How to Move your Ecommerce Business to Eco-Friendly
Ecommerce is a fast-expanding industry. With more and more people turning to online shopping, the overall growth undoubtedly concerns the environment around us. With the increased demand, excessive packaging and fast shipping, the system challenges environmental friendliness.
The entire eCommerce supply chain can have negative effects on the earth, from the initial planning stages to the arrival of products in the customer's hands. It's no wonder that many eCommerce brands are looking at their carbon footprint to reduce the environmental impact of their business practices.
There is no reason your eCommerce brand can't progress to become a green business. The process can be relatively straightforward with an environmentally conscious mind and a commitment to green practices. As the business world looks to combat climate change, now is a great time to get on-board.
If you're looking to make changes, this article discusses sustainable solutions to move your eCommerce business toward a more sustainable future. Read on to find out exactly what you can do to make a positive impact.
What is an Eco-Friendly Ecommerce Business?
An eco-friendly ecommerce business, or green ecommerce, sells goods and services to consumers online while following ethical and sustainable practices. The business model has an environmental initiative, whether using a recycling program, offering more environmentally friendly products, or better shipping practices.
Despite no physical store, an eCommerce company requires a supply chain to function successfully. From raw materials to manufacturing and distribution, there are many ways for a business to become environmentally conscious from looking at the different steps in the system.
Whatever your place in the eCommerce business world, there is always potential to optimise waste management, improve energy efficiency, protect human health and promote green living.
Why Go Eco-Friendly?
Running a green business is the best way to build your online brand without destroying the planet in the meantime. With climate change threatening generations to come, it's essential to do your bit as a business owner.
As more and more companies turn to eco-friendly practices, it's now easy and convenient to find sustainable solutions that work for you. It's about making smart decisions and remaining considerate to the planet as you grow your company.
Many businesses fear that building a sustainable brand will be costly, but with the right initiatives in place, eco-friendly business practices can save money in the long run.
The most obvious reason to go green is to help save the world, but there are several other benefits to building a greener business, both economically and environmentally. Here are some of the top reasons to drive your business toward a more sustainable future.
Increase customer loyalty
It's not only businesses changing their ways. Consumers are keener than ever to change shopping habits and find more sustainable solutions. If you offer your online shoppers just that, your customers are more likely to stick with you rather than turn to other brands offering more sustainable products and services.
Loyalty to the planet will increase customer loyalty to you. People will keep returning if they not only love your products and services but also feel that shopping from you is a positive choice. It confirms that you care about the planet and not just about profit.
Attract new customers
There is a growing number of consumers searching for good quality products and services from eco-friendly brands. It makes sense that consumers look for brands that align with their values. With better sustainable practices, you attract a wider range of customers who want to support the environment and reduce their own carbon footprint.
Raise brand awareness
Raising awareness of the planet can help grow your own brand's identity. If you're going to become an eco-friendly company, you should communicate it and let people know what you're all about. Before long, your brand identity will grow, and you will become recognised for your greener ways and thoughtful business decisions.
While competition is tough, implementing ethical and sustainable practices can help to inspire other brands to look at their current business practices. If you show it can be done while still leading a successful ecommerce business, others will soon catch on and prioritise environmental issues.
If everybody did a little bit more, the world would benefit greatly. Why not be the eCommerce company leading the way?
How to Move your Ecommerce Business to Eco-Friendly
As with any commitment toward green living, moving your online shop to an eco-friendly business starts with small steps. You don't necessarily have to uproot your entire business model, but instead, work to improve on what you already have.
There is always room for improvement, whether evaluating your supply chain, updating your brand ethos, or adding new policies. No matter how small, every change positively impacts the world around us. Here are six business practices you can adopt to create a greener business.
Create your eco-friendly plan
With so many ways to improve sustainability with your ecommerce business, it can be overwhelming to get started. So, before making promises you can't keep, take the time to craft a plan.
Whether you're just starting in ecommerce or want to update your business model with sustainable solutions, strategy is key. Once the plan is in place, you can make fundamental changes to your operations. After that, you can share your mission with your customers.
It's important to take a clear stance on environmental sustainability before attempting to implement processes. This way, you can ensure the measures are viable for your business before backtracking or disappointing customers.
Switch to eco-friendly packaging
Implementing a recycling program is a prime factor to reduce waste. Every online retailer requires packaging, so choose packaging materials that don't contribute to landfill waste and plastic pollution. Eco-friendly packaging tends to be made from recycled materials that are compostable or reused time after time.
From the labelling to the sticky tape and soy ink, there are multiple options available that are environmentally friendly. Many eco-friendly companies even resell used merchandise as part of recycling policies.
Remember that excess packaging leads to packaging waste. Aim to use only the necessary materials to ship your orders to customers. When you reduce waste, it has a tremendous impact on your business's carbon footprint.
Sometimes making the switch to eco-friendly deliveries comes with more significant costs. However, many online shoppers are willing to pay a higher price tag for sustainable packaging solutions, resolving financial issues.
Avoid single-use plastics
If your ecommerce business requires plastics, opt for recycled plastic instead of single-use. There are several ways to cut back on single-use plastics throughout the supply chain without leaving your business to suffer.
Plastic products that are only used once quickly reach landfills, the streets and the world's oceans. Plastic waste plays a significant role in the pollution crisis, damaging the environment and our health on a global level.
With so many other materials available on the market, it doesn't need to be too tricky to eliminate single-use plastic from your company.
Focus on your products
Aside from approaching the supply chain differently, a key solution to make your business more sustainable is to sell products that match the same values. Depending on what you sell, you can source more environmentally friendly products, whether you're selling eco-friendly cleaning products or office supplies.
You could consider sourcing your raw materials from the local community, using fair trade products, or choosing ingredients from the natural environment.
The products and services you offer will help encourage a sustainable mindset amongst your customers, contributing to the overall protection of the earth. And let's not forget, sustainable products are in demand. There are countless ways to contribute to your sustainability mission.
Reducing your online shop's energy consumption prevents energy waste. In offices, warehouses and distribution centres, you can save energy by cutting back on electricity usage, for instance, switching off appliances, turning down the heating, and using energy-saving lighting.
As well as saving energy, there are some financial advantages to cutting energy costs. Your bill will be smaller, so you can spend money elsewhere to support environmental friendliness.
Cut carbon emissions
Carbon emission describes the release of carbon into the atmosphere that is detrimental to the planet, forcing climate change. Ecommerce companies have carbon emissions throughout the supply chain, and you should assess each link individually for sustainability potential.
One way to reduce your business's carbon footprint is to partake in greener shipping practices. For instance, smaller eCommerce businesses might consider delivering items via bike within the local community instead of transporting goods via road vehicle.
Another option is to offer drop-off and pick-up points for orders to reduce transportation between individual homes. While fast delivery for online shopping is in demand, it's a good idea to consider your current delivery options and develop ways to become more carbon neutral.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, an eco-friendly ecommerce business is a positive move for you, your customers and most importantly, the planet. Going green has too many advantages to ignore, and in the current climate, it's more important than ever before.
A considerate attitude, a well-thought-out plan, and simple changes are the essential tools you need to make the switch. With the green practices suggested in this article, you can soon have a green business that you are proud of and establish your brand as one of the eco-friendly companies that the world needs.