Small businesses face a range of challenges in today’s economic climate, and on top of these issues, they’re expected to focus on being more environmentally friendly.
The planet is struggling with the amount of carbon and waste the human race is producing, and climate change is considered a major health crisis.
Reducing the environmental impact of packaging is not only beneficial for the planet and the people who live on it, but can also be a selling point for your small business. In fact, many customers would be willing to pay more for sustainable products and expect them from the businesses they shop with.
If you’re considering how to make your business more sustainable, then you should focus on the packages you send out. From logistics to materials, many aspects of sending out products to customers can be one of the biggest sources of waste and carbon production.
With the rise of online shopping following the pandemic, more than 2.14 million consumers are buying items off the internet in 2023. As such, there’s plenty of scope for companies, especially small ones that have increased flexibility, to reduce their carbon emissions simply by changing the way they send out products.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to reduce the environmental impact of the products and packages you send out, keep reading. We’ve listed some practical tips and easy-to-implement ideas.
Review Your Processes To Reduce Waste
To begin with, monitor your packaging waste and environmental impact to identify areas for improvement. You can then set goals for reducing your environmental footprint and track your business’s progress. For example, if you notice that there is a high percentage of waste and carbon emissions from your warehousing division, or the outsourced provider that does this service for you, then you can focus on streamlining this area to help you to reduce waste and be more energy efficient. You can then make sure that you deploy your resources correctly and make the most of your time and effort when reducing the environmental impact of every package your business sends out to customers.
Choose The Right Packing Materials
The packing materials you use for your products can have a major impact on the sustainability of any package you send out, but there are many factors to consider. When you’re shipping a product to someone’s home using a courier or postal service, you need to avoid excessive, wasteful packaging while still ensuring that the product is protected from damage during transit. To ensure that you fulfil every requirement, consider using space-saving packaging options, like the corrugated packaging from Argolin. These innovative corrugated packaging options are made from renewable materials, which can help to cut down your carbon footprint and reduce waste while ensuring the safety of your products before they arrive at their destination.
Use Sustainable Energy Sources
Choosing environmentally friendly energy sources for your small business operations can significantly reduce your environmental impact, including the carbon footprint associated with your products. If you have control over your production facilities, consider using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. Transitioning to renewable energy sources may require an upfront investment, but it can lead to long-term cost savings, reduce your carbon footprint, and align your business with eco-conscious values. It’s an essential step in minimising the environmental impact of your packaging and overall operations, so it’s worth exploring.
Improve Your Shipping Process
Logistics, or the process of getting your product from your warehouse to the customer, is one of the biggest areas that you can improve in this delivery process. Working to improve your logistics process and reduce the impact it has on the environment not only helps cut down on emissions and waste but also can lower shipping costs. Most small businesses use outsourced couriers to deliver their items, and while you can’t change their processes, you can select a carrier that uses environmentally friendly delivery options. Then you can consider the practices your business uses when sending out items and how you can improve these. One approach is to try and combine multiple orders going to the same destination into a single shipment whenever possible. This reduces the number of trips and the associated emissions. Also, you could consider implementing a just-in-time inventory system to minimise storage and expedite shipping. Many businesses are now also exploring just-in-case supply chains to help overcome the issues they faced during the pandemic, so it might be worth considering this as a viable alternative.
All in all, adopting eco-friendly packaging practices is not only beneficial for the environment but can also enhance your brand’s image and attract eco-conscious customers. Small changes can make a significant impact when it comes to reducing the environmental footprint of your packaging, so use this article to get inspiration and find simple ways to change your practices today.