Sustainable Business Practices

Why Carbon Neutral & Sustainability Initiatives are Essential for E-commerce?

People around the world have been talking more about sustainability over the past years, to ensure a better and cleaner environment for the generations to come. It is definitely very important to follow sustainable practices in all businesses including e-commerce as well. Currently, we have only one habitable planet “The Earth” to call our home. It is the moral responsibility of every citizen to do everything possible to ensure a safer and better future for all living things on earth. Even consumers around the world are increasingly getting interested in sustainable business practices. Hence, they are more likely to shop with businesses that align with their values.

All major eCommerce players are striving hard to implement sustainable business practices in everything that they do. But, it is not an easy process; and it involves a lot of planning, preparation, and effort to make things happen. In fact, customers are also choosing products that are being manufactured by companies in a more environmentally friendly way; by also following climate-neutral policies. Some may wonder about the climate-neutral meaning, but it actually means bringing the emissions down to zero.

The term climate neutrality is commonly used in most global forums these days to ensure a complete reduction in levels of pollution. Sustainability is also one of the most important issues that the world is facing today. Countries and businesses are also involved in carbon footprint calculation to minimize carbon emissions in all forms. Global companies can also become climate neutral certified by reducing their carbon emissions. This article will provide an outline of the importance for eCommerce companies to focus on sustainability and adopt carbon-neutral initiatives.

Why is it Important to Move to a Sustainable Business Practices and Operation?

Several major companies are designing and implementing their CSR strategies to reduce the environmental footprint; and the impact that their operations have on the environment. For eCommerce companies, they need to streamline their supply chain warehousing ordering, packaging, and fulfillment packages in order to fulfill the goals of being carbon neutral and becoming sustainable. Most retailers are also noticing that the customers are beginning to take environmental concerns quite seriously. Hence, companies need to frame the right strategies in order to adapt new systems and technologies to become more efficient; while also focusing on ways to reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint.

PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) has found that about 50% of customers are considering environmental factors when choosing a retailer. As the population grows and the demands increase; more and more people are moving online and shopping online like never before. Young people find it very convenient to log in online; click on the products they wish to buy and get them delivered. It becomes very essential to make online shopping a more sustainable affair, to create awareness among the general public, and also to be successful in the business; while protecting the planet. Most of the items are individually packed in small plastic bags and sometimes more products are delivered in huge packages. Every day millions of delivery trucks are driving around to deliver the parcels or bring back the returns.

This definitely creates tons of carbon emissions and hence the companies need to find more sustainable options to become more responsible and eco-friendly.

Businesses Need to Avoid Greenwashing

All the initiatives taken by the company should lead to real-life action and improvement. The term “greenwashing” refers to those companies that appear to have sustainable strategies on paper; but do not actually take meaningful action to implement those strategies. Such companies will be held accountable by their customers and employees. This will affect the overall business operations in the long run. Companies need to show their customers that they have a genuine concern about the environment. They are taking all the necessary steps to implement carbon-neutral and sustainable business practices. Some of the strategies can help the company to save costs and also support the environment at the same time.

Some Steps to Support Sustainable Activities and Operations in E-commerce:

Sustainable Business Practices in E-commerce

It is always an ongoing process to support sustainable operations and companies can take several measures to support the environment and implement sustainable practices. The following are some of the steps that can be implemented by most eCommerce companies to become carbon neutral and support eco-friendly policies.

Use Sustainable Packaging

The packaging that companies use to ship the products definitely speaks volumes about the brand and its commitment to sustainability. Using an excessive amount of non-biodegradable packaging materials tells the customer that the brand is not seriously worried about impacting the environment. Companies need to start looking at eco-friendly packaging materials and avoid the excessive use of materials like foam or plastic.

They can start by prioritizing biodegradable materials that can turn into compost or can be recycled or reused. Choosing to use bioplastics is another option that companies can try to reduce their environmental impact. E-Commerce companies also need to choose the right size of cardboard boxes that can be easily recycled and are environmentally friendly.

Follow Sustainable Order Fulfillment Practices

E-commerce companies can optimize their order fulfillment process in many ways. The first step they need to take is to streamline their shipping and fulfillment operations and make them efficiently. The entire process of warehousing, staffing, and shipping needs to be streamlined to reduce costs and also make it very efficient and eco-friendly. They need to avoid using multiple platforms and selling products across different sales channels, as this can reduce efficiency and can end up in increased costs, and become detrimental to the environment.

The company should manage its inventory in a very efficient manner and work with one platform to cut down on shipping costs and become more efficient. They need to calculate their emissions and carbon footprint that is generated by each process and reduce unnecessary wastage of time and resources by following better practices and efficient workflow systems. Making fewer trips helps to reduce carbon emissions to a great extent.

Provide Detailed Product Descriptions to Minimize Returns

Companies need to spend more time and energy on creating detailed product descriptions along with high-quality photos, videos, and other necessary details. This will help customers to make good decisions and reduce the return of purchased products. In the future, there is a possibility of many customers using augmented reality tools; that can allow customers to virtually see the products and get a better idea about all the features like size, fitting, looks, etc. This can also greatly help to reduce the return of products by customers.


Most online retailers need to change and adapt the right policies and practices in order to support the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. Sustainability has become a very critical issue in recent times and companies need to do everything possible to ensure sustainable business practices and operations. This will definitely be good for the future of all living things on this planet. Pollution is creating havoc in the environment and seriously endangering the lives of many living things. Hence, businesses need to be more responsible about the environment and streamline all the work that they do to make every step eco-friendly and bring a positive change to the environment and society. We can reduce all kinds of emissions and wastage to make things better. The earth is our natural habitat that sustains all life. It has to be nurtured and protected at all times.

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