Offset your carbon emissions by using the Offset app
The Offset app lets you offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the shipments that you deliver. Offset uses industry models to determine the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere for each shipment, and then charges you an amount per shipment to offset those emissions. The average cost per shipment is $0.0075 USD, or three-quarters of a cent.
The cost to offset your emissions is charged to you through your monthly Shopify invoice. The funds are used to purchase carbon credits, which offset your emissions through deforestation protection projects.
General calculation for your emissions
Offset combines data from your store with industry data and peer-reviewed models to determine how much CO2 your shipments release into the environment, and then works with Pachama to determine the cost of offsetting those emissions.
Because Offset’s goal is to make sure that your CO2 shipping emissions are offset entirely, all values that are used in the data models are rounded up.
For each shipment that is delivered, Offset uses the following data:
|Factor||Primary value||If the primary value isn't available|
|Weight||Weight of the shipment||An average shipment weight|
|Distance||Distance traveled according to the tracking data||Straight-line distance between the origin and destination address, multiplied by an uncertainty factor|
|Type of transportation||Truck or plane carbon emissions, determined by speed and distance||Truck emissions|
When a tracking number from a supported carrier is supplied, Offset can accurately calculate the emissions used. However, when no tracking is available or the shipping carrier is not supported, Offset multiplies the estimated emissions by an uncertainty factor of about 1.5. This helps make sure that all your emissions are offset. If any data is inconsistent or missing, then Offset uses a reasonable maximum value instead.
For example, suppose you ship a package from Boston to New York. The straight-line distance is 305.94 km, but the shortest road route is around 350 km. If a tracking number is provided, then Offset uses the exact distance traveled. However, if no tracking is provided, then 305.94 km would be used in the base calculation, and the resulting emissions would be multiplied by 1.5. This accounts for variations in the route, such as distances traveled from post offices and distribution centers, and the route taken by the courier to deliver the package to your customer's door.
Understand your charges
When you first install Offset, you’ll find a monthly estimate of your offset costs based on the latest data from your store and Shopify averages.
On your Shopify invoice, you are charged the cost to offset emissions from any order that is considered “delivered” within the past 30 days. If there is tracking information available, then an order is considered “delivered” when the tracking information says it is delivered. If there is no tracking information, then an order is considered to be delivered 20 days after the order was placed. If an item is restocked or an order is canceled within the 20 days, then you aren’t charged for offsetting emissions from the shipment of those products.
Because you can offset carbon emissions through Shopify by using different methods, some orders might be offset using a service other than the Offset app. If an order's carbon emissions are offset using a different service, then you aren't charged any offset costs through the Offset app. Review the other services that can cover carbon emission costs.
If the cost to offset your emissions for the past 30 days is less than $0.01 USD, then the charge is rounded up to $0.01 USD.
- In the Shopify App Store, go to Offset's app page.
- Click Add app.
- Review the permissions, and click Install app.
Review the following limitations:
- The models and estimates are not exact, but Offset overestimates your emissions to make sure that they are entirely offset.
- Only CO2 is offset. Other emissions, such as CH4, N2O, or GFG, are not offset. However, CO2 accounts for 95% of the climate impact from burning fossil fuels for transportation.
- Orders shipped by sea transportation don't generate the data required to accurately calculate emissions. Instead, industry-accepted alternative methods are used.
Using multiple services for carbon offsets
You can offset the carbon emissions from your shipments in multiple ways, but only one method is used for each shipment. The offsetting methods have a hierarchy to determine which service will provide the offset:
- Any Shopify promotions - These promotions, such as carbon-neutral shipping during BFCM, take priority over all other services. The cost is covered by Shopify.
- Shop Pay - Orders that are paid for using Shop Pay help contribute toward carbon offset initiatives through WeForest. The cost is covered by Shopify.
- Shopify Shipping - Shipping labels that are purchased through Shopify Shipping and have a shipping origin in the United States are carbon neutral. The cost is covered by Shopify.
- The Offset app - Offset calculates the carbon emissions for each of your shipments, and then charges you to offset those emissions by contributing to carbon offset initiatives through Pachama.
What are carbon offsets?
A carbon offset reduces the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere so that increased greenhouse gases elsewhere have a net impact of 0. For example, suppose a truck releases 150 g of CO2 in one mile, and actions to preserve a forest remove 150 g of CO2 from the atmosphere. If you purchase one carbon offset that supports forest preservation for each mile that a truck travels, then the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere remain the same.
Am I eligible to use Offset to offset my shipments?
Yes. Offset is available to all Shopify merchants who ship products.
How much does it cost to offset my shipments?
Many factors go into an offset calculation, but the average cost per shipment is $0.0075 USD, or three-quarters of a cent. Based on that average, if you shipped 100 orders a month, then your cost to offset would be $0.75 USD, or seventy-five cents.
How much of my business’s impact am I actually offsetting?
Currently, Offset focuses on addressing only emissions from shipping-related transportation.
What project does Offset currently fund?
Offset is currently funding the Acapa - Bajo Mira y Frontera REDD+ Avoided Unplanned Deforestation project with Pachama. This is a Verified Carbon Standard certified project that will be verified by Pachama using their monitoring technology. The charges from Offset go towards protecting the existing forest, improving the biomass through better forest management practices, and verifying the progress of the project.