Green Couriers in Canada

Green. It may be the biggest buzzword of the past decade, and possibly the next. And it’s not as simple as you think. In fact, if there’s one thing “green” isn’t, it’s clear.

Green marketing is everywhere: from dish soap to web browsers, it’s de rigueur for companies to use green as a contemporary selling point. The problem is that it can be difficult to get past the bells and whistles to see the hard facts. While most businesses boast a green agenda, it’s specific efforts towards sustainability that set them apart.

One major field where there is a demand for an increase in low emission alternatives is courier services. Nearly every modern business uses a courier service; the Canada Post strike aside (well, email aside, too), the courier shipment is the most trusted b2b platform. Many of us require courier services daily.

Courier services going green is a recent, if overdue, development. Here are three very different styles of green courier services from across Canada. Maybe there’s a solution — or inspiration — for you.

Novex (Victoria, B.C.)
Here’s a challenge: Establish a 100 per cent “clean” (read: low emission) fleet by 2012 through the substitution of gas-guzzlers for hybrids, natural gas- and biodiesel-powered vehicles, and REV electric vehicles. In doing so, Novex expects to reduce 88 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. The company has also made efforts on the home front by reducing paper, water, and energy use in its offices.

Greenteam (Toronto, ON)
A Secured Courier subsidiary that does not use trucks or cars as a means of delivery: couriers use bicycles, the subway line, or (gasp!) pedestrian lanes (yes, sidewalks) to deliver packages. While this approach is about as environmentally friendly as you can get, the company’s delivery range is not surprisingly restricted to the downtown core.

DHL (International)
As an international courier service, DHL isn’t able to reduce its emissions by substituting manpower for fossil fuels. Instead, the company endeavours to make up for its emissions rates, instead of reducing them. This means that DHL purchases ‘carbon credits’ and invests in green initiatives in order to offset its inevitable emissions. Still, the company strives to invest in more fuel-efficient vehicles, and its pilot project involves employing 50 hybrid trucks and 30 battery-powered electric vans in Manhattan this September. Projected numbers indicate that DHL will be able to cut its CO2 emissions in the Big Apple by 50 per cent compared to conventional vehicles. And what works in the biggest and busiest courier city in North America will work in pretty much all of them. A nice start, if it works — we’ll be watching.

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Image courtesy of Live at J&R.

Comments

4 thoughts on “Green Couriers in Canada

  1. “Green Is The New Red”, is a book about how true eco minded activists are being treated by the government & law enforcement agencies here in N America. “Eco-terrorists” are going to become the new “Internal Enemy” in our culture, media & so called “Justice Systems”. In my view our civl liberties are being whittled away, & have been since I was a child in the ’50’s & a teen in the ’60’s. My own chilldren live in school systems which, while claiming “political correctness”, actually dictate more rules for a kid in grade 6 or in high school than a new army recruit lives under.

    Global Warming makes money. Politicians get re-elected by being able to show “economic growth”, & economic growth means more consumption of fossil fuels. It’s a vicious cycle. Enjoying Chilean strawberries in January here in Toronto is not going to remain something we can indulge in forever.

    We have to re-think the Canadian Dream, alas. In my opinion the wrong people are in charge of the necessities of our civilisation, making vast, gross profits & are not taking care of the world that our kids & grandkids are going to live in.

    I realise that this is a rant. I regret that but I am endeavouring to remain succinct. The environment is merely one aspect of the global malaise which I see as getting worse, not better.

    I try my best to leave as small a carbon footprint as I can. But 70% of pollution comes from corporate industry, NOT the average household. 85% of the World’s welath is controlled by 15% of the population. Who seem to care not a whit for our environmental legacy.

    I speak out whenever I can. Since our Ontario Premier this week admitted to the passage of a “SECRET Law” giving special, undisclosed powers to the police in time for the expected G20 conference, I wonder when the police will come knocking at MY door in the middle of the night.

    I truly believe that NO Democracy can survive with ANY secret laws; & I believe as Noam Chomsky says in his film made with the NFB, (“Manufactureing Consent”), that any intelligent person has a responsibility to be politically active, to speak up, to make their best efforts to make a positive difference.

    • Seriously, looks ALMOST like a joke image but, I dunno know, the support rail/rack looks legit. I’m leaning towards it actually being real.

  2. Carbon credits are a scam. A company can “write off” it’s environmentally damaging activities by putting money into things which are already being done anyway. They aren’t eliminating the damage they do but rather using credits as PR to game the system. 

    The only real way to to reduce our environmental impact is to STOP CONSUMING SO FREAKIN’ MUCH – a concept which doesn’t go over well in a consumerism dependent society such as ours.

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