Environmentally friendly businesses are becoming a lot more popular these days. You might be inspired to implement more sustainable practices due to your own desire to help the planet. However, becoming an eco-friendly business is also a good way to maximize revenue.
Demand for sustainable products is growing considerably. One survey found that 72% of people around the world are purchasing more environmentally friendly products. They are also more likely to support brands that endorse environmentally friendly practices in general.
If you are running an e-commerce company, there are a number of things that you can do to make your online store more environmentally friendly. Some important tips are listed below.
Come up with eco-friendly shipping practices
One of the most important steps towards becoming an environmentally friendly e-commerce company is developing eco-friendly shipping practices. This is something that many ecommerce brands overlook, because they focus so strongly on making sure the products themselves are environmentally friendly.
What steps can you take to make your shipping eco-friendlier? Some ideas are listed below:
- Work with carbon neutral shipping companies. Some shipping companies have initiatives in place to offset their carbon emissions. They obviously can’t eliminate them altogether, but they can take steps to offset them to a reasonable degree. Some shipping companies also use more environmentally friendly vehicles to minimize their carbon footprint.
- Consider offering a rewards program for customers that return empty containers. This is a great way to ensure that all materials are reused, rather than being sent to the landfills.
- Use packaging that is produced with a smaller carbon footprint. You can find some packaging that are made from recycled materials. You can also try using packaging materials that your customers will be able to repurpose easily.
- Ship your items in bulk. Even if they are going to different destinations, it will still be more efficient if they are sent to the central processing station at the same time.
There are a lot of things that you can do to make your shipping practices more sustainable. You will want to follow them carefully if you want to reduce the carbon footprint of your e-commerce business.
Focus on stocking eco-friendly products
You will find that a lot of products are more environmentally friendly than others. You will have an easier time building a sustainable brand image if you stock these products. This is one of the most important ways to cut the carbon footprint of your ecommerce brand.
You should try to learn more about the reputation of the suppliers that you will be working for. There are a number of websites that will help you learn how eco-friendly different companies are. Ecolabel Index and Ecocert are two of the best eco-certification sites.
Tweak your brand image to emphasize your commitment to environmental preservation
You will want to let your customers know about your company’s commitment to sustainability. You are going to want to build your company’s brand image around your sustainability practices.
if you haven’t already made environmental issues an aspect of your brand, then you should make some changes to your messaging. You don’t need to completely throw out your entire brand image. You can keep the other core elements and simply add your new sustainability ethos.
In order to be sincere with your messaging, you will want to talk about the specific steps that you have taken to make your company greener. You can give statistics about the reduction in your carbon footprint relative to competitors based on your shipping practices in the products that you carry. You might also want to get rated by a company that produces sustainability indexes.
You have every right to be proud that you created a sustainable e-commerce brand. However, those measures are not going to do you much good if you keep them a secret. You need to openly market your sustainability initiatives and make them a core part of your brand.
Develop recycling policies for your employees to follow
As an e-commerce company, you might not be responsible for storing a lot of inventory on your own. However, you are going to be handling a lot of different materials. You will still have to process papers and a lot of other materials to run the business efficiently. If you are responsible for creating your own inventory, then you’ll have to think about that too.
You will want to have a policy in place to encourage your employees to recycle products that would otherwise go to waste. You should have clear guidelines to help them do so efficiently and give insights to help them. You might even want to have your recycling policy in the employee handbook.
Try to get products from local suppliers
One of the biggest misconceptions about sustainability is that the carbon footprint of a product is largely determined based on the materials used to produce it. This is actually not true. Transportation actually plays an important role in determining a product’s carbon footprint. You can lower your carbon footprint by going local.