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The benefits of eco-friendly shipping for your e-commerce business

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Over the years, companies and corporations, partially propelled by something far more important than profits, have been making great strides in improving their production methods and distribution strategies.

These gigantic leaps have been constructed with one purpose in mind – make the Earth a better place.

Many companies have jumped on the eco-friendly bandwagon, doing their level best to be as “green” as humanly possible. Running an environmentally friendly business not only helps a corporation maintain a responsible relationship with its surrounding but also raises its earnings and value.

The golden goose in this endeavour – the proverbial Holy Grail that’s most appealing – is sustainable packages – the ability to engineer a container that is thoroughly eco-friendly.

They dream of phasing out the longtime habit of not only using far more materials than needed but of crafting a case for their product that is biodegradable and oftentimes reusable.

And the reality is, sustainable packages are the most visually attractive (and noticeable) way of making longtime consumers and new customers appreciate your eco-friendly actions.

They are there, in plain sight, for all the world to see and experience. Sustainable packages highlight, in a very strong positive way, your company’s overall vision and objective towards its natural environment.

In terms of public relationships and marketing, creating a sustainable package is akin to striking gold and stumbling onto a recently discovered oil field, all while hundred dollar bills rain from the sky.

Bottom line: Sustainable packaging really improves your brand image.

And the flip side is that harming the environment kills your image. Look no further than Volkswagen’s emissions debacle as proof of that.

But let’s talk about specifics for a moment. What can going green do for your eCommerce business? First, let’s discuss going green in general, then we’ll talk specifically about green packaging.

Benefits of going green

Cost savings

There is steady growth in healthy environmental practices in all manner of business ventures. An enterprise that decides to highlight their ecological advance policies, not only helps protect the environment but ultimately improves their company’s bottom line.

Companies that focus on energy consumption and how to reduce their carbon footprint can drastically reduce their overall cost of manufacturing. The benefits of having a low energy output are quickly translated into a low energy bill. For example, the fewer watts used during production can rapidly and exponentially dovetail your electrical bill by millions.

According to MSNBC.com, chemical giant DuPont – one of the leading companies in the eco-friendly field – managed to save over $3 billion in the last two decades by reducing their carbon emissions.

Smaller business can also benefit from reduced energy cost. Something as simple as shutting off lights, turning the computers off when not in use, or getting LED bulbs can improve your profit margin. 

Improved Public Relations

Companies that emphasize their green policies can gain new clients, as well as gain access to new, unique demographics of like-minded buyers that appreciate and value earth-based policies.

By constantly highlighting your eco-friendly changes, your company is likely to attract new consumers.

The reality is that people like to support companies that are doing good, both for others and the environment. You can attract those people by using eco-friendly business methods.Benefits of eco-friendly packaging_cardboard

A healthier workplace

According to the Green Business Bureau, companies that promote a healthier workplace report a 20 percent decrease in the number of sick days used by employees and a decrease in health-related costs.

There is an intrinsic psychological value to being a responsible eco-friendly corporation. A change in mindset can lead to not only a better relationship with the public but a more productive workforce.

Companies that adopt a green attitude manage to add a unique and powerful incentive to their workers’ overall attitude. Intellectually speaking, a nine-to-fiver is more galvanized and ready for action by a company that makes them feel “good” and “honourable” than by the opposite.

Psychology researchers have determined that if you feel like a superhero, your Cortisol levels (Stress Hormone) will decrease, and you’ll be more than likely to experience an endorphin high.

Using environmentally conscious practices is a great way to feel like a superhero of sorts.

Increased consumer demand

Consumers, with so many products on the shelves, have become far more “picky” with their choices.

Environmentally minded users check product labels and analyze if a commodity is crafted from recycled materials. Companies can easily tap into this practice and even entice new consumers.

In the US, sales of environmentally friendly products exceeded $40 billion last year, according to data from various market tracking services and Advertising Age estimates. This includes $29.2 billion for organic food, more than $10 billion for hybrid, electric and clean-diesel vehicles, more than $2 billion on energy-efficient light bulbs and $640 million on green cleaning products.”

Why eco-friendly packaging?

  • It helps your brand image

One of the main advantages of having eco-friendly packaging is that fact it will be your company’s poster child. It declares to the world that you are “doing good” and that you care about what’s happening in the world.

Eco-friendly packaging instantly shifts your brand image. In a flash, you flip in the consumer’s mind. In their perspective, you value life, Mother Nature, and the future, over profits and your bottom line.

  • It’s versatile

It’s not all about helping the environment, it’s also a great deal about practicality. Eco-friendly packages are also extremely practical.

  • If offers …

Easy disposal: It’s biodegradable, pliable and stackable. You don’t need any sort of chemical or special method – like for styrofoam – to dispose of it.

Storage: The logistics of moving, storing and displaying items has never been easier. Most eco-friendly packages, aside from being good for the environment, have the added incentive of being malleable through-out production and distribution.

In a warehouse, they take less shelf space and quickly reduce load sizes. They weigh a fraction of standard packages (reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions). These small changes can end up freeing huge amounts of space, meaning you’ll keep shipping costs down, while at the same time delivering more goods.

Fewer resources: One of the main benefits to “going green” is the fact that your production costs will plummet. Many eco-friendly packages use half as many materials as their counterparts. They need, in every step of production, fewer resources. This significantly brings the expenses down.

More effective manufacturing: Because fewer methods and processes are required for their creation, eco-friendly packages increase your overall manufacturing speed. You can produce more goods in the same amount of time.

  • It’s better for the environment

This is the most obvious benefit. On every level of production, eco-friendly packaging helps out the planet.

It reduces water consumption and CO2 emissions during manufacturing.

Most are made from almost no plastic and those that are – like bottles – reduce this harmful material by 70%. Coca-Cola makes a revolutionary PET bottle that completely eradicates plastic in their assembly line.

No petrochemicals are used during their manufacturing. This lowers health problems not only in consumers but in the workforce employed.

Conclusion

Caring for the environment is crucial. After all, we’ve only got one planet (until space travel is invented). If we don’t adopt environmentally friendly business practices, we’re ultimately hurting ourselves. 

But using eco-friendly methods, like packaging, is also a fantastic business practice. It results in increased customer goodwill, more profits, and a healthier workplace.

It really is a win-win all around.

John Hawthorne is a regular contributor to Floship.com www.floship.com

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