4 ways E-commerce merchants can go green

October 18, 2019

Now more than ever, it is crucial that retailers put sustainability at the forefront of their business strategy and there is no better way to do it than choosing an eco-friendly packaging. Climate change is one of the most critical issues of our time, and it is top of mind for consumers globally.

According to the market research firm eMarketer, research conducted by CGS in November 2018 found that:

68% of American internet users deemed product sustainability an important factor in making a purchase.

The demand for sustainable products is a global phenomenon, for many reasons. Opting for eco-friendly packaging reduces your brand carbon footprint, and drives brand loyalty.

How can e-commerce merchants be more sustainable and eco-friendly?

1) Reduce waste from the delivery process

Tackling and removing excess waste from the delivery process is a crucial sustainability issue brands should tackle.

One way your firm can curb waste is by issuing a return policy for e-commerce boxes. Create a program that allows consumers to return boxes to your firm so they can be upcycled, reused or recycled etc.

2) Choose biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging materials.

There is now a variety of quality, sustainable and eco-friendly packaging materials available at an affordable price.

Here are an excellent eco-friendly materials to consider when designing your next package:

  • Biodegradable air peanuts
  • Mushroom packaging
  • Recycled cardboard and paper
  • Eco-friendly plastic and recycled plastic
  • Seaweed packaging
  • Cornstarch packaging
3) Reduce the thickness of the tape being used for packages to save tape and curb tape waste.

A Chinese company called JD recently implemented. This strategy saved more than 100 million meters of tape in two years—that’s enough tape to stretch around the globe twice!

4) Implement eco-friendly messaging on your packaging.

Add custom messages to your packaging that encourages your consumers to recycle your product. You can also add custom messaging that delivers additional instructions on how consumers can reuse your packaging. If consumers get a friendly reminder, they’re more likely to take steps to recycle their packaging.

The Bottom line

Typically, when a retailer decides to look for sustainability gains inside the shipping cycle, they’re examining the recyclability of the e-commerce packaging. However, brands could take it a step further by reducing the number of damaged shipments.

According to an article by Multichannelmerchant.com, “Almost half of the total environmental cost of shipping (48%) comes from damage.”

Your firm is likely already using a host of tools to monitor damage rates.

By taking steps to reduce damaged shipments, using recyclable materials and eco-friendly packaging you can improve your brand’s sustainability substantially. There is no one simple solution to reducing your carbon footprint. Transporting goods, packaging goods, and creating products all create an environmental impact. Sustainability practices are very complicated, but by protecting goods, reducing fossil fuels and using eco-friendly packaging, you can put your organization at the forefront of the green revolution.


Read more:

Do you care? Climate change & Eco-friendly Packaging