Back to blog

4 ways to make your eCommerce more sustainable

Posted on July 21, 2022
by Nick Pennington
Duurzame verpakkingsoplossingen

Did you know that 41% of consumers would be willing to pay more for products or services that take the environment into account? 

Seur’s E-Shopper Barometer 2021 also ensures that almost 70% of regular online consumers expect eCommerce manufacturers and brands to be more sustainable. 

Sustainability has become a weight factor in the purchase decision. Consumers are increasingly aware of their impact – however small it may seem – on the environment.  

Sustainability policies implemented by companies have become drivers for consumers when choosing one eCommerce or another, according to the IAB ECommerce 2022 Annual Study. 

If you don’t want to be left behind in this paradigm shift, here are 4 key steps that can make your eCommerce more sustainable: 

Ecological packaging 

According to data from the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC), 80% of the environmental impact generated by eCommerce packaging can be reduced in the design phase with a sustainable packaging model.  

This is, without a doubt, one of the main challenges that eCommerce companies face. Achieving the balance between solid, safe and careful packaging, while respecting the environment, can seem like a pipe dream…

But it’s not impossible! At our logistics centres across Europe, we have a team of specialists who manage the selection, preparation, and packaging of shipments. Our Hub Managers have specific training to guarantee you a professional and optimized packaging service. In addition, we use sustainable packaging, with options including Flexi-Hex bottle wrapping and recycled boxes.

ecommerce sostenible empaquetado eco

Delivery with electric and hybrid vehicles

The growth of eCommerce in recent years, and particularly at the peak of the pandemic, has led to a significant increase in the transport of goods. Statista forecasts that by 2030 delivery vehicles will increase to 7.2 million (and CO2 emissions to 25 million tons as a consequence).  

Bearing this in mind, it is essential to consider fleets of electric and ECO vehicles. We work with an unrivalled network of international parcel delivery partners who optimize their delivery routes to emit as little pollution as possible.  

ecommerce sostenible

Some of them have also already implemented the use of electric and/or hybrid vehicles on their routes. 

Energy optimization

During the last year, the general increase in the price of energy has been a shock for companies and consumers alike…

As a consequence, there are many eCommerce companies that have started to commit to the use of renewable energies.  

Amazon, for example, has set out to reach a sustained operation in 100% renewable energy by 2025.   

While ambition is the precursor to success, small steps also have a big impact. For example, installing solar panels in logistics centres can help eCommerce optimize their energy use and reduce their carbon footprint. 

Reduced use of paper

Despite the fact that plastic containers are the most polluting, Spain generated 9.8 million kilos of them in 2019. According to data from Statista, that same year more than 3.3 million tons of corrugated cardboard was produced for the sector, which represents more than half of the national production of paper and cardboard.

Taking this data into account, it is essential that eCommerce businesses not only use recycled packaging, but significantly reduce the amount of paper and cardboard used in each shipment. This more sustainable approach can also be applied to the daily operations of the company, by eliminating the use of paper through digitising administrative and operational documentation. 

We use “zebra scanners” to scan the products in our logistics centre. Digitizing our picking process (merchandise selection) allows us to save up to 1,500 sheets of paper every day, whilst achieving a picking accuracy of 99.9%.