With each passing year, the need for businesses and individuals to act boldly to protect our planet takes on greater urgency. The evidence of climate change has been mounting long enough, as extreme weather events, extended periods of drought and resulting wildfires, and the mass extinction of plant and animal species impact our world.

If your company has not already made the commitment, this year should mark the start of a comprehensive plan to reduce your carbon footprint. Future generations will thank you, but so will your current customers and your brand’s reputation.  A study by IBM and the National Retail Federation is just one piece of proof; it found that 70% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada believe that brands should be sustainable or eco-friendly.

Here’s what your company can do to make sustainability part of your mission:

Focus on your supply chain

For most businesses, the supply chain represents the source of the greatest carbon impact and the best opportunity for conservation. Even the smallest e-commerce company receives materials and components from suppliers, may move goods between warehouses, and relies on a network of vendors that also transports products.

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Achieving a more sustainable supply chain means working with global shipping experts who prioritize green practices. It also means that your company should analyze and understand the emissions reduction plans of each of your suppliers, and other vendors. For example, DHL offers value-added services to support our customer’s environmental targets, as well as detailed carbon reports that provide a baseline to evaluate carbon reduction decisions.  Our customers can choose to use our Climate Neutral or GoGreen Plus services, depending on whether they want to compensate or actually reduce their emissions. The more customers book the services, the more alternative fuel or clean technology is used – making transport chains greener, step-by-step.

At DHL, we’ve put sustainability front and center for our customers, employees and partners, committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as part of our Mission 2050. By 2030, we will have already achieved significant greenhouse gas emissions reduction in line with the Paris Agreement through the Science-Based Targets Initiative. Today, we are investing in new strategies that enables the reduction of emissions along our own value chain, including sustainable aviation fuels, electric vehicles, and carbon-neutral building designs. By 2030, we will have more than 80,000 e-vehicles on the road.

Understand and employ new technology

Technology is helping to drive efficiency and improve sustainability efforts at organizations around the world. Your business should research new solutions that can help limit emissions, including efficient lighting, electric vehicles (if your company has its own fleet), and software to help plan and consolidate how and when you order materials and supplies.

Think creatively

What are some unique ways that your company can make an impact? You should consider talking with your employees, and involving them in the sustainability mission. How can you and your employees conserve energy in your business and at home? Consider encouraging carpooling, offering incentives for employees to go electric, and of course implementing some form of hybrid remote work (something the pandemic has shown us can work).

At DHL, we’re pursuing creative solutions as well. We are experimenting with new solar powered pop-up retail locations, and we have launched pilot programs to deliver using low-power electric-assist e-cargo cycles.

What is your organization doing to reduce your carbon footprint? Let us know on Twitter @DHLUS.

Serious about going global? Your brand can reach 220 countries. Get started today.