One Product | One Tree
Last year, my company produced over 8,500 tons of greenhouse gasses, to fill the Capitol Rotunda over 150 times or the Houston Astrodome 4 times.
I had no idea. We are a supply chain firm. We help our clients get their products from the manufacturer to the end user. I never thought about my environmental impact until I saw a driver toss a plastic cup on the road.
I'm an Eagle Scount and spent 153 days hiking the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail in 2015. I love the outdoors and had no idea what kind of impact I had. Last year, my company produced the same amount of greenhouse gasses that a small town of just over 300 does.
I produce quite a bit, but I am nowhere near the top. I produce just 0.000090929% of the greenhouse gasses produced by worldwide logistics. I can't change the actions of the biggest player, Amazon, but I can make a small change.
That is why, starting today, for every product shipped by 1776 Consulting, we will plant one tree. If we ship the volume as last year, that equates to around 3 square miles of trees. Once those trees are growing, my carbon footprint will be erased in 4 hours. The remainder of the tree's life will be spent cleaning up for other people.
Just over a year and a half ago, I started 1776 Consulting with nothing but a hope and a dream. I started with the goal of doing what I love and learning a ton along the way. The journey thus far has been challenging, but informative.
Over this past year, I have come to realize that in order to be successful in the logistics business, you must move volume. In order to bring costs down, everything has to be done at a large scale. Moving 10 orders a day doesn't cover payroll. 1000 orders pays the bills and 3000 buys that forklift I need. Those numbers are just examples, but puts things in perspective.
We really kicked off last summer. During 2018, 1776 Consulting shipped over 120,000 packages and just under 320,000 individual products. The majority of our shipments were transported via truck, but we sent quite a bit of air freight as well.
The transport of those products produced just over 8,500 tons of CO2*, or enough to fill the Houston Astrodome 4 times or the Capitol Rotunda 150 times. That is a lot of carbon. It is about the same that a small town produces in a year. (~318 people)
When I saw those numbers, I was taken aback. I'm an Eagle Scout and spent 153 days hiking the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail in 2015. No one can really say I don't care about the environment.
Everyone impacts the environment, but some more than others. After seeing those numbers, I realized that I was having a much larger impact than the average person.
After much thought, I've decided that for every product we ship, 1776 Consulting will plant one tree. We shipped around 300,000 products last year, so that equates to just over 3 square miles of trees.
1776 Consulting is not a major player in the logistics & shipping game. We do well, but nowhere near the household names you know.
HOW ARE WE DOING IT
1776 Consulting solves tough problems. I personally love when my clients ask for us to make a "crazy idea" they have a reality or if something is possible. Paying to plant a tree for every product we ship took quite a bit of creativity. As I said above, the margins in logistics are not huge. We profit when we move thousands of orders. It will be a challenge, but we have finagled the numbers to pay for this project, without increasing our client's fees.
Yep, doing good can be done economically. It does help that we are a logistics agency though.
Going forward, every client who uses 1776 Consulting to fulfill their orders will help increase our tree count.
*Determining how much CO2 we produced was not easy. We took the origin/destination zip codes, package, weight, and transport method. We then plugged it into a nifty formula and made a pretty neat Google Sheet. It spit out the 45k number. This number does not take into account the production of our packaging, electricity, manufacturing of products, or the assembly of our machinery.