E-commerce firm Zalando recently announced it has gone carbon-neutral in its operations, deliveries and returns. While it is working towards reducing its actual carbon footprint, a key part of achieving this is carbon offsetting, by which carbon emissions are compensated with a reduction of emissions made by someone else and often somewhere else, it said.
A tonne of carbon offset represents the reduction of a tonne of carbon dioxide. By purchasing carbon offsets, the Berlin-based company funds projects that compensate significant amounts of carbon emissions.
“We carefully chose our first partner, Sodo Ethiopia, to offset our carbon emissions. The Gold Standard-certified project re-establishes the region’s natural forests. By strengthening their local ecosystems, carbon emissions are taken out of the atmosphere. In the future, we will work with more Gold Standard certified reforestation initiatives,” the company said in a release.
Started by World Vision Australia, the Ethiopian project focuses on the restoration of a biodiverse forest on Mount Damota, north of the township of Sodo. The steep area with regular heavy rainfalls has been cleared for cropping and grazing activities for many years resulting in problems of flash flooding, mudslides, and the drying up of springs due to a lack of recharge of groundwater.
The project will help address these problems through a combination of seedling establishment and farmer-managed natural regeneration. The project facilitates the input of seven small communities around Mount Damota. These communities will be the direct beneficiaries of the project.
Zalando customers can now choose climate-neutral delivery by opting-in to contribute a small fee for each order they place to compensate for the carbon emissions from the packaging, transport, and delivery of their items.
The company will continue to move the fashion industry forward by setting science-based targets in 2020. The Science-Based Targets Initiative is a global initiative that helps companies align their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions with climate science and the Paris Climate Agreement to limit the increase of the global average temperature to 1.5°C.
“With the help of Science Based Targets, we will work out long-term goals to improve the health of both the planet and people that we can realistically reach by 2025,” it added.
The company has installed photovoltaic systems at its logistics centre in Lahr to generate its own green electricity to complement the green energy it sources from external suppliers. The new fulfillment centre in Verona also generates some of its electricity with its own photovoltaic systems.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)