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Etsy Cleans Up E-Commerce Shipping With Vow to Offset 100 Percent of Emissions

Global e-commerce company Etsy has made a commitment to offset 100 percent of its carbon emissions, starting this year.

The online marketplace for handmade and unique lifestyle goods released a case study on Monday that detailed plans to tackle its carbon impact, 98 percent of which comes from shipping goods from Etsy sellers to shoppers. Emissions are estimated to average around 200,000 metric tons of carbon per year (as projected over the next few years).

With this announcement, Etsy becomes the first major e-commerce platform to pledge a 100 percent offset of their carbon emissions due to shipping.

The company is working to develop a portfolio of carbon offset projects that tie into its business objectives as well as touching on the transportation and logistics space.

Working with renewable energy and climate solutions firm 3Degrees, Etsy will attempt to both reduce emissions in its supply chain and mitigate impact by funding four environmental projects. These include the UPM Blandin Native American Hardwoods Conservation Project (which plants trees and preserves forests in Minnesota), the Meridian Magnesium Project (which builds automotive parts to help improve vehicle fuel efficiency) and the Giriraj Bundled Wind Power Project and The Solar Grouped Project by ACME, which both produce clean, renewable energy.

While Etsy had already announced impact targets, like powering its offices with totally renewable energy and running zero-waste operations by 2020, the company realized the environmental impacts of marketplace activities outside of their purview were taking a toll.

“Etsy has a long-standing track record of working to reduce our environmental footprint,” said Chelsea Mozen, Etsy’s sustainability lead. “Our carbon neutral shipping initiative is a major milestone within our larger commitment to act urgently and aggressively in the fight against climate change.”

The purchase of offsets has emerged as a way for brands to contribute to carbon reduction while they work toward making effective changes to their supply chain that would reduce or altogether end emissions. The practice has become more common in recent months within the footwear and apparel space, with brands like Reformation and AllBirds announcing their own offset-funding programs.