The environment is a growing concern. Not just for politicians, but for consumers and, by extension, for businesses too. Across the world people, businesses and government authorities are looking for more sustainable ways to live – including everything from energy production to waste disposal. But how can you get involved? Read on as we explore some ways your ecommerce business could go green.
Why should you go green?
The environment – why is that my problem? Well, for one, because it affects the world we all live in. As we continue to emit greenhouse gases, we can see the effects of pollution and climate change taking place with more force each year. Floods, coastal erosion and worsening air quality particularly in urban areas, are all results of climate change. Quite simply, it’s the biggest threat to our existence in the long run.
On a slightly less long-term basis, however, it’s also the biggest threat to the global economy. The 2016 Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum found that a failure to adapt to and mitigate climate change posed the greatest potential impact over a ten-year period.
On top of that, there are the concerns of consumers. Climate change awareness is growing, and customers – particularly younger generations – are looking to buy from businesses with sustainability in mind. Findings suggest nearly three quarters of millennials would be willing to pay more for sustainable products – or those from businesses with a positive environmental reputation. So, how can you make your business greener?
From food and clothes to toys and gadgets – everything we buy is packaged. For ecommerce businesses, this means shipping out swathes of packaged products, only for the packaging to be discarded immediately when it gets to the customer. The result? Every ten years, global plastic production doubles and a huge amount of it ends up in the ocean, if not in landfills, taking hundreds of years to degrade and seriously impacting wildlife in the meantime.
To tackle this problem, businesses can employ a range of “green packaging” practices:
- Minimise the amount of packaging you use overall
- Use reusable or recyclable materials wherever possible
- Remove any toxic materials such as high-phthalate plastics
- Make sure packaging is easy to recycle, by making it easy to separate plastic and cardboard pieces, for instance.
Reducing the impact of shipping
Trucks using conventional fuels like diesel and petrol emit a wide range of pollutants directly into the atmosphere, including particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases. As well as contributing to global warming, they can affect the health of those exposed to them. It’s even worse for companies who ship internationally, with cargo ships and aircrafts contributing significantly to emissions.
To minimise the impact of your shipping process, encourage customers to cluster their purchases. This avoids split shipments to the same address. Some companies even incentivise this by making additional purchases cheaper if they can be shipped together. You can also use a low emissions carrier. Do some research on your logistics provider. It’s usually quite easy to find out about their commitment to reducing emissions.
The final way you can go green is through your company’s energy use. Try switching to a green energy supplier. These are firms who supply electricity and gas without using non-renewable sources and without harming the environment. Understandably, this isn’t an option for companies who rent their office or warehouse space. In this case, you should simply try to minimise how much energy you use.
Optimising your ecommerce store
Fluid Digital is a team of Magento-certified web developers. We build award-winning Magento ecommerce stores for businesses both big and small. We might not be able to make your business greener, but we can ensure your website is attracting traffic and converting visitors into sales. Contact us today to talk about your project.