Laixa - 29 July 2021
Since the beginning of the global pandemic e-commerce sales have soared. It is estimated that there will be 2.14 billion global digital buyers in 2021. That is about 27% of the world’s population that is shopping online. What’s more, nearly 20% of retail sales worldwide are attributed to e-ecommerce. The reasons? Choice, convenience and efficient user experiences.
However, e-commerce’s popularity isn’t all positive. According to data from the Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Énergie, an online purchase emits an average of 12 grams of CO2, or the equivalent of one kilometer in a car. On the other hand, the great thing about this is that it’s possible to reduce e-commerce’s negative impact on the environment and that it can even become completely carbon neutral.
Examples to follow
Several initiatives can be implemented to improve e-commerce shipping activities. At different scales, companies have already taken the plunge. This is the case with the store Auguste, which slogan is “Less for better.” Their involvement takes the form of planting trees for each package ordered. To achieve this, Auguste invests $0.50 for each transaction to plant the number of trees needed to offset GHGs.
Even FedEx, the big player in shipping, is on the move. FedEx even aims to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2040. In the meantime, the company is investing in renewable energy programs, in alternative fuels to reduce transportation emissions and in the FedEx Fuel Sense program. They’ve even converted their trucks into electric vehicles!
There’s another problem!
When we talk about problems associated with e-commerce, we immediately think of shipping as the # 1 negative impact on the environment! However, overconsumption of online products also results in the overconsumption of single-use shipping packaging. It’s crazy when you think about it: there is as much packaging as there is shipping, if not more! What’s more: many companies are seizing the e-commerce opportunity during the pandemic without worrying too much about the right packaging to use. Therefore, due to a lack of time, resources and knowledge, the packaging used by companies has a negative impact on our environment. So, with the help of the Laixa blog, we want to enrich companies’ knowledge by popularizing important elements related to green e-commerce.
An initiative that stands out
It’s important to keep in mind that all initiatives are good when it comes to reducing the environmental impact. For our part, this proposal is our FAVE since it is extremely original!
This is the reusable and responsible package developed by Hipli!!! The concept is simple, replace single-use delivery packaging for packaging that has a shelf life of 100 shipments. Wow! What does that imply? It’s a package that optimizes space in delivery trucks and is reused to its full potential. It’s a great initiative that was developed according to the circular economy model (lien de l’article). The user only needs to return the Hipli to a P.O. Box after they’ve received their package. Considering that according to Canada Post, 53% of buyers shop more with retailers who reduce their packaging, this reusable and responsible packaging becomes a great competitive advantage! In addition, Hipli packages fit the products being delivered and therefore prevent packing air! On average, according to a DS Smith study, 24% of space is unused in a delivery package. Designing packaging adapted to the product makes it possible to use a delivery truck to its full potential and thus reduce non-essential comings and goings.
Go for local
Fewer kilometers traveled means less GHGs, in addition to BETTER supporting the local economy.
Avoid returning packages
Don’t buy extra and say to yourself: “Pfff, it’s okay, I’ll just return anything that doesn’t fit by mail!” These are impulses that cost our environment dearly…
Ensure the accuracy of information provided
Be home when the delivery person walks up to your door to prevent non-essential return trips and mileage. And, provide all the information necessary to make the order and shipping process run smoothly so that it is not returned to the company.
Opt for pickup points
This method eliminates the problem of not being home during delivery. Additionally, the collection points reduce GHGs for the reason that the last kilometers traveled have a significant impact on our environment. This phenomenon is caused by the amount of traffic in the big cities.
Question the packaging used
Is the packaging adequate? What material is used? Is there excess packaging? Is it recyclable or biodegradable? Does the company do bundled packaging? These are all questions to ask!
If possible, avoid express delivery. This type of delivery generates even more frequent rounds, with vehicles that are sometimes almost empty!