Ecommerce has become extremely popular but it also has a huge impact on the environment because of packaging, shipments and returns that generate a significant amount of CO2 emissions. However, with the right strategies and initiatives, ecommerce companies can reduce the damage of their operations on the environment and use their brand to raise consumer awareness on the importance of adopting sustainable and environmentally-conscious practices.
In this article we will explore different initiatives to transform your ecommerce and make it more eco-friendly.
The term “sustainable ecommerce” refers to ecommerces that have adopted environmentally conscious practices, minimizing the impact of their operations and balancing market demand with the need to preserve the planet. The goal is to build a sustainable and responsible business model. It is useful to know that 37% of consumers now base their purchasing decisions on sustainability. This means that people pay attention to brands that adopt eco-friendly practices and favor them. If you haven’t adopted environmentally conscious practices yet, now is the time to do so. Let’s see how.
1. Reduce energy waste
Using energy-efficient equipment, such as LED lights in warehouses and in your facilities can significantly contribute to reducing the impact of your ecommerce.
2. Collaborate with eco-friendly partners
Collaborating with eco-friendly partners is really important to preserve the environment. For example, you can favor 3PLs and suppliers who prioritize sustainability in their operations, and partner with shipping companies that use low-carbon fuels or renewable energy.
3. Use sustainable packaging
Packaging is a crucial aspect of ecommerce and also one of the biggest sources of waste. To make your ecommerce greener, it is important to favor sustainable packaging, using biodegradable or compostable materials, cardboard or recycled paper, and minimize the amount of packaging used. It’s also helpful to encourage customers to reuse or recycle packaging by placing appropriate messages or labels on the boxes. You can also become creative, that is, use the opportunity to improve your brand identity, intriguing customers and becoming even more recognizable. For example, H&M and Saikai have adopted creative solutions to create reusable packaging for their products. In addition to having adopted a sustainable behavior, they have also conveyed a positive and interesting image of their brand. Eco-friendly initiatives can therefore become a way to stand out and make people aware of environmental issues.
4. Optimize shipping
To reduce the environmental impact of your shipments, it is important to start optimizing the logistics operations of your ecommerce. Partnering with a 3PL will allow you to employ more CO2 efficient vehicles for your deliveries and store products in warehouses closer to your customers. In this way you will be able to shorten routes and significantly contribute to preserving the planet.
5. Reduce returns
Ecommerce returns have a huge impact on the environment and for this reason it is useful to adopt effective practices to reduce them. To do this, it is essential to help customers make informed purchasing decisions, including high-resolution images, detailed descriptions on your channels and managing all the purchasing phases with timely customer assistance. Furthermore, optimized warehouse management, with advanced technologies that improve process efficiency and quality control of products before shipment, will help reduce your returns.
It has become vital for ecommerce to adopt green practices in their operations. To make customers aware of their choice of a sustainable brand, it is also important to clearly communicate what initiatives you are taking including them on your website or on social channels. This will also help to encourage people to adopt an environmentally conscious behaviour.
Do your part to build a healthier planet.