UPS's Green Shipping Program Goes Global

UPS's Green Shipping Program Goes Global

United Parcel Service is expanding its carbon neutral shipping program to 35 countries and territories in Europe, Asia and the Americas following the launch of the service last fall in the United States.

Under the program, shippers in the U.S. can offset the carbon footprint of their packages by paying a small fee that covers cost of the offsets, emissions calculation and administration: Five cents for a ground package, 20 cents for an air package and 75 cents for an international package. Outside the U.S., the flat fee varies slightly depending on the country of origin and the destination of the package and the service selected by the shipper.

In the U.S., program expansion includes availability to all shippers using; customers using UPS CampusShip, a service for firms with multiple locations; retailers that use UPS in their e-commerce operations; and UPS stores. A contract version of the program also is available to customers who want to offset all their UPS shipments.UPS label (A chart on the program and a map of the expanded service are below.)

A rollout of the expanded program begins July 12 starting with the services to UPS online customers large and small, the contract offering and availability in company's 35 largest international markets. The program is expected to be available to UPS stores by early August, said UPS Marketing Director Rimas Kapeskas.

UPS is matching offset purchases up to $1 million through 2010.

Introduced in October and the first service of its kind in the country, the program was initially available on a comparatively limited basis.

"It gave us a chance to test out the whole carbon off-setting process," Kapeskas said. "We got good strong feedback from those customers and it gave us the confidence to expand."

Carbon Neutral Shipping ChartSome of that feedback came from came from long-time UPS customer TOTO USA, which in June became the first major company to adopt the program as part of its energy efficiency supply chain initiative. TOTO projects that it will ship 75,000 carbon neutral packages in its first year of participation in the UPS program.

"We use less and recycle more than any other plumbing manufacturer," TOTO USA spokesperson Lenora Campos said in a statement. "TOTO is proud to be the first company worldwide to incorporate UPS's carbon neutral initiative into its small package supply chain."

The third-party verification and certification UPS's program was major plus for TOTO, the company said.

UPS's methodology and processes for its carbon calculations are verified by Société Générale de Surveillance, the inspection, verification, testing and certification firm that also validated the delivery company's assessment process for the Eco Responsible Packaging Program introduced in April. UPS's carbon offset process is certified by The CarbonNeutral Company, and its calculator is based on Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

UPS has purchased offsets from the Garcia River Forest Climate Action Project, which is overseen by The Nature Conservancy and The Conservation Fund. In the future, the firm is looking to make offset purchases in other regions around the world, Kapeskas said, adding that the firm will focus on offsets that are certified by the Gold Standard, Voluntary Carbon Standard or the Climate Action Reserve. The offsets will be retired according to industry standards.

shipping map

More information about the program is available at

Images courtesy of UPS.