What is the environmental impact of online shopping on the planet?
There has been a significant rise of online stores offering any kind of products from clothes, technology, beauty to even food. Now, anything that you may need is just a click away. However, this does come with a considerable impact on the environment.
“The E-Commerce market is expected to grow by almost $11 trillion between 2021 and 2025. Global e-Commerce sales are expected to reach $5 trillion in 2022, and about $6 trillion by 2024.” Statista (2022)
Shopping online appears to be positive for the environment on the surface: it reduces car trips and associated carbon emissions.
However, quick shipping times and the accessibility of ordering goods online has increased consumerism around the globe, especially during the pandemic. So, how do our online purchases and actions affect the planet?
Unfortunately, our online purchases aren’t so eco-friendly after all.
Here the 3 main drivers:
- Packaging: paper and packaging waste is excessive. Cardboard boxes, plastic, wrappers, and tags are all causes of unnecessary waste.
- Logistics: transporting goods and getting our packages delivered takes a significant toll on the environment. As a result, there is an increase in emissions in the atmosphere.
- Returns: returning items isn’t a simple or environmentally friendly process. Instead, transporting and sending back the items as well as reprinting the label and repackaging is wasteful.
“As more businesses are online, it’s harder and harder to be found by new customers. Because it’s so easy to start online now, there are rising costs of customer acquisition.” Mel Ho, Senior Product Marketing Lead, Shopify
Why climate neutral orders are the key to eco-friendly online shopping and business growth.
Online shopping is here to stay. So, how can we make it greener while promoting business growth as well?
Online stores have the option to get more sustainable by introducing climate neutral orders into their business.
However, most solutions that look at getting online stores offer climate neutral orders do not consider the actual product’s carbon footprint but only make the shipping climate neutral or work with very average numbers. This results in the orders’ carbon footprint being calculated roughly and not made fully climate neutral.
The lack of transparency for both the customers as well as the business and missing statistics add up to the issues with most climate neutral orders’ options.
One of the very new free solutions called “Footprint ClimateNeutral” is a solution that removes all the issues above. This innovative Shopify solution will make orders fully carbon neutral by using all metadata available in the inventory to estimate more accurately via AI. It either can be done optionally by customers or the business owner itself by default, making all products fully climate neutral.
It is easy to integrate and modify without any coding and gives full transparency around the footprint allocated for each inventory item. Customers can even choose which projects will be supported and communicate their positive climate effect to boost confidence and involvement – but also foster positive marketing and customer reach. The preview of how many rainforest projects will be supported is an additional inventive for customers to finalise their purchase.
“73% of worldwide consumers believe they would adjust their purchase patterns to have a smaller environmental footprint.” Nielsen IQ
If you want to try out the Footprint ClimateNeutral solution you can get 50% discount all paid plans via the code ForOurPlanet.
Why people are inclining increasingly towards sustainable shopping behaviours.
According to a McKinsey & Co. survey, 66% of all respondents and 75% of millennial respondents think about sustainability when making a purchase. Customers are increasingly aligning themselves with brands that share their values and priorities. With many people placing a high value on environmental stability, it’s critical that businesses do their share to reduce their carbon footprint. By offering forward thinking solutions like mentioned above online shopping will benefit the business and the consumer and, more importantly, have a positive impact on our beloved planet