Your business may be based online, but it still has a physical impact on the environment. The choices you make as an e-commerce business owner ripple outward to affect the real world.
Taking steps to make your e-commerce store eco-friendly helps the environment and helps your business too. Consumers are more aware than ever before about environmental concerns, and they are showing their support with their wallets. A 2015 Nielsen survey found that “66 percent of global respondents say they’re willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.” This showed an 11 percent jump from the year before. Green and eco-friendly businesses are on the rise.
As an enterprise e-commerce entrepreneur, you can support the protection of the environment with the choices you make about your products, packaging, and more. Go green with your eCommerce business by following these tips:
Excess packaging is wasteful and not environmentally friendly. Take a look at your products and figure out how to ship them with the least amount of packaging possible, while still ensuring damage-free transport.
Not only should you reduce your packaging materials, you should also make sure the materials you do use are eco-friendly. For example, do not ship your products using Styrofoam. Styrofoam is not biodegradable and it often ends up polluting the environment. Instead, use recyclable packing materials like paper or cardboard. Avoid using plastic as much as possible.
Make Quality Products
We’ve all been there. You buy some product from the internet and within days the cheap plastic breaks and you end up throwing it out. Think about the impact on the environment that results every time a customer has this experience. What a waste.
Your eCommerce business can be different. From the very beginning, make sure your products are durable and built to last, not destined to end up in a landfill in a few weeks. Not only is this better for the environment, but your customers will have a better experience too.
Use All-Natural and Eco-Friendly Materials
When making your products, you have a choice in what kind of materials you use. You can use source materials that are environmentally friendly, or not. In making your products, try to avoid toxic chemicals or other production processes that harm the environment. For example, consider using organic cotton for your clothing line instead of cotton sprayed with harsh chemicals.
Consider Products Made in The U.S.A.
Imagine for a moment that you are manufacturing products in China. Think about all the environmental costs of shipping products halfway around the world to reach your customers in the United States. Also consider the lack of environmental regulations on overseas manufacturers, in addition to other ethical concerns.
Many consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental and ethical concerns of overseas manufacturing. There is a growing movement of support for products made in the U.S.A. for environmental, ethical, and economical reasons. Consider if this approach is right for your business.
Donate to Organizations Supporting Environmentalism
There are only so many things you can do to support environmentalism as a small business owner. Even if you reduce packing and make quality products with eco-friendly materials, no one (and no business) is perfect.
That’s why it’s a great idea to donate to organizations supporting environmental stewardship. These organizations devote all their time and resources to protecting the environment, and they need our support.
Plus, socially conscious businesses are gaining a lot of popularity in recent years. For example, there are several companies that plant a tree for every product sold. Integrating important social causes into your business is great PR and great for the environment too.
There’s no excuse not to make at least one improvement in your eCommerce business to help protect the environment. Your business, your customers, and the planet will be better for it!