Exploring the Value of Sustainability in eCommerce

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Exploring the Value of Sustainability in eCommerce

Sustainability has been trending for years, but it has only recently become a niche trend to a necessity. Even before climate change became a hot topic, individuals sought sustainability and understood the value of living a more eco-conscious life. But now, with an increase in information and more and more people prioritizing mindful practices, sustainability is no longer a neat idea—it’s a demand.  

Businesses can expect this marketing trend of sustainability to show up more than ever before in the coming years. Still, it’s essential to understand its value and make more permanent changes as it is likely a trend here to stay. Making temporary “green” adjustments to your brand and practices will no longer suffice. Customers don’t want products pretending to be eco-conscious to cater to current trends—they want genuinely sustainable brands that they can trust and feel good about. 

The Rise of Sustainable eCommerce

Sustainable eCommerce trends aren’t popping up as a way to feed into a fad. Instead, consumers and businesses are learning more and more to understand the necessity of sustainable living. From our homes and cars to our everyday decisions and the products that we buy, we see a rise in eco-conscious behaviors and practices. 

The eCommerce industry is particularly affected as new consumers prioritize online shopping over in-person purchases. This rapid growth in eCommerce means businesses have to adapt quickly, but it also means that eCommerce now has a more significant impact on the environment. 

If businesses want to continue to experience growth and appeal to today’s consumers, they have to find ways to reduce their environmental impact. This means making more than just “cosmetic” changes. Today’s customers are more discerning and thus don’t fall prey as easily to greenwashing practices. If you genuinely want to make a difference and meet demands, you have to make more thorough and permanent sustainable changes to your eCommerce operations. 

Sustainable eCommerce Practices

To update your eCommerce business to include more sustainable practices, you need to look at your supply chain and manufacturing processes. In addition, customers want to see that you are making complete changes from the inside out. The following are a few of the ways you update both your brand and your business operations as a whole to become more eco-friendly and sustainable:

  • Opt for local, small-batch manufacturing. Local manufacturing is much better for the environment than having products transported overseas. The farther your products have to travel to reach their destination, the more resources you consume, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, producing products locally is not only better economically, but it reduces your carbon footprint. 
  • Reevaluate your brand identity. If your brand ethos and company philosophy aren’t centered around mindful behaviors and practices, then your business and operations as a whole won’t be sustainable either. Take a look at how you present yourself externally to customers and internally amongst your staff. Mindful and inclusive company culture will help you reflect and implement more sustainable practices and ideals. 
  • Invest in biodegradable plastics and use other more sustainable packaging materials. When manufacturing your products, don’t forget about the packaging. The products themselves should be sustainable, but so too should the packaging. Look into recyclable materials and biodegradable plastics that help you reduce waste and cut back on unrenewable resources. 
  • Implement internal energy-saving and waste-reduction practices. Evaluate your internal operations and find ways to reduce your environmental impact by reducing your waste consumption. You can do this by implementing a recycling system and using more energy-saving products and devices. 
  • Look into carbon offsets. Understandably, not all businesses have the means to make significant sustainable changes to their manufacturing and supply chain processes. If this is the case, look for other areas to offset your carbon emissions. By finding ways to offset some of your operations that aren’t as sustainable, you can still make positive changes that reduce your contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.  

The Value of Sustainable eCommerce

Often, companies that have a hard time justifying eco-conscious changes don’t fully understand the value and benefit of sustainability. Making changes can sometimes mean a business has to spend more money initially, which can be hard to justify, but sustainable changes can benefit your business in the long run. 

Going green isn’t just good for the environment; it’s suitable for your company and your customers as well. Implementing recycling programs and energy-saving practices, for example, can reduce the need for as many materials and resources and reduce your energy bill, which can help you cut costs significantly within your internal operations. 

Sustainable practices will also create customer loyalty and help you attract new customers. Ultimately, the goal of any business is to make money by creating products that customers want and need. And as today’s consumers both desire and demand more sustainable products, making these changes to your business operations and practices will appeal to customers. By going green, you can continue to experience growth and increase your profits as we move more and more into a sustainable and eco-conscious future. 

Exploring the Value of Sustainability in eCommerce