By Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Lincoln Sarnoff Consulting
In January 2019, CGS reported that 68% of customers prioritize sustainability when making purchasing decisions. And in a recent Gallup poll, 73% of millennials – a group that’s worth $1 trillion in consumer spending – said they’d spend more for sustainable products. Companies are responding by shifting to more transparent and sustainable supply chains and manufacturing systems (like THR3EFOLD). But what about shipping those products to customers? Aside from utilizing more sustainable packaging, the impact of transport – from air freight to delivery truck – historically has been difficult to avoid. Until cleaner transportation exists what can we do in the meantime to offset all these carbon emissions as an industry?
Enter Cloverly, the first API to help businesses offset the carbon footprint of shipping. Plugging into sites built on Shopify or Magento – and also offering custom integration – the API calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of a specific activity (like shipping a package) and then cancels them out by funding a conservation or renewable energy project (like planting trees) which reduces the same amount of emissions. Cloverly manages all Renewable Energy Certificates and carbon offsets to make sure offsetting is legitimate and legally compliant. Companies that use Cloverly can facilitate customer offsets at no cost to the business.
“Cloverly [helps] us to mitigate our carbon footprint in a seamless fashion, while also educating and connecting with our customers on a new level,” Naomi Machmani, Brand Marketing Manager, Kotn.
Carbon offsetting has existed for more than 20 years but recently gained popularity, thanks in part to climate activist Greta Thunberg. The climate activist took a solar-powered boat trip across the Atlantic to avoid the carbon impacts of flying to the 2019 Climate Change Summit, and inspired other attendees to offset their travel.
Tracking carbon offsets from shipping used to be tedious and time-consuming:
Customers had to track delivery information, find an online calculator to determine the carbon footprint of their purchases, then locate another platform to offset it – the process could take as much as a week to complete.
Cloverly makes carbon offsets easy for brands
Once the API is installed in an online store, a box pops up at checkout that gives customers the option to pay a specific amount (usually less than a dollar) to green their shipping. They can choose to click that box (or not) and then complete their order. If they opt in, the customer pays — there’s no cost to the business. The donation is matched with local carbon offset projects, the impact is shared in real time with customers, and the entire process takes less than a second!
Who’s using Cloverly?
Fashion brands like Pact, Kotn, Ben Sherman, Modern Citizen, and Bruno Magli; foodie companies like Harney & Sons Fine Teas, Stash Tea, Kuju Coffee and Steel Straw; health and beauty essentials such as Āether Beauty, Kensington Apothecary, Kind & Simple, and Good Intent; outdoor gear like Mountain High Outfitters, Body Glove, and Weston Backcountry, among many others.
Through its consumer-facing API for shipping – as well as facilitating corporate offsets for travel, electricity, and general carbon impact – Cloverly greened more than six million pounds of CO2 on behalf of its partners in 2019. The company plans to exponentially increase those numbers in 2020 as consumers push for more sustainable business practices that allow them to reduce their carbon emissions – and offset those that are unavoidable.
Utilizing Cloverly to support sustainability marketing is a valuable opportunity: A 2017 Cone study showed that 87% of Americans will purchase a product simply because “a company advocated for an issue they cared about.”
Carbon offsetting isn’t a silver bullet for corporate sustainability, but Cloverly’s tool can serve to bolster authentic and transparent policies in order to better engage consumers. Head over to Cloverly to hook up your Shopify or Magneto and get started today.
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