How to Make Your ecommerce Business Greener in 2023

How to make your ecommerce business greener in 2023

Did you know that over half of Brits now take into account a business’ eco-credentials when making a purchase? There’s no doubt that being sustainable is becoming a must for brands, especially if you want to keep thriving long into the future! But going green isn’t always as simple as it sounds. 

To inspire your sustainable strategy in 2023, we’ve put together some top tips to reduce the impact of your brand on our planet. 

Switch to Renewable Energy and Eco Hosts

As an ecommerce company, a lot of your processes will be done online. But spending hours every day plugged into the digital world racks up a hefty electricity bill, especially if you have an office of employees all doing the same. To instantly make the running of your business more sustainable, switch to a renewable energy provider. These companies power your tech using sustainable energy sources, like solar and wind power, which have a smaller carbon footprint than non-renewable energy.

It’s also likely that your website and digital files are stored externally on a host or third-party server. These giant machines consume vast amounts of energy, and if the company you’re working with isn’t green, it’s going to reflect badly on your business. Find eco-friendly website hosts and servers to keep our planet safe for future generations.

Audit Your Packaging

Over 80% of consumers believe that brands use excessive amounts of packaging. As an ecommerce company, make 2023 the year that you audit your packaging to ship more sustainably. The materials you look at should include the packaging that the product is already in, as well as the materials you use for shipping.

Wherever you can, try to ditch plastic. Use cardboard to protect the product, switch plastic bags for alternatives made of cornstarch or sugarcane, and swap plastic packing peanuts for biodegradable options or shredded cardboard. It’s also smart to look for recycled packaging, which helps protect our planet’s resources and reduces the carbon footprint of your products.

Ship Your Products Sustainably 

It’s not just what materials you ship your products in that you should consider, but how you ship them, too! Freight comes with a huge environmental impact, especially if you ship worldwide, and should be a main focus when trying to reduce your carbon footprint. Many brands these days prioritise quick delivery rather than eco-friendly transport, too, which only adds to the problem. 

Always give your customers the option for eco delivery, which you can put a cheaper price to make it more favourable. This will usually be slower but better planned, with fewer trucks and planes needed to deliver. You can also find companies that actively try to ship sustainably, using electric cars and boats rather than planes, with efficient planning to cut down on CO2. 

Improve Recycling of Difficult Materials

By now, most companies will have recycling of common materials in place. Paper, cardboard, and most plastics can all be easily recycled, but what about trickier materials? There are ways to recycle a lot of products that local councils won’t take, helping your company cut down on waste and go the extra mile. Terracycle, for example, is brilliant at taking hard-to-recycle materials, and companies like Priority WEEE can recycle your IT tech, giving old computers a new lease of life.

Raise Money For Sustainable Causes

If you’re trying to be more sustainable, raising money for eco-friendly charities is a fantastic idea. Not only could you donate a small amount of your profits, earning you a whole lot of sustainable points from the consumer, but you could also give your customers an option to donate, too. At the checkout, add a point for donations to various charities, such as carbon-offsetting organisations and reforestation groups. Let the customer choose how much they’d like to donate, and be sure to send them a thank you email if they do!

Generate Awareness of Eco Issues

Being vocal about sustainable issues not only makes it clear that your company has green values but it also raises awareness of these vital concerns. On your various platforms, speak out about causes close to your heart. That could mean uploading Instagram posts that talk about plastic pollution or adding a section on your website that discusses the threats to our oceans. 

Incorporating a blog on your website is another great way to highlight sustainable issues and your good work. You can create posts that delve into industry problems, such as too much waste, as well as posts that detail how your business is becoming more sustainable. Get the word out there and make a bigger difference.

Reduce Product Returns

Whether you’re a startup or an established business, reducing returns in 2023 is a must. Returned products come with a high carbon footprint, with two lots of delivery emissions increasing your company’s total CO2 output. Try reducing the number of returns you get by:

  • Charging a small fee for return deliveries
  • Creating accurate product descriptions and images
  • Adding measurement guidelines and charts

There are also augmented reality (AR) tools available now to help customers visualise the product in their life before they buy it. IKEA, for example, use AR to let customers place products in their living spaces using the camera on their phone to see how it will look once delivered.

Final Words

No matter how sustainable your company is, there’s always room for improvement! Use these tips to make 2023 your greenest year yet, and ensure your company stays relevant in a world that’s becoming increasingly concerned with the environment.