Sendle is a certified B-corp that helps deliver packages sustainably. Sendle is the first carbon-neutral shipping company in Australia. They are very committed to helping the environment and the progression of society. I was very thrilled with the transparency they provide. Sendle informs its customers on exactly how it is carbon neutral. They list every offset project they are involved with and include the voices of the community by letting them vote on an offset project every twelve months. Sendle received a 2.75 planet rating because they are helping change an industry that is a very large contributor to global CO2 emissions. They have reshaped how a delivery business should be run. They use 100% electric cars that are powered with solar energy, offsetting any outstanding emissions that are created. They have helped establish grassroots efforts by empowering their employees to attend climate strikes and have offered reduced shipping prices for people in need during the Australian Bushfires. I am very impressed with Sendle work and hope that they continue to inspire change.
Sendle is a service-based company, they provide transportation for packages all around Australia. Their goal is to help small businesses deliver their products to customers sustainably. As Sendle is a delivery company we cannot find long lists of materials and look at their individual impact on the environment. We must rather look at the emissions of their vehicles and resource consumption within their headquarters. Sendle acknowledges the transportation industry as a significant source of carbon emissions contributing to climate change. This has led them to offset every carbon emission. They have actually been carbon neutral since day one. Since carbon neutrality does not necessarily mean the carbon a company emits has no effect on the environment, Sendle has tried to increase the general sustainability of its business model. They now use electric vehicles that are powered with solar energy for parcel delivery. 102 tons of CO2 were emitted in 2018 by the transport and shipping industry in Australia. With the arrival of COVID-19, Sendle recognized the increased demand for shipping would drastically increase CO2 emissions in their industry. They designed their fleet of electric vans to completely eliminate fossil fuel use in their transportation. To power the vans Sendle has installed 319 solar panels on top of their warehouse in Sydney, Australia. These panels produce 600 kW of electricity each day, this is 7 times more power than is consumed by their electric vehicles. The excess power goes back into the grid and is used by other companies in Australia. Each electric van is saving around 220 grams of CO2 per km. Additionally, they are saving around 8 gallons of gas in each van per day.
Sendle is at the forefront of the sustainable delivery industry. They are leading by example and showing larger companies that it is essential to prioritize the environment. Sendle is a certified B-corp that has always held sustainability and improving society as their top priorities. Their website has all of the information you would want as a consumer. They are very transparent with their carbon emissions and how they are being offset. The only information I felt like I wanted to know was about packaging. It seems that they let consumers choose their own packaging. They have outlines and tips on how each person can pack their products as efficiently as possible. I wonder if it would be possible to incorporate their own packaging that consumers could use that would be sustainable.
Sendle does not have a conveyor belt that meticulously assembles products. As a delivery service, I think it is, therefore, important to assess how they utilize their equipment and how they achieve carbon neutrality. It is very important to understand what being carbon neutral really means. A company can become carbon neutral by simply buying equal carbon offset credits to the amount emitted. There is no limit no matter how much carbon they produce. Carbon offsets are an important aspect of sustainability but sometimes when you hear the words “carbon neutral” you don’t get the whole picture. A carbon offset credit typically looks like purchasing tree seedlings so that when they mature they sequester a certain amount of carbon. This does not take into account the fact that usually these trees are being planted in different areas of the world. The carbon emissions of a company may technically be offset but this is not to say that they will not have an impact on their local community. Sendle has partnered with South Pole to help decide which offset and environmental projects to pursue. Additionally, every 12 months Sendle lets their community vote on which projects they work on.
At Sendle, every package has a calculated carbon generation value. They use part of the revenue from every package to ensure that this value is offset. This helps keep the company on top of their emissions, making sure that excess emissions are offset. When Sendle offsets its carbon, they typically aim for regenerative projects. Not only do they typically plant trees that are able to sequester carbon, but they also work on improving biodiversity and generating income for local communities. The projects that they have listed on their website include: Boobera native forest regeneration (Australia), lower Mississippi valley reforestation (United States), Madre de Dios Amazon conservation (Peru), and Myamyn conservation (Australia).
To better illustrate the impact of these projects, I will share the results from the Boobera native forest in Australia. The project aimed to restore native forests and sequester carbon on degraded agricultural land. They first tackled the problem that livestock presents in restoring forests. As animal grazing can suppress forest growth, it comes to reason that if you found a mechanism to limit livestock grazing and better manage pests, you can ensure a more productive forest. This land is usually private property, therefore, when a company like Sendle tries to buy carbon offsets associated with these lands, they must pay the small farmers that own the land. This is a new revenue stream that farmers can use to support their businesses and families. Digging a little deeper into the actual number reveals the extent of the benefit bestowed by a project of this kind. This project sequestered 88,000 tons of CO2. While the forest grew back it helped provide 27,000 hectares of habitat for native ecosystems. Finally, biodiversity has increased with the removal of pests and invasive species. It is amazing to see all of the positive effects that Sendel has been able to produce all whilst trying to eliminate their carbon footprint.
The fact that Sendle is a B-corp should ease any worry that Sendle is treating its workers poorly. There is very limited information about how their workers are treated or their standards. However, there are strict labor standards that must be met in order to become a certified B-corp. While there is little information about the actual labor laws or regulations at Sendle, we do have a good insight into their social impact. One of Sendle’s top priorities is helping small businesses. 49% of their business is from people that are the sole operators of their business. They guarantee that their shipping costs will be lower than the price paid by large delivery companies in Australia, better helping the smaller businesses compete. In August of 2020 when the Australian Bush Fires broke out, Sendle took requests from donators or auctions and actually helped them ship for free or at very low costs. Sendle is committed to its community and is very active in helping Australia where it can. Moreover, they had their own employees join climate strikes held in Sydney. They joined “Not Business as Usual Alliance” along with many other companies to show their commitment to climate strikes. There is no need to question Sendle’s intentions to better society. Along with their many initiatives, it is very refreshing to see that their own employees are participating in the movement toward a more sustainable world. From interior to exterior, Sendle is here to establish real change.