E-COMMERCE CAN BE ECO-FRIENDLY! THIS EARTH DAY, FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT, SAVE YOUR BUSINESS MONEY, AND ATTRACT MORE CUSTOMERS.
Friday 22nd April is Earth Day 2022. Across the world, people, businesses and communities will be coming together to raise awareness of the negative impact of climate change and overpopulation on the environment.
Globally, many events will be held to mark the day, including community cleanups and Earth Day festivals, whilst people are also encouraged to consider their individual impact on the environment by calculating their carbon footprint, switching to organic food, turning off lights and wearing sustainable clothes – to name just a few examples.
This year’s Earth Day theme is “Invest in Our Planet”, focusing on ways to ensure a green and prosperous future for earth and all its inhabitants.
According to the official Earth Day organization, “companies who develop strong Environment Social Governance standards have better profitability, stronger financials, happier employees, and more resilient stock performance.”1
Sustainability is also an important factor by which your customers perceive your brand. A global survey from Accenture found that the pandemic has shifted consumers’ attitudes towards sustainability, with 60% reporting they are buying more ethically and eco-friendly than they did before it started2. Furthermore, nine out of ten said they will continue to shop more eco-consciously going forward.
“Emotional connections and shared values, especially regarding shoppers’ brand loyalty, go hand in hand,” Yotpo’s “State of Brand Loyalty 2022” report emphasized3. “As consumers face growing concern around climate change, social justice issues, and more, they realize their dollars count.”
This Earth Day, take the opportunity to reflect on your business’s impact on the planet – your customers will thank you for it, as will your bottom line.
Think about the immediate eco-friendly changes you can make within your workplace. Do you recycle? Turn off lights and monitors when they’re not in use? Offer a cycle-to-work scheme for employees?
On a larger scale, look at where you can reduce wastage along your supply chain. By maximizing efficiencies there – via something as simple as redesigning your warehouse layout to put the most popular products closer to the packing station – you’ll save your business time and money.
Round up your employees, roll your sleeves up and get to work! You could head to the local park to pick up litter, plant an organic garden, or challenge yourselves not to use any paper on the day.
Get your customers involved, too. If you sell sustainable products, send your customers discount codes for them to use on Earth Day. You could also run an Earth Day-themed competition with the winner receiving a product bundle. Whatever you do, keep it fun!
You could donate a portion of your sales proceeds on Earth Day to an environmental charity. Look at local organizations doing great things in your community, or check out the Earth Day website to donate directly to the event’s partners.
Packaging is often perceived as the bad part of e-commerce – and certainly something your customers are paying attention to. You may have seen the “packaging shaming” photos people have posted online of their deliveries arriving swathed in reams of excessive packaging.
Fortunately, there are a wave of innovative companies developing packaging made from greener materials – from Notpla’s seaweed-based takeaway boxes4, to Botanical PaperWorks’ plantable seed paper5 that can grow into wildflowers or vegetables. Do some research and make the switch.
Long term, you could consider a carbon offsetting scheme for your business – calculate your emissions and then take steps to “balance them out” with some positive environmental actions.
DHL Express offers a range of climate-neutral shipping options through its GoGreen portfolio. This involves carbon offsetting customers’ shipments with investments in climate protection projects around the world – including planting one million trees a year! Find a solution that's right for your business, here.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate Earth Day, be sure to let your customers know. Sustainability is important to them – in fact, 84% of consumers are more inclined to buy from a brand whose values align with their own6 – so share information about your company’s environmental ethos on your e-commerce website and across your social media channels. Invite feedback and suggestions from your customers, too.