Shop and Ship Green this Holiday Season

Green holiday shopping guide from Climate Counts makes it easy to do both
After you have finished buying eco-friendly presents for your friends and family, wrapping them in recycled paper, and stashing them under your living Christmas tree for safekeeping, what else can you do to "go green" this holiday season? How about choosing a green-leaning shipping company to deliver your out-of-town gifts?

Green group Climate Counts has put together a ranking of shipping companies that uses a scale of one to 100 (with 100 being the best) to measure how effectively they are helping to curb global warming through their business practices.

"Green Shipping" Scorecard Ranks DHL First, FedEx Last
DHL and the US Postal Service claimed the top spots, with scores of 45 and 43 respectively, while UPS scored 39 and FedEx lagged behind with a paltry score of 28.

"Unfortunately, not every gift can be delivered with the strength of just eight reindeer this holiday season-most need to be shipped on planes, trains or trucks," said Wood Turner, project director of Climate Counts. "The bottom line is the shipping sector has an enormous role to play in the fight to stop the climate crisis, and our new ranking allows consumers to make informed decisions now and throughout the year."

Still, even the top score of 45 leaves a lot of room for improvement.

"While we're pleased that the shipping sector has begun to take action on climate, like most of us in the business community they have a long way to go," said Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield Farm and board chair of Climate Counts. "If I had ever come home from school with a 45, I would have been in trouble-even if it were the holidays."

Holiday Guide Helps Consumers Shop and Ship Green
The list of green shipping companies is part of the Climate Counts "Holiday Shopping Guide," a pocket-sized reminder of where 60 top companies rank in their commitment to reducing global warming. Canon, Nike and Unilever top the list of 60 companies that were scored on the inaugural Climate Counts Scorecard. The bottom of the index includes 17 companies with scores under 12, including such retail giants such as, Jones Apparel, Apple, eBay, Limited Brands and Levi Strauss.

"Consumers have gotten the message all year long about how to buy green, but our guide helps consumers shop-and ship-green," said Joel Makower, chair and executive editor of Greener World Media and a Climate Counts board member. "Consumers have the power this holiday season to let companies know that 'climate counts' in their purchasing-and shipping-decisions."

Download Holiday Shopping Guide or Use Your Cell Phone
Consumers can review company scores and download the pocket-size Holiday Shopping Guide at Holiday shoppers can also look up companies' rankings using their cell phones so they can make climate-friendly consumer decisions right from the shopping aisles. This cell phone tool-called Climate Counts On-The-Go-is a partnership with CREDO Mobile, formerly Working Assets Wireless.

How Were Companies Ranked for the Climate Counts Scorecard?
The companies were scored on a scale of one to 100, based on 22 criteria within four benchmarks:

  • whether they measure and monitor their carbon footprint;
  • whether they have taken meaningful steps to reduce their own climate impact;
  • whether they have supported or opposed to climate policy initiatives; and
  • how comprehensively and effectively they have reported their climate protection efforts to the public.

The Climate Counts Company Scorecard was developed with oversight from a panel of business and climate experts from leading nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions. The criteria were chosen for their effectiveness at accomplishing a single goal-stopping global warming. Climate Counts researchers then used these criteria to rate companies based on a point system for climate-related actions. Companies were given an opportunity to confirm the public data sources that Climate Counts used for scoring.