Eco-friendly ecommerce, also known as green ecommerce or sustainable ecommerce, is the concept of brands conducting their operations in an environmentally-friendly way.
What Is Eco-Friendly Ecommerce?
Eco-friendly ecommerce, also known as green ecommerce or sustainable ecommerce, is the concept of brands conducting their operations in an environmentally-friendly way. Brands selling online can create eco-friendly and sustainable products for their customers while assessing and reducing the carbon footprint of their practices.
Importance of Making Ecommerce Eco-Friendly
We have only one planet we call home, the Earth. As inhabitants of Earth, it is our responsibility to take care of our planet, and we should work to make this planet a better place for the coming generations.
While building an eco-friendly, sustainable brand positively impacts the environment, it is also a business decision that can help increase your customer loyalty and brand perception. Consumer sentiments have changed over the years, and today’s consumer is purpose-driven and chooses brands that align with their values. It is important to apply more sustainable business practices in ecommerce operations to target the growing number of customers looking for eco-friendly brands.
When you show your customers that you are considerate of the environment and your business practices’ impact on reducing carbon emissions, you connect with them on an emotional level. Relevance creates more loyalty and improves the customer experience.
Best Practices for an Eco-Friendly Ecommerce Business
Going green as an ecommerce business doesn’t have to disrupt your supply chain. In fact, adopting eco-friendly practices can be healthy for your bottom line. Today there are many actionable practices you can deploy to do your bit for the environment.
Adopt Eco-Friendly Shipping
One of the first things to do when becoming a sustainable ecommerce company is adopting eco-friendly shipping practices. Many ecommerce brands overlook this tactic because their focus is more on making sure that the products are environment friendly. So what should you do to make sure that your ecommerce is eco-friendly? Here are some ideas:
There are many more things that you can do to make your shipping practices more sustainable. You need to research what’s best for your business from a cost point of view.
Create Eco-Friendly Packaging
Excess and non-recyclable packaging items like plastic contribute to more waste on our planet. Eco-friendly packaging is made of recycled materials and will help you cut back on leftover materials.
While switching to eco-friendly packaging comes at a cost, brands should know that many customers are ready to pay more for sustainable packaging. Therefore, creating sustainable packaging for your products can do good for both your reputation and sales.
Stock Eco-Friendly Products
Some products are more environmentally friendly compared to others. It will be easier for you to build a sustainable brand image if you can stock such items. Stocking eco-friendly products is one of the easiest ways of cutting the carbon footprint of your brand.
When selling eco-friendly items, make sure to inquire what makes them sustainable. There’s a load of information out there about how companies produce eco-friendly items. You can use this information to incorporate bits that are relevant to your brand.
Tweak Your Brand Image
Your company’s brand image says a lot about who you are and how you work. When going eco-friendly, make sure to tweak this image to include the eco-friendly side of your business. So, if you did not include sustainability practices on your About Us page before, you should tweak your brand messaging now. Changing the branding message does not mean that you completely throw away your entire brand image. You can decide to keep some core elements and add a new sustainability motto.
But including the word ‘sustainable’ is not enough in building a brand image. You must talk about the specific steps you take to make your ecommerce company greener. For instance, you can present statistics about reducing carbon footprint relative to the competitor’s practices.
Another good idea is to get a rating from a company that produces sustainability indexes. Display them on your website to let consumers know where you stand. Several companies take some eco-friendly initiatives but fail to relay this aspect of their business. You need to market your eco-friendly initiatives and make them a core part of your brand.
Create Recycling Policies for Employees
As an ecommerce company, you will be handling a lot of materials and will need to process papers and other documentation in your day-to-day operations. If you create your own inventory, you need to think about that as well.
It can help put a policy in place that encourages your employees to recycle stock that otherwise will go to waste. Create clear guidelines to help them do this efficiently and provide insights to help the employees. You can also put the recycling policy in the employee handbook.
Get Products From Local Suppliers
A big misconception about sustainability is that the carbon footprint of any product is mostly determined by the materials used to produce it. This is not true. Transportation plays a huge role in deciding a product’s carbon footprint, and you can lower the carbon footprint of your product by going local.
Leverage Carbon Offsets
Carbon offsets are a nice tool to utilize and make your ecommerce business greener. Even though your shop is online, many carbon emissions come from daily logistics operations. You can partner with a company that helps you offset your carbon footprint or go for carbon-neutral shipping. It’s also a good idea to work with organizations that determine the carbon footprint of your business activities and then devise a plan to offset them with the help of various carbon offsetting projects.