Every day, there are countless purchases made online by consumers from all over the world. Buyers online expect their products delivered promptly and neatly packaged in cocoons of styrofoam and plastic. However, many people are awakening to the impact the e-commerce boom is having on the global ecosystem. And this has necessitated the implementation of eco-friendly policies.
It’s undeniable that our present civilization cannot sustain lightning-fast shipping and recurring plastic usage with the planet’s limited resources. Consequently, various parties have expressed rising concern for our world’s future and called for efforts to reduce or reverse the effects of global warming.
Between 2014 to 2019, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication’s findings indicates that the number of U.S citizens concerned about global climate change almost tripled. One of the main sectors recognized to have a tremendous impact on the environment is e-commerce. Thus, many businesses are in the process of adopting eco-friendly measures. If you’re an e-commerce business looking to go green, here are six easy steps to get started.
Update Your Brand Ethos
Your business’s brand ethos conveys a clear message of what your brand stands for and the values you believe in. It plays an integral role in building a reputation as an eco-friendly business. You want your customers to perceive your brand in a positive light. Your sustainability stance should reflect through other materials like marketing messages, ecommerce product descriptions, and website copy.
The key here is consistency across all communication channels. Your blog, social media, images, and videos should point consumers to the green approach your e-commerce business has taken.
Implement Eco-friendly Delivery
The rising demand for same-day shipping and delivery in e-commerce is at an all-time high. The U.S alone ships almost 165 billion packages each year, and the volume of goods shipped to fulfill online orders have a substantial impact on the environment. A considerable percentage of the carbon footprint comes from the final part of the shipping journey when items are transported from a fulfillment center to their owners. You could implement eco-friendly shipping strategies like recycling packaging, cutting down on packaging, or switching to thermal printers for labeling. Also, you can check out some eco-friendly programs from the likes of USPS, UPS, and FedEx.
Enable Offset Service Charge At Checkout
Another effective means of balancing some of the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture and selling of e-commerce products is to purchase carbon offsets. Simply put, offsets are strategies created to balance the level of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by investing the same amount in sustainability and climate conservation projects.
One of the first major e-commerce businesses introducing the offset of greenhouse gas emissions caused by their activities was Etsy in early 2019. Hence, you can include offset investments in your yearly budget, and you can give your customers a chance to participate at checkout.
Enact Recycling Policies
In addition, to offset investments and eco-friendly shipping, companies can recycle waste to reduce their carbon footprint. Instead of sending wastes like cardboard to landfills, you can choose to reduce and recycle. In fact, it only takes 75% of the energy used to produce new cardboard to recycle used ones.
Also, by recycling one ton of cardboard, you will be saving 9 cubic yards of landfill space. Once you switch to recyclable cardboard boxes and mailers, the entire recycling process is easier for your business and customers. Remember that going green actively involves your customers too.
Cut down Energy Waste
An eco-friendly company must look beyond the shipping and transport practices used to fulfill customer orders. The process of product manufacturing, storage, and daily operations are all part. Hence, your warehouses and offices should run on clean sources of energy when possible.
You can make simple changes like switching off equipment when necessary, purchasing energy-saving lighting, and cutting down heating costs. These can tremendously reduce energy consumption. To minimize energy waste, try conducting an energy audit to identify areas you need to cut down on energy usage. Then you make your changes based on this report.
Add Products That Promote Sustainability
You can add new products to your online store depending on the items you currently sell. Ensure these products focus on sustainability. Consumers interested in purchasing greener products will find these new products appealing. Offering eco-friendly alternatives to the products you already sell should send all the right messages and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainability and the future of the global ecosystem are intricately intertwined. And this isn’t an issue anyone can overlook because it impacts all races, nationalities, and cultures. For the younger generations, the topic of eco-friendly business and sustainability is even more crucial since they are the inheritors of tomorrow’s Earth.
Hence, many young shoppers are gradually taking a firm stance against traditional business methods that involve higher carbon emissions levels. Therefore, choosing to become an eco-friendly e-commerce business may benefit not only the environment but your brand too. In other words, sustainability is becoming one of the new ways to differentiate your brand and position your business above the competition.
This post was written by Emma Wilson, a content specialist with a focus on health and wellness.