutral shipping?

Carbon neutral shipping balances transportation's carbon emissions through various green measures, including renewable energy investments, tree planting, or eco-friendly projects. Understanding this approach is essential for both businesses and consumers, as it's a fundamental aspect of eco-responsible e-commerce practices.

All in all, given the fact that carbon neutral shipping does not evade the initial emissions created from the shipping and handling of packages – it may seem that carbon neutral shipping doesn’t benefit the environment at all.

While carbon neutral shipping cannot prevent the emissions created from the travel required for packages to reach their final destination, carbon neutral shipping is still beneficial to the environment – as it can help provide the financial support necessary to research and instil new sustainable methods that are vital in the fight against climate change.

10 actionable tips to reduce carbon emissions from shipping

Source: E-commerce average emissions by sources - Coolset based on the MIT Lab report

Once the total carbon emissions have been calculated, the next step is to reduce those emissions as much as possible. 

Improving shipping efficiency is the most impactful way for e-commerce businesses to reduce emissions and manage the growing demands of delivery.

Here are several actionable recommendations for sustainable shipping practices:

  1. Optimise route efficiency: Implementing advanced routing software can minimise travel distances and reduce fuel consumption. This includes selecting the most efficient routes and consolidating shipments to maximise load efficiency.
  2. Use energy-efficient vehicles: Transitioning to vehicles that use alternative fuels or electric vehicles can significantly lower emissions.
  3. Invest in carbon-offset projects: Investing in projects like reforestation or renewable energy can offset unavoidable emissions.
  4. Eco-friendly packaging: Use minimal, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging to reduce waste and carbon footprint associated with shipping.
  5. Local warehousing and fulfilment: Positioning products closer to the customer base reduces the distance for delivery.
  6. Utilise technology in inventory management: Adopt advanced systems to better predict product demand, helping to avoid excess stock and reduce unnecessary shipping.
  7. Encourage bulk purchases: Incentivising customers to buy multiple items at once can reduce the number of individual shipments.
  8. Offer flexible shipping options: Provide customers with a choice of eco-friendly shipping options, even if it means slower delivery times.
  9. Educate customers: Increase awareness among customers about the environmental impact of shipping and promote eco-friendly practices.
  10. Implement carbon accounting: Regularly measure and report on the carbon emissions from shipping activities to identify areas for improvement.

By using these strategies in shipping, e-commerce brands can improve efficiency, reduce carbon footprint, and contribute to a sustainable future.

Carbon neutral shipping options for e-commerce


  • Colissimo: Offers green delivery solutions, including carbon-neutral options.
  • DHL France: Features the GoGreen service for eco-conscious shipping.
  • FedEx France: Focuses on sustainable logistics with EarthSmart.


  • Correos: Delivers an array of eco-friendly and carbon-neutral shipping services.
  • SEUR: As part of DPDgroup, it provides green shipping solutions with Total Zero.
  • UPS Spain: Supports businesses with environmentally responsible shipping options.

United Kingdom:

  • DPD UK: Integrates carbon-neutral shipping in its Green Delivery initiative.
  • Royal Mail: Offers sustainable, carbon-conscious parcel delivery.
  • UPS UK: Like Spain, offers green shipping solutions, including carbon-neutral options.

Collaborate with green logistics providers

Collaborating with green logistics providers offers long-term benefits for e-commerce businesses focused on sustainable growth and reducing environmental impact.

These partners are experts in the supply chain, adept at implementing strategies that not only reduce carbon emissions but also save money in the long run. By integrating emission reduction tactics into your online shopping platform, you can improve profit margins while contributing positively to the environment.

Also, it not only supports a healthy bottom line by reducing operational costs but also aligns with the growing consumer trend towards environmentally responsible brands. Integrating sustainable practices can enhance your brand's reputation and positively influence your growth rate.

Their large-scale operations often mean better shipping rates, leading to cost savings. 

The advanced technology used by these partners ensures efficient route planning and inventory management, reducing both environmental impact and operational costs.

Such partnerships offer the scalability and flexibility essential for growing e-commerce businesses. Green logistics providers can adjust to changing demands, freeing e-commerce companies to concentrate on their core activities without the added burden of logistics management.

Collaborating with a green logistics provider equips e-commerce businesses with the necessary tools for adopting sustainable practices, offering a blend of expertise, cost-effectiveness, and efficient technology.

Bigblue, the logistics partners you need

Bigblue launched the “Collectif pour une Logistique Responsable” with partners like Hipli and Lizee, aiming to foster greener logistics through industry collaboration.

We're committed to plastic-free packaging, using recyclable materials to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly solutions. In our quest for green logistics, we're also powering our data servers with 100% renewable energy.

Additionally, we've developed an algorithm that selects the best packaging, reducing parcel size, cutting shipping costs, and lowering carbon emissions. It reduces packaging volume by an average of 22%. Our system notifies you of address errors, avoiding delivery mistakes and unnecessary return trips. We also optimised our TMS to create a carrier agnostic offer, finding the best options for delivery routes.

Choosing us as your logistics partner is also joining our mission to work towards a more sustainable e-commerce.


In summary, carbon-neutral shipping is essential for e-commerce brands, aligning environmental responsibility with consumer expectations. 

It not only reduces the ecological impact but also enhances brand image and customer loyalty. As environmental concerns grow, adopting carbon-neutral methods positions e-commerce businesses as progressive and responsible, key for success in a competitive market.

Investing in carbon-neutral shipping is a crucial step for sustainable growth and maintaining relevance with eco-conscious consumers.

Frequently asked questions
Everything you need to know.
What is carbon neutral shipping?

Carbon neutral shipping means offsetting the carbon emissions produced during transportation. You can achieve this through investing in renewable energy or supporting environmental projects.

Why is carbon neutral shipping important?

It's vital for reducing the environmental impact of transporting goods. By achieving carbon neutrality, companies can help combat climate change and promote sustainability.

What are the benefits of carbon neutral shipping?

Besides reducing environmental impact, it enhances brand reputation, meets consumer expectations for sustainability, and can differentiate a brand in a competitive market.

Can carbon neutral shipping reduce operating costs? ‍

Initially, it may require investment, but in the long run, it can lead to savings through efficient logistics and potentially lower fuel costs.

What role do consumers play in carbon neutral shipping?

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware and demanding of sustainable practices. It encourages more companies to adopt greener alternatives.

How can an e-commerce company achieve carbon neutral shipping?

Companies can use energy-efficient transport modes, optimise logistics, invest in carbon offset projects, and use eco-friendly packaging.