« Back to articles

How Delivery Businesses Can Reduce their Carbon Footprint

Strategies for delivery businesses to reduce their carbon footprint, focusing on the environmental impact of last-mile deliveries and the importance of route planning, vehicle maintenance, and driver training.

Your all-in-one local delivery app for Shopify

Reducing Carbon Footprint for Delivery Businesses

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What Is a Carbon Footprint, and What Does It Mean?
  • What Role Do Last-Mile Delivery Companies Play in the Rise in GHG Emissions?
  • What Role does Route Planning have in Reducing GHG Emissions?
  • Help the Environment by Lowering your Carbon Footprint and Saving Money
  • About EasyRoutes


Have you noticed how natural disasters have become increasingly common in recent years? Tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, and floods are wreaking havoc across the globe. Such stories are not hard to come by; just look at what happened in Texas earlier this year. The snowstorm in Texas killed several people and left thousands without power for days, according to sources. Millions of people are also experiencing water shortages.

Climate change is to blame for everything. It is an increasing threat that affects everyone on the planet. Reduced carbon footprint is one of the most effective strategies to address this threat.

Transportation, according to a report, is the largest contributor to the US’s carbon footprint. Fossil fuel combustion for transportation was responsible for 28.2% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018.

This statistic includes delivery fleets, which are only growing in number. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2030, there will be a 36 percent increase in delivery fleets in 100 major cities throughout the world, resulting in a 30 percent increase in carbon emissions.

So, what can you do as a delivery company owner to lessen your carbon footprint? This article will assist you in achieving that goal. But, before we get into that, let’s take a look at what a carbon footprint is and how last-mile delivery adds to carbon emission.

What Is a Carbon Footprint, and What Does It Mean?

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted as a result of your activities that directly or indirectly resulted in the burning of fossil fuels is referred to as your carbon footprint. This amount is “expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes,” according to the World Health Organization.

There are several carbon footprint calculators accessible on the internet that you may use to estimate how much CO2 you emit in your everyday activities. You may wish to assess how much carbon emissions you contribute so that you can behave ethically and lessen your carbon footprint in the future.

It’s the same with your last-mile delivery service.

What Role Do Last-Mile Delivery Companies Play in the Rise in GHG Emissions?

Since last year, eCommerce has grown at an exponential rate because to Covid-19. According to reports, eCommerce growth in the United States in 2020 reached a level not expected until 2022. With the advent of internet purchasing, the demand for last-mile delivery services has increased as well.

As a result of the surge in online sales, there are more delivery vehicles on the road and current ones have longer commutes. This merely adds to the increase in carbon emissions.

The fact that 52% of field service organizations still utilize pen and paper for route planning, according to a survey, adds to the load. Others, on the other hand, utilize Google Maps to plan their routes or draw a route on an Excel sheet.

What Role does Route Planning have in Reducing GHG Emissions?

Inefficient route design, on the other hand, can lead to excessive fuel use and usage, resulting in increased CO2 emissions.

If you plan routes manually, for example, you will be unaware of road closures or roadblocks. As a result, your drivers will have to take detours in order to get to their destinations. Furthermore, manual planning takes time and is a waste of effort.

The truth is that your failure to reduce your carbon footprint as a business owner has an impact not only on the environment but also on your company’s reputation.

Concern over the environment and climate change is at an all-time high. As a result, portraying an image that you are committed to sustainable business practices will go a long way toward increasing brand awareness for your delivery company.

It would not only bring in new clients to your delivery service, but it would also boost the value of your brand. As a result, it is past time for you to begin implementing strategies to reduce your carbon impact.

How are you going to do that? Here are some suggestions for reducing emissions in a simple, cost-effective, and practical manner.

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With These Suggestions

There are numerous strategies to lower your carbon footprint, but some are not cost-effective for small delivery businesses, despite the fact that they are very profitable and ecologically friendly in the long run. Consider the following ideas:

  • Constructing warehouses in strategic places near the majority of your consumers. This can help you save a lot of money on gas.
  • Encourage self-pickup by establishing locations such as post boxes and lockers at shopping malls and train stations, as well as partnering with local businesses.
  • Investing in a fleet made up entirely of fuel-efficient automobiles.

Because the goal of this post is to give you with cost-effective recommendations, here are some solutions that you can put into action right away to lessen your carbon footprint. You can accomplish it without burning a hole in your pocket as well.

Route Optimization

Instead than just planning your routes, you may save fuel by optimizing them. What’s the difference, you might wonder?

When you use Google Maps to design a trip with numerous stops, the tool only displays you the shortest route and driving directions from one location to the next in the order you enter them. Assume you wish to travel from A to B and C. Even if C comes first, Google Maps will show you the order in which you enter the destination when driving from A. Consider how much gasoline your driver will waste circling the same region if you don’t use route optimization. When each of your drivers delivers 150 to 200 orders each day, the fuel waste only becomes worse.

By organizing all of your stops in the best, shortest, and fastest order, well-optimized routes can save you fuel.

Additionally, route optimization saves your drivers time. As a result, each driver will be able to deliver more, resulting in fewer vehicles on the road.

The first step is to get a good route planner app like EasyRoutes.

Route optimization software will not only provide you with free driving directions, but will also provide you with a lot more. Such as:

  • Plan well-optimized routes to work with precise instructions, taking into account factors such as weather, traffic, dawn and sunset periods, load, weight, and height. As a result, your drivers will always deliver on time and will never get delayed on the road, wasting fuel and emitting pollution.
  • Assist you in assigning balanced routes so that none of your drivers are overworked or underworked, causing them to make extra stops or wander around unnecessarily, resulting in lower fuel usage.
  • Customers should be automatically notified about their orders via email or SMS. Customers will be notified when their orders are close by, and you will not have to postpone deliveries, wasting fuel.

To summarize, by investing a little money in a delivery route planning tool, you can lower your carbon impact while still keeping your customers happy.

Driver Training

When it comes to lowering carbon emissions, your drivers are the missing piece of the puzzle.

You may lower your carbon impact by providing the following training to your delivery drivers:

  • With the engine running, keep the vehicle’s idle time to a minimum.
  • Hard braking and jack-rabbit starts should be avoided.
  • Check your tires for proper pressure on a daily basis.

These may appear to be small things, but they can have a significant impact on CO2 emissions reduction. You will also save a lot of money on gas in the long term.

You can also utilize an intelligent driver training solution that tracks your drivers’ driving habits and then customizes and assigns training classes based on their needs. It also keeps track of their progress and ensures that they are learning what they should.

Vehicle Maintenance

Maintaining your vehicles on a regular basis might help you save a lot of money on gas. According to Exxon, repairing a car that has failed an emissions test or is clearly malfunctioning can save up to 4% on fuel use.

Of course, the outcome may vary based on other criteria such as the type of problem and the vehicle’s condition. As a result, servicing your delivery vehicles on a regular basis to keep them in good working order should be a top priority.

It will not only lower your carbon footprint by lowering emissions, but it will also save you money on petrol. This is a low-cost solution to reduce your carbon impact while also increasing your profits.

Help the Environment by Lowering your Carbon Footprint and Saving Money

Climate change, global warming, and ozone depletion aren’t simply buzzwords; they’re genuine dangers to the earth. It is the responsibility of everyone to limit their carbon footprint. Should we abandon our ideals and long-term survival instincts with short-sighted reasoning, despite the fact that surviving the pandemic is challenging enough?

By helping to save the environment, you are not only saving yourself, but you are also enhancing the brand value of your delivery company. As a result, simply follow the advice given here and contribute to the preservation of our only home.

About EasyRoutes

EasyRoutes is a delivery route planner app for local deliveries that makes it simple to create a route. You may then take your routes and share them with drivers, or you can deliver them yourself using our mobile-friendly driver mode.

Shopify and your store’s orders are effortlessly integrated with EasyRoutes. You won’t have to waste time exporting and importing spreadsheets anymore. Simply select the orders you want to deliver, and EasyRoutes will calculate the most cost-effective delivery route.

Transform your Shopify orders into optimized delivery routes that you can share with your drivers or personally deliver. Learn more about EasyRoutes at Roundtrip.ai, or install the app from the Shopify App Store to start streamlining your local deliveries today!

About Roundtrip

Roundtrip's mission is to equip every business with the software tools they need to deliver products to their customers in a delightful way. Thousands of Shopify merchants worldwide choose EasyRoutes to power their local deliveries across dozens of product categories, from meal kits and groceries to coffee, cupcakes, kibble, and so much more. Our easy-to-use route planning and delivery optimization app is certified Built for Shopify, a two-time Shopify staff pick, and the top rated local delivery app on the Shopify App Store.

"It integrates very well with Shopify and it is flexible when you need to increase your drivers and routes for a busy holiday and then decrease them as well."
Flower delivery in Florida 🇺🇸
Designed to make deliveries easy