Sustainable development is defined by the United Nations as development that meets the “needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Sustainability takes environmental, economic and social dimensions into consideration.
Businesses and consumers are starting to place an increased focus on sustainability with a growing awareness and emphasis on its importance. The emergence and popularity of online shopping spotlights pressing needs for businesses to make over their supply chains with green initiatives.
This boost of sustainability will reduce carbon footprint and packaging waste while increasing eco-friendly shipping within the e-commerce industry. With 52% of consumers in the United States and United Kingdom wanting online brands to create products with less packaging, this switch to sustainable practices is timely and relevant for online businesses.
Sustainable packaging is environment-friendly and does not contribute to the further depletion of natural resources. Both small and large e-commerce businesses can do their part in eco friendly packaging by:
Using raw materials or 100% recycled materials
Minimizing the production process, supply chain and carbon footprint
Creating a circular economy around the packaging to extend its life cycle and usability
The weight of e-commerce plastic packaging waste was estimated at upwards of one billion kilograms worldwide, with growth projections for it to reach an estimated 4.5 billion pounds by 2025. The dire need of sustainable packaging is more glaring than ever - 2021 digital shopping behavior survey revealed that packaging sustainability is a key influencer in US consumers’ online brand choices. Across Europe, North America and South America, 67% find it important that the products they purchase come in recyclable packaging. Plus, 83% are willing to chip in more for sustainable packaging. It is clear that aside from sturdy packaging to protect products along the supply chain, the eco-friendliness of these options can play a big role in consumer loyalty and retention.
According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), these are the characteristics of sustainable packaging:
Beneficial, safe and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its life cycle.
Meets market criteria for performance and cost.
Sourced, manufactured, transported and recycled using renewable energy.
Optimizes the use of renewable or recycled source materials.
Manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices.
Made from materials healthy throughout the life cycle.
Physically designed to optimize materials and energy.
Effectively recovered and utilized in biological and/or industrial closed-loop cycles.
Some eco friendly packaging materials for your online business include:
Paper bubble wrap
Biodegradable foam chips
You can also incorporate sustainable packaging through these practices:
Use less packaging
Use materials that are easy to recycle
Ship in a smaller package
Avoid mixed materials
Use less virgin materials
Share materials information for disposal and recycling practices
As a global leader in logistics services, DHL Express aims to connect people and improve lives and we want to do that by reducing all logistics-related emissions to zero. We want to achieve this ambitious goal by 2050 to be a pioneer example of green logistics through our GoGreen initiatives. Therefore, you can be sure we understand your sustainability goals and are your perfect partner to help achieve them.
When we join forces, our impact on the environment and future will be even greater. DHL Express has innovative green logistics solutions and is committed to help you ship sustainably around the globe. With your efforts like sustainable packaging and our comprehensive portfolio of green products and solutions, you are closer to achieving your environmental targets. Reach out to us to know more about our selection of best-in-class products and solutions to go green without compromising on service levels.