Etsy is planning to invest in three renewable energy projects that the company hopes can offset its shipping-related carbon dioxide emissions.
In an interview with Axios, the e-commerce company’s CEO Josh Silverman said that Etsy will spend less than $1 million per year investing in forest preservation in Minnesota, wind and solar energy in India, and alternative chemical use in the automotive industry. Those investments, Silverman said, will create enough clean energy to offset the carbon dioxide created in shipping products bought on its site.
Etsy has been one of the industry leaders in calling for companies in the e-commerce business to reduce their carbon footprint. The company has already announced a goal to utilize 100% renewable energy by 2020. Silverman told Axios that Etsy will reach that goal next year, as planned.
However, there can sometimes be fuzzy math in calculating whether new, energy-efficient activities can actually offset harmful activities. The method, called carbon offsetting, requires several assumptions in determining a specific activity’s carbon footprint and how a new activity impacts the planet. In 2018, Etsy’s carbon emissions from shipping was more than 135,000 metric tons. Etsy says its projects will offset those emissions.
Etsy announced its full plan for investing in the on Wednesday, and will begin investing in them starting today.
Update 9:50 a.m. ET to include more information on Etsy’s plan.