CBP’s Green Trade Strategy: Pioneering a Sustainable Global Trade Environment through Innovation and Enforcement

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is taking a proactive stance towards promoting a global green trade environment through innovative practices and robust enforcement efforts. Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller has emphasized the agency’s commitment to collaborating with industry, stakeholders, and the public to set higher standards for global trade. CBP’s initiatives are aimed at addressing climate change, supply chain resilience, and environmentally beneficial innovation in the context of international trade.  

CBP’s Green Trade Strategy states that “Recent studies have indicated that global supply chains contribute a significant amount to the world’s total carbon emissions. In addition, environmental crime represents between $85 billion and $265 billion in criminal revenue each year and is often linked to money laundering and the funding of transnational criminal organizations.”  

The Green Trade Strategy is designed to contribute to a greener international trading environment through industry incentives as well as enforcement practices that target environmentally harmful activities and reducing the direct environment impact of CBP operations.

CBP’s Green Trade Strategy is focused on four main goals

  1. Incentivizing Green Trade: CBP aims to promote environmentally friendly trade practices and supply chains by incentivizing businesses to adopt sustainable approaches. 
  2. Strengthening Environmental Enforcement: CBP is dedicated to robustly enforcing environmental regulations to combat issues like illegal logging, wildlife trafficking and illegal fishing. 
  3. Promoting and Investing in Innovation: The agency is actively supporting and investing in the deployment of innovative and sustainable trade practices by both the government and industry.
  4. Improving Climate Resilience: CBP is taking steps to enhance climate resilience and resource efficiency, which includes decreasing greenhouse gas emissions associated with its own operations.  

CBP’s Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum

CBP’s Green Trade Innovation and Incentives Forum, a first-of-its-kind-event, brought together representatives from various federal agencies, industry stakeholders, trade associations, academic experts, and non-governmental organizations to discuss climate-related challenges and solutions in the context of international trade.  

These efforts have already yielded scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions positive results. In 2022, the agency achieved a significant 69.9 percent reduction in compared to the 2008 baseline, surpassing its initial goal. The agency continues to work on energy conservation projects, facility upgrades, and initiatives to increase the adoption of sustainable practices. 

Leveraging International Partnerships for Green Trade

International organizations, such as with the World Customs Organization (WCO), play a crucial role in the global scope of green customs practices. CBP is contributing to the WCO’s Green Customs Action Plan, which is expected to be released later this year.  

Looking ahead, CBP plans to implement new initiatives, review existing programs, collaborate with international organizations and governments, and engage with industry partners, NGOs, and academic institutions to gather ideas and perspectives for advancing green trade goals. The agency is committed to seeking input from trade stakeholders and other government partners to create meaningful incentives and drive positive change in global trade practices.  

Source: Green Trade Strategy  

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