E-commerce is exploding in popularity. With half of all sales expected to be completed online within the next ten years, it’s no surprise that the environment is suffering as a result of this rapid development and expansion.
The environmental effects of e-commerce are numerous, but the most significant is its role in the supply chain. The e-commerce supply chain has harmed the environment and exacerbated global warming.
Here are the facts:
- Each year, enough cardboard is used in shipped packages in the United States alone to equal more than 1 billion trees (excluding plastic and other kinds of packaging).
- Last-mile freight is a significant source of local air pollution, and the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.
- By 2030, the delivery of goods to customers’ doors will result in a 30% increase in carbon emissions.
What does “green e-commerce” mean?
Green e-commerce, sometimes known as environmentally friendly e-commerce or sustainable e-commerce, is a business model in which companies sell products and services online while taking into account the environmental impact of operating and working to lower it.
Brands that sell online may offer their consumers with more sustainable and environmentally friendly items while monitoring and mitigating their carbon footprint.
Importance of making your e-commerce eco-friendly
We only have one planet, and the obligation is on us as its inhabitants to take care of it so that future generations may inherit a better world.
It’s no secret that establishing a long-term, eco-friendly internet brand has a beneficial environmental impact. It’s also a sound commercial decision that will enhance customer loyalty, brand recognition, and (if done correctly) revenue.
Over the last few years, consumer sentiment has changed dramatically. The contemporary shopper is focused on achieving goals, and they choose companies that support their personal principles. Here are some statistics to bear in mind:
- Consumers in North America place a high premium on sustainability and eco-friendliness. According to ⅘ of consumers in the US and Canada, it is critical for a business to be sustainable or environmentally friendly.
- Consumers are more loyal to brands they perceive as friendly. For example, knowing that you and the company share the same values makes you 56% more likely to be loyal.
- Customers are most likely to return to a company for the product’s quality, according to a 2020 poll, but sustainable business practices were in second place.
- To capture the growing number of customers that are looking for environmentally friendly companies, it’s critical to implement more sustainable business practices.
- Customers will relate to you better if you demonstrate that you care about the environment and the effects your e-commerce business has on it. You connect with them on an emotional level, which will enhance customer experience and loyalty, by demonstrating that you care about the environment and the impact your e-commerce business has on it.
The top 5 e-commerce best practices for reducing your carbon footprint
Going green with your company does not have to ruin your whole supply chain, but it can enhance it.
There are several useful actions that you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your e-commerce business without hurting your earnings (and in some cases, improving them over time).
1. Use eco-friendly packaging
Excess and non-recyclable packaging are two of the most significant contributors to waste. Recycled materials or those that are readily recyclable or compostible make up eco-friendly packaging.
EcoEnclose, for example, provides a range of recyclable and/or compostable cardboard and plastic packaging alternatives, such as boxes, bags, tape, cushioning, and even labels.
Switching to a more environmentally friendly packaging solution comes at a higher cost, but 70% of consumers would pay more for environmental packaging. With that in mind, the expense of sustainable packaging is well worth it.
2. Eliminate single-use plastics
Single-use plastics are a major source of waste, pollution, and climate change. It’s critical to look for methods to cut down on their usage throughout your supply chain (and even better, completely stop using them).
When purchasing in bulk, customers are ready to pay for the convenience of having everything delivered together. This means eliminating the act of packing each item within an order in its own bag (or using ships in own container packaging), as well as reducing the amount of marketing material that comes with every purchase.
Look for a biodegradable bag, or one made from recycled materials, to replace the current one if the goods’s nature necessitates unique packaging for safety or sanitary reasons.
3. Offers carbon offsets as part of its shipping costs
As we’ve seen, shipping generates carbon emissions, which contribute to global warming.
By using EcoCart, e-commerce firms may calculate the precise carbon footprint of each order and offset it by donating that amount to verified carbon offsetting programs that are actively lowering the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Businesses can either pay for offsets on behalf of their customers or give them the option to offset at checkout, which is commonly 1-2% of the total order value.
You may also use eco-friendly materials to make your store more environmentally friendly and attractive. These touch points might include signage, packaging, product design, and advertising. In order to ensure that your consumers are aware of the campaign, you may utilize EcoCart to integrate sustainability touchpoints throughout the customer experience.
4. Carbon offsets can be purchased by the business
Carbon offsetting is a fantastic method to use outside of your e-commerce company to make it more sustainable. Even if your company does not operate online, there are still considerable carbon emissions from routine logistics activities.
Carbonfund is another option, which assesses a company’s carbon footprint and then offsets it by funding carbon reduction projects.
When offsetting carbon emissions, you may want to have a large and broadly diverse portfolio of offsetting projects.
5. When you can, distribute your stock to minimize the distance goods must travel
Customers are used to receiving their purchases quickly and inexpensively. If you’re shipping from a facility in California, for example, it’s nearly impossible to get your customer’s purchase to them in New York within two days via ground shipping, which is not as bad for the environment as air delivery.