How Can Ecommerce be Environmentally Friendly

In case you hadn’t noticed, the global ecommerce market has enjoyed exponential growth throughout the digital age, with online sales now accounting for 18.4% of the market share in China and 15% in the United States (the corresponding number for the UK is estimated at 16%).

As ecommerce continues to grow at an exponential rate, however, so too does the economic impact of packaging and shipping goods online. This is why there’s an increased drive to make ecommerce sustainable in the modern age, without compromise on the ability of brands’ to sell to customers from across the globe.

In this article, we’ll explore the notion of sustainable ecommerce a little further,by asking what steps you can take to make your online business more environmentally friendly.

Address Your Company’s Ethos

Regardless of your own personal beliefs on sustainability, the move to create more environmentally friendly ecommerce businesses is becoming irresistible.

This is creating a scenario where firms will soon be required to adopt a sustainable approach to ecommerce, so it’s far better for businesses to embrace this concept now and reimagine their ethos as a proactive measure.

In this respect, your approach to sustainability should become a key aspect of your business operation, from the materials that you use to your mission statement and the level of transparency that you offer to your customers.

Presenting your practices clearly and concisely should remain a huge priority, and one that can help to reassure socially-aware customers that you’re a brand that they can trust.

Think Carefully About Your Packaging Material

We’ve already touched briefly on this, and there’s no doubt that the materials used to package online shipments contribute heavily to the cumulative environmental cost of ecommerce.

To this end, you should complete a comprehensive review of the materials used, with recycled boxes offering an obvious advantage from a sustainability perspective.

Corrugated cardboard boxes offer outstanding value to businesses in this respect too, as they can be used on several different occasions and provide a sustainable alternative to bubble-wrap in larger shipments.

This is a particularly important consideration, with the global population producing more than 320 million tons of plastic in 2016 and this number set to double by the end of 2034.

Source Packaging Materials from Local Suppliers

When sourcing manufacturing materials (and indeed any core components that are central to your business), you can also create a more sustainable model by liaising with local suppliers.

After all, this reduces your business’s carbon footprint, by minimising the distance travelled by the materials that you use to manufacture, package and ultimately ship your products to customers. 

This also offers a significant advantage from a financial perspective, which is important when you consider that a growing number of firms are seeking out ecommerce business loans to help them create a sustainable business model.

By working with local suppliers, however, you can organically cut costs without compromising on the viability of your venture.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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