Doubling down for Earth Month: Shopify's approach to sustainable commerce and carbon removal

April 2, 2024

Shopify wants to be a 100-year company. To make our 100-year vision come true, we need to not only make commerce better, but also take better care of our planet.

Our approach to this challenge is to use engineering skills to create market forces. Just as we lowered the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, we are kickstarting the market for carbon removal, an essential but expensive solution. The idea is to reduce friction and boost demand.

One way we do this is with our Planet app, where merchants can offer their customers carbon-neutral shipping on every order. These aren’t questionable carbon offsets: every penny funds high-quality, cutting-edge carbon removal technologies.

During April, Shopify is matching all carbon removal funding on deliveries from merchants that are using the Planet app. This effectively doubles our merchants’ and their customers’ impact.

Combatting delivery emissions is what our planet needs, and it’s also what customers want: more than half (54%) of people say they shop sustainably, and 43% say they’re more likely to purchase from a sustainable brand.

Since 2022, our merchants have used Planet to:

  • neutralize shipping emissions from more than 25 million orders
  • remove 23,000 tons of carbon from the atmosphere
  • contribute more than $1 million in funding for carbon removal projects

How Planet Works

Once installed, Planet estimates merchants’ shipping emissions by looking at factors like delivery distance, transportation method, and product weight. Merchants choose a subscription plan and pay an average of 3.5 to 15 cents per order to fund carbon removal.

In January 2024, we launched a feature that lets customers fund carbon removal too, by adding 25 cents to their order.

This funding goes to companies developing carbon removal technologies like direct air capture, ocean carbon removal, bio-oil sequestration, soil carbon storage, and enhanced rock weathering.

“Implementing Planet has been a meaningful step in making it possible for us to achieve carbon neutrality in our shipping operations,” said merchant Perfectly Natural Soap. “We're proud to partner with a solution that not only aligns with our environmental goals but also makes greener logistics possible, reinforcing our commitment to the planet and our customers.”

Commerce is a powerful vehicle for change. By voting with our dollars, individuals and businesses making conscious choices can change the world. Using the market forces of supply and demand to further worthy causes is one of the most potent recipes for progress, and we believe applying this thinking to climate change is our best chance of preserving our pale blue dot.

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