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.
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.
Image courtesy of Live at J&R.