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With Earth Day rapidly approaching, the thoughts of business leaders across the globe are bound to turn to the subject of sustainability. But, is it really worthwhile? Should you be making your own eCommerce store more sustainable? Keep reading and we’ll provide seven reasons why you should be embracing sustainability for your eCommerce business.

1. Attract more customers

Thanks to the efforts of various campaigning groups, NGOs and activists, the average consumer is more aware of environmental issues than ever before.

And, this awareness is bleeding into consumers’ shopping habits.

More than ever, shoppers want to buy from brands which are able to demonstrate their green credentials.

Don’t just take our word for it. A recent survey and study conducted by The Shelton Group found that 70% of millennials prefer to buy from companies that have a strong focus on sustainability.

More broadly, the Connected Shoppers Report published by Salesforce, found that more than half of shoppers (56%) say that sustainability and ethical business practices play an important role in their purchasing decisions.

So, it really does pay to embrace sustainability.

By taking actions like offering environmentally-friendly shipping options, reducing packaging waste and using recycled materials as much as possible, you can not only keep your existing customers happy, but attract new, environmentally-friendly ones too.

2. Reduce costs

There’s a bit of an urban myth that businesses that embrace sustainability are less profitable because they incur higher costs.

Well, it really is a myth!

In fact, the converse is true.

By embracing sustainable business practices, you can in fact reduce your business costs.

For example, it’s environmentally good practice to reduce the amount of packaging that you use. And, of course, this has the added benefit of reducing the amount of money you have to spend on packaging.

What’s more, by reducing the amount of packaging you use, you’ll likely make your packaged products lighter – therefore leading to lower shipping costs.

The savings associated with sustainability aren’t merely restricted to your products. The savings are also linked to the way you run your business.

Installing solar panels, using low-energy lightbulbs, using recycled office supplies and more, will all lead to cost savings over the medium to long-term.

3. Stay ahead of regulations

It could be argued that sustainability in eCommerce is inevitable. More and more regulations are being put in place by governments across the world stipulating that businesses reduce their carbon footprints and environmental impacts.

So, why not stay ahead of the regulations and embrace sustainable business practices now?

Not only will you be fully prepared for the inevitable regulations, but you’ll also have an advantage over your competitors.

Because you’ll already be running your business in a sustainable way, you’ll be able to carry on as normal when new regulations are introduced. Your competitors on the other hand will be desperately trying to get their house in order so that they aren’t penalised.

4. Gain a competitive advantage

As we alluded to above, embracing sustainable business practices can also give you a competitive advantage in your marketplace.

How?

Because sustainable business practices have been proven to increase customer retention.

One of the biggest chunks of an eCommerce business’ marketing budget is spent on attracting new customers.

By demonstrating that you’re a sustainable eCommerce brand, you’re going to be able to drastically cut down on these costs and build an audience of committed, repeat customers.

Brands such as Patagonia, Hiut, Veja, Toms and more all demonstrate exactly this competitive advantage.

5. Boost workforce morale and improve recruitment

For many workers, environmental concerns are an important motivating factor. They want to know that the company they work for isn’t adversely impacting the environment.

By actively introducing sustainability initiatives and involving staff in these, you can foster a positive and engaging atmosphere.

Embracing sustainability can also make your recruiting efforts far more effective.

But, don’t just take our word for it.

A survey of 1,000 employees at U.S. companies found that:

  • More than 70% of respondents were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda.
  • Nearly 70% of respondents said that if a company had a strong sustainability plan, it would influence their decision to stay with the company long term.
  • 30% of respondents said that they had left a job because of a company’s lack of efforts on sustainability.

It’s clear that by embracing sustainability, you can not only improve your company culture and employee motivation, but you can attract and retain a great workforce too.

6. Increased innovation

Sustainability can spark innovation. When you challenge your product designers to make your products more sustainable, you might be surprised at what happens.

The push for sustainability has already resulted in plenty of innovation, think about electric vehicles, more efficient motors, trainers made from recycled sea plastic, clothes that are designed to be washed with cold rather than warm water and more…

The push towards sustainability has also resulted in packaging innovations, greener last-mile delivery options and more environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes.

Challenge yourself and your team to make your whole business more sustainable and watch as the innovations begin to emerge…

7. Reduced taxes

The UK Government is making significant efforts to achieve ‘Net Zero’ and as part of this is encouraging businesses to become more sustainable.

They are incentivising sustainable business practices by offering various tax exemptions and schemes to those businesses that are able to demonstrate they only use a small amount of energy and/or use energy-efficient technology/processes.

So, by embracing sustainability, you could end up paying less tax and/or claim enhanced capital allowances e.g. if you’ve purchased electric vehicles for your business.

How to make your eCommerce business more sustainable

From the supply chain to shipping, there are many things you can do to make your business more sustainable.

To find out more about making your eCommerce business more sustainable and environmentally friendly, read our guide now.

 

Make your eCommerce business more sustainable today with 3PL Zero

If this article has inspired you to make your business more sustainable, then you can get the ball rolling straight away with one simple action.

By signing up to 3PL Zero.

Warehousing, logistics and shipping are some of the biggest sources of carbon emissions for eCommerce businesses.

By choosing 3PL Zero to carry out your fulfilment and shipping for you, you’ll be massively reducing your emissions from these sources.

3PL Zero includes things like 100% waste recycling, paperless warehousing, low-emission deliveries and eco consumables to create the greenest, most sustainable fulfilment and shipping process available today.

 

Speak to 3PL about sustainable fulfilment and shipping today

For more eCommerce fulfilment, shipping and sustainability advice, read the 3PL blog

How Important Are Eco Friendly Packaging Options to Today’s Businesses? | Sustainability in eCommerce: How Brands Can Become More Eco-Friendly | Learn How Switching to a 3PL Can Save Your Business Money

 

Barry Ryan

3P Logistics

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