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uShip and TerraPass Partner on Carbon Offset Program for Shipping

16 January 2007

uShip, the largest online transportation services marketplace, and TerraPass are working together on a new service, the TerraPass Certified Provider Program.

The program enables uShip service providers to balance out the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the shipment of goods by funding clean energy and efficiency projects. uShip calculates the monthly carbon footprint of service providers enrolled in the program using the weight and distance of shipments booked on uShip. These emissions are then balanced by TerraPass through domestic wind farms, biomethane projects, and energy efficiency projects.

uShip is already the most efficient way to ship because our marketplace helps carriers fill empty cargo space in their trucks. The TerraPass Certified Provider Program is another tool we provide for our community to help reduce shipping’s contribution to global warming.

—Matthew Chasen, CEO of uShip

uShip members list anything they need shipped, from household goods to vehicles to freight, and receive bids from feedback-rated service providers, including movers, carriers, transporters, van lines, freight brokers and independent service providers.

TerraPass offers a way for individuals who are concerned about global warming to balance out their own impact by funding projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Just two years old, TerraPass has grown to more than 30,000 members, and has partnerships with Expedia (earlier post) and Ford Motor Company (earlier post).

January 16, 2007 in Climate Change | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Could someone please explain how when emissions are 'balanced' by wind farms and biomethane the total amount is reduced?


When I first heard of this idea a couple of years ago I thought this was just white-wash to make the guilty feel better. Now I understand that the money helps fund green and start-up green tech. Actualy a pretty good half step forward.

Aussie - Are you questioning the value of this specific program or asking about the premise of carbon offsets in general?

Carbon offsets "remove" CO2 by generating X amount of energy that would otherwise have been generated using fossil fuels. So in a global sense, additional CO2 has been avoided.

Shipping something across the world isn't green to begin with but this is the reality we live in so might as well offset it.

R, 'otherwise' generated assumes any new player who wants energy has an automatic entitlement to emissions at pre-existing levels. This thinking says if Person A wants to emit more when Person B shows up with green energy that will make it OK. But total emissions have increased! This is a wonderful ploy since A can pollute even more if B scales up or C then appears on the scene with more green energy. It means that emissions can increase indefinitely. However the Earth has an absolute limit on how much GHG (say 500ppm CO2) it can cope with and still provide comfortable habitat.

The correct approach is to steadily emit less in total until a reduced GHG target has been achieved. In the case of travel this can be done by you personally travelling less or going slower or using renewable energy. Paying someone else (and a middleman) to 'go green' is a misguided copout that will steadily make the situation worse.

Aussie, I agree we need to cap CO2 emissions. I like cap and trade schemes in general and Cap and Share in particular.

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