Environmentally friendly businesses and practices are becoming more and more popular and, as these practices develop, it may inspire you to make your business more sustainable thanks to your desire to help the planet and environment. Not only is being environmentally friendly a great way to improve your green footprint, but it is becoming an increasingly better way to maximize revenue.
The demand for sustainable products is growing massively, with consumers buying more environmentally friendly products than ever before. These consumers are also more likely to support similar brands that also endorse environmentally friendly practices and products. More and more aspects of the business chain are becoming increasingly more environmentally friendly, from less printing in the office to sustainable packaging materials when it comes to shipping and consumers are starting to pick up on this more. This then positively influences consumers into buying products from the brands, as they are investing in sustainability throughout the business model.
If you have an ecommerce business and are wanting to make your business operations more sustainable and environmentally friendly, then here are some great tips as to how your ecommerce business can be more eco friendly.
One of the biggest and most important steps when it comes to being a more environmentally friendly ecommerce business is taking a look at your shipping methods and practices. This is something that a huge number of ecommerce businesses tend to overlook as they tend to focus solely on the products they are selling and how to make those more environmentally friendly. If you want to make your shipping more sustainable and environmentally friendly, then there are some places in which you can start.
If you ship products overseas or import products from other countries, then a great place to start is by working with carbon-neutral shipping companies. Although a fairly new concept, some shipping companies now have initiatives in place to offset carbon emissions, which of course is a huge bonus compared to traditional shipping methods, they obviously can’t eliminate them altogether. This is a great place to start if you wish to work on your carbon emissions as a footprint and start making your practices more sustainable.
Another way in which you can make your shipping practices more sustainable is by changing the products and materials you use for packaging orders. Depending on what your ecommerce business specialises in or the products in which they sell, you can change your packaging materials to ones that are more environmentally friendly. Instead of using plastic wrapping and outer packaging, use biodegradable plastic or paper packaging instead, which can be easily recycled. For delicate or bulkier packages, starch packing peanuts are a great alternative to plastic bubble wrap and can be easily and safely disposed of down drains when combined with water.
If you start stocking sustainable and environmentally friendly products, then you might notice that your customer base expands and becomes more interested in your sustainable product offerings. If you want to make your ecommerce business more eco-friendly, then stocking and offering sustainable products is one of the best places to start.
There are many eco-friendly alternatives and even improvements that can be made to products that can sit alongside your current product offering and not look out of place during a transition period. Tidy Tot is a baby product brand that specialised in baby weaning products and last year, launched eco-friendly and sustainable bamboo washcloths for babies, which can be used instead of baby wipes after mealtimes. This product not only fitted in with their brand values and product line but also made a start on their sustainable product offerings and range.
Try To Shop Local
One of the biggest misconceptions which plagues the sustainability industry is that the carbon footprint of products is largely dependent on the materials that are used to produce them. This isn’t entirely true and transportation actually plays a huge role in determining a business or product’s carbon footprint.
One of the best ways to lower your ecommerce business products carbon footprint is by shopping local. Whether it’s choosing another local business from whom you get your packaging materials or even just using a nearby greengrocer to buy healthy snacks for the office, try and shop local wherever possible.
Enhance Your Brand Image
When you make the decision to start increasing your sustainability as an ecommerce business or brand, it isn’t uncommon to then want to share this with your customers or social media following. It’s also a good idea to rebuild your brand’s image around your new sustainability practices and what this might mean for your existing and future client and customer base.
If you haven’t already made your environmental approach a key element of your branding, then it is important to incorporate it somehow. There is no need to get rid of your current brand image and marketing strategy, you can simply keep your core elements and add in your new sustainability mindset. When it comes to introducing your new eco friendly messaging to your consumer base, you will ideally want to target and talk about specific steps that you have taken to make your ecommerce business cheaper.
Statistics are great ways to introduce this new business model to your consumers and can be tailored to fit your marketing strategy and to correlate with your competitors, as can a brand new marketing strategy focused on your new eco-friendly products, complete with shiny new graphics and website banners. When you have transformed your business to one which is focused on sustainability and eco-friendly, you have every right to be proud of this, but these new measures are not going to do your brand awareness much good if you keep it a secret. You need to openly discuss and promote your new sustainable initiatives and make them a core focus of your brand.
Develop In-House Sustainable Policies
As an ecommerce business, you are likely to have one or two office bases for your support and customer service staff, as well as management. Whilst focusing on sustainability practices in areas of your business such as shipping and products are great, developing them to be in-house too is a great way to make them one of the main core ethics of your business and brand.
Simple things such as paperless statements, invoices and payslips are small but meaningful ways you can greatly reduce your emissions and still do the job which they are intended to do. Even things such as recycling bins, desk plants, powering off computers and devices at the end of the day and sustainable office supplies.