Ecommerce is very important to consumers especially those who prefer shopping online. Nowadays, most consumers are likely to purchase products online than going to the actual stores. However, along with these benefits are the downsides ecommerce businesses have on the environment. Establishing an eco-friendly reputation as an ecommerce business is vital with the adverse climate changes and consumers becoming environmentally conscious.
It is therefore essential to reduce the waste your ecommerce business produces, improve the recycling process to minimise wastage, and reuse materials whenever possible. Such efforts can even decrease your business’s expenditures as fewer resources go to waste.
There have been instances where small products are packed in large boxes. Probably the seller did this because he or she run out of proper boxes and resorted to using the large ones. However, this is a total waste of space and material. If the customer is not eco-savvy, then the materials will go to waste.
If you cannot pack your products in functional packages, then it is greener and simpler to do it in a minimalistic way. This makes them stand out from the competition, and your ecommerce business appeals to the eco-conscious customers.
Multifunctional and zero waste packaging
Nowadays, manufacturers are looking for effective methods to decrease the number of packaging thrown away by consumers. Sellers have adopted a new way by introducing a package that can be reused after it’s content usage.
One great example of multifunctional packaging is Puma bag, which is designed by Yves Behar. It only needs a few production resources, but it can be re-used. This bag saves about 60% of energy and water compared to the old manufacturing line.
Implement Green Initiatives
Being an environmentally friendly ecommerce business seems to be challenging for most sellers but implementing green initiatives slowly can go a long way. If your ecommerce business has a physical store, you can start by implementing environmental programs that seek to reduce energy consumption, minimise pollution, and cut down waste. By implementing greet initiatives, your ecommerce business contributes towards a healthy environment.
Technology advancement is helping reduce the amount of paper used, and consequently, helping business in their mission to become eco-friendly. For instance, if your ecommerce business is using cloud computing services like Dropbox, you can decrease the amount of paper used by storing forms and documents digitally. Furthermore, information can be backed up and saved remotely which then can be accessed by staff wherever there are. By reducing physical paperwork, business costs are reduced, and productivity improves.
Choosing your suppliers
Ecommerce businesses do not work in isolation. Businesses that create products have to involve other companies for finished goods materials, including stationery, shipping, and packaging. For any ecommerce business that is committed to becoming eco-friendly, proper research on the suppliers is needed. For example, go through their records and know how they operate. Look if they have incorporated important eco-friendly measures such as swapping problematic materials with sustainable alternatives or reducing their carbon footprint.
Some suppliers are committed to getting rid of plastic from their product line. Instead, they use mailer bags and cardboard boxes. Moreover, most consumers prefer eco-friendly, practical options and offering them with what they need makes your business stand out in the market.
Delivery Methods & Greener Shipping
The same way that greener packaging is very essential to an ecommerce business that is committed to being eco-friendly, transporting a product to the consumer in an environmentally friendly way is also crucial. When it comes to delivery methods, there are several options you can give your prospective customers. First, it is crucial that you educate them how delivery and shipping affects the environment and the benefits of choosing greener delivery methods themselves.
Amazon has delivery pick-up lockers for customers who can travel to collect their product when they’re already in the location, eliminating the need to use delivery vans to make trips around the region.
Make your Premises More Efficient
Sensor-activated lighting, smart temperature controls, and better insulations are some vital ways of making a greener HQ. If you have efficient ways of using your existing space, you can avoid re-fits and relocations and keep your premises compact.
One of the efficient methods of making your premises environmentally friendly is making the whole packaging process stackable and easy-to-assemble.
Ecommerce businesses can integrate simple steps they can take to reduce their wastage levels. One of the simplest ways is introducing recycling bins in offices for paper waste, glass, toners, cartridges, drinks cans, and plastic. An important tip is removing individual bins from employees’ desks and using a single waste and recycling points. Staff members will be forced to stop the habit of throwing things away without taking into consideration how they can dispose of their waste.
Green packaging refers to using manufacturing processes and sustainable materials which have a minimum impact on the environment. If you want your ecommerce business to be more environmentally friendly, here are some types of sustainable packaging to make it possible.
Air Pillows – air-filled bags that function as cushions that protect objects which are in boxes. These pillows can be manually re-inflated for reuse.
Mycelium – This is a compostable packaging material that is produced from the mushroom.
Bubble Wrap – Wraps are manufactured from recycled polyethylene and they are fully degradable
Foam Peanuts – They are made from corn-starch and are biodegradable.
Paper and Cardboard – These are biodegradable and reusable materials that have minimal impact on the environment.
Scale the Impact
If you are becoming greener, scale your business impact on the environment into something larger and ensure that you make your sustainable solutions public. Make sure that everyone knows that you are committed to making a difference and let other businesses and your competitors reap the benefits of your idea. This makes you as a pioneer, and you will attract loyal customers. Ecommerce businesses that are focused on making an environmental and social impact should find ways of scaling up beyond the product.