Making your shipping more sustainable is key for both your small business and the environment. As a business owner, it is important to get products to your customers. However, the environmental impact of the shipping process can be huge.
As this report suggests, online shopping can be worse for the environment than driving to a physical store. Learning how to reduce your environmental impact through the shipping process is therefore really significant.
We’re here to help. We have 4 ways you can make your shipping more sustainable without costing your small business the world.
4 ways to make shipping more sustainable
1. Optimize your supply chain
Automating and optimizing your supply chain is one simple way to make your shipping process more sustainable. EasyScan can create, print, and scan barcodes for your products. This creates an automated inventory that can be used to track stock levels and manage and fulfil orders. It will make your warehouse and shipping process much more efficient, bringing costs down.
Considering where your products are manufactured and stocked is also an important part of this. Reducing transport times and distances for your supplies and finished products can help to make your processes quicker and less wasteful, adding to the sustainability of your overall operation and also shipping.
Furthermore, this optimization means there is much less room for human error. Errors can be costly and wasteful. For example, in the food supply chain, human error is a major driver of food waste, accounting for 10.9%, second only to losses as a result of product change.
Whether you supply food, clothes, or any other product, errors cost time, money, packaging, and the products themselves. Optimizing your supply chain with EasyScan will therefore make your shipping more sustainable.
2. Use Sustainable Packaging
Sustainable packaging also makes for a more sustainable shipping process. Using recycled and recyclable materials to package your products reduces packaging waste that often ends up in landfills. This could include recycled boxes, shredded paper filler instead of packing noodles or bubble wrap, and paper packing tape instead of plastic. You can even buy biodegradable packing noodles and plastic wrap now if you still require some type of plastic for your product packaging.
This reduces your environmental impact and works recycling and sustainability into your supply chain, meaning your business is operating shipping more sustainably.
3. Sustainable Shipping Carriers
Once you’ve optimized your order process with EasyScan and switched to more sustainable packaging, you still have your shipping carriers to consider.
Some mainstream carriers offer sustainable shipping solutions to reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint when sending your goods to customers. FedEx has committed to sustainability, whilst UPS runs an Eco Responsible Packaging Programme.
There are also some alternative shipping solutions emerging that are focused on sustainability. For example, Sendle claims to be a carbon-neutral small shipping business operating from Australia and worldwide.
Adding to this, many businesses are thinking about how they can be carbon neutral or carbon negative to make their shipping processes more sustainable.
Finally, the last part of the shipping process is often the most environmentally impactful. This is something you need to think about in terms of how to make your shipping more sustainable. Average commute times for shipping are expected to increase substantively by 2030, harming the environment in the process.
Shortening the supply chain can reduce costs and increase sustainability. Using EasyScan to manage inventory and fulfil orders and then passing shipping off to a sustainable carrier optimizes the first parts of the process. You can offer click-and-collect solutions for online shopping to reduce transport costs in the final leg of your shipping process.