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Sustainable e-commerce: your guide to green logistics

E-commerce and sustainability - a contradiction for many. Swiss Post shows that online retail can also be eco-friendly and how to make your logistics and e-commerce more sustainable.

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Sustainable, eco-friendly, ecological: the buzzwords of today. Sustainability is a major issue especially in cross-border e-commerce. After all, goods travel long distances, and customers always have environmental compatibility in mind when placing orders.

Paying more for sustainable delivery

According to an IPC study, 61% of all online shoppers surveyed would welcome a sustainable delivery option. Two-thirds are even willing to wait a bit longer for their order to make e-commerce more sustainable, and 62% of respondents would pay EUR 0.10 more for climate-neutral shipping. This trend can also be seen in packaging: 81% want reusable packaging (more info on making e-commerce more sustainable with eco packaging is available in our blog).

Encourage your customers to be sustainable in e-commerce

It is interesting to note that only 35% of the consumers surveyed have changed their behavior when it comes to shipping options. During the ordering process, only a few actually choose climate-friendly delivery (source: IPC Shopper Survey 2019).

So what does this mean for the online retailer? Make the decision for your customers and include the extra costs of sustainable logistics in your margins. Set a good example: offer only sustainable e-commerce as standard.

Sustainability in e-commerce: What to look out for:

  • Sustainability in online commerce is important. Position yourself as an environmentally conscious online store with climate-friendly shipping options.
  • Offer different shipping speeds and tell your customers how it benefits the environment.
  • Nudge your customers towards eco-friendly shipping.
  • Choose a reliable shipping partner with a high first-time delivery rate.
  • Reward customers with attractive discounts and lower delivery costs for bundled delivery.
  • Let your customers choose the delivery option they want: registered delivery or delivery without signature.
  • Reduce your returns with the help of the following blog.
  • Use sturdy and sustainable packaging for your shipping.

 

Choose your shipping partner wisely

It’s not just climate activists who believe that avoidance comes before offsetting. This principle represents a major challenge in cross-border e-commerce. Reducing CO2 emissions to almost zero is almost impossible in international online trade.

But you can still set an example in shipping - by choosing the right shipping partner. Check which e-commerce sustainability measures your potential shipping partner is using to minimize its CO2 emissions.

Swiss Post attaches great importance to environmental protection

Swiss Post is already taking various measures to make its processes eco-friendly:

  • For national transport, almost 50% of the the vehicles used are electric
  • All the electricity required comes from renewable and nature-made-basic-certified sources. For example, the 6,000 three-wheeled postal scooters run on green electricity.
  • Swiss Post operates some of the largest photovoltaic installations in Switzerland on the roofs of its letter and parcel centers.
  • Large consignments are optimized to use double-decker semitrailers that can carry 50% more.
  • Swiss Post is always looking for ways to improve its CO2 efficiency. To do so, it invests in energy-efficient vehicles, buildings, facilities and equipment.
  • In 2019, it joined the international EV100 (Electric Vehicles) initiative. Its goal is for electric mobility to be standard by 2030.

 

More Sustainability

Solid tips and other sustainability topics can be found in the article. And in the video: How Swiss Post is reducing your environmental footprint.

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