Canada Post Corporation says greenhouse gas emissions from its Canadian ground parcel deliveries are now carbon neutral, with initial offsets generated from a forest conservation project.
The postal service and courier delivery Crown corporation, headquartered in Ottawa, reports in a press release all of its domestic regular parcel, expedited parcel and flat-rate boxes are now shipped as carbon neutral.
Every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions will be offset by the purchase of accredited carbon offsets, with a priority on “Indigenous-owned or led, nature-based offset projects in Canada.”
Canada Post announced the achievement as a complement to its aspiration to be a net-zero company across its value chain by 2050.
In its Environmental Action Plan, Canada Post said it would "test and act on market interest for carbon neutral shipping, low carbon shipping and circular economy solutions."
The carbon offset program
Canada Post gave an example of an carbon offset program: the Great Bear Forest Carbon Project.
The Great Bear Forest Carbon Project is owned by an alliance of nine First Nations and councils in British Columbia. It seeks to protect Great Bear Rainforest, a temperate rainforest home to tall and ancient cedar and spruce trees, and wildlife such as bears, cougars, wolves and salmon.
It protects forests from logging, conserves existing carbon stock and “reduces emissions caused by harvesting, road building and other forestry operations.”
This is achieved through improved forest management, which involves changes in land-use laws and regulations to increase carbon stocks by converting forests slated for commercial logging into protected forests.
Carbon offsets purchased by Canada Post are recognized by the B.C. Carbon Registry under the Forest Carbon Offset Protocol, and verified by an unnamed independent third-party which ensures permanence and additionality.
Customers can see the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their deliveries and whether it will be carbon neutral.
The offsets for carbon-neutral shipping will not count toward Canada Post’s emission reduction targets, the press release states. Canada Post says the need for carbon offsets will diminish over time as it greens its operations and transportation.
Canada Post’s net-zero commitment
The Crown corporation going carbon neutral for its domestic ground deliveries is in addition to other initiatives to be net-zero across its value chain by 2050 — part of a $1-billion net-zero plan unveiled in 2022.
Parcel deliveries have been named a notable contributor to greenhouse gases in Canada due to transportation still being largely fossil-fuels-based. The explosion of interest in last-mile deliveries and online shopping has furthered concerns about the sector.
Canada Post set out to cut operational emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 and is taking steps to achieve this through purchasing renewable energy and encouraging new renewables projects in high-emitting provinces. The goal for Canada Post's facilities is to be powered by 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2030.
It is also building new net-zero facilities, such as the $470-million Albert Jackson Processing Centre in Scarborough, Ont., and is electrifying its 14,000-strong fleet by 2040, with an interim goal for a 50 per cent electric fleet by 2030.