How to reduce the carbon footprint of your eCommerce through green logistics
Among the different green logistics options that eCommerce companies can opt for are the following:
1. Low carbon deliveries: taking into account that most of the emissions are produced in the first and last mile, it is at this point where improvements should be made progressively. Typically, these miles are in urban areas, where the use of combustion vans is the most commonly used option. A transition to more concentrated pick-up and delivery routes and alternative options such as bicycles or electric vehicles options will be increasingly necessary. Another option to reduce the environmental impact of eCommerce is to offer eco-certified shipping options to customers. Studies show that 70% of consumers would be willing to pay extra for eco-certified shipping.
2. Backhaul: a form of logistics planning that basically consists of using the empty spaces of a transport vehicle that is returning to its original destination. In this way, both the outbound and return journeys are utilised, minimising transport costs and increase efficiency with the same number of vehicles and journeys. Finding logistics partners that take this planning into account, as discussed in the article "How eCommerce companies can reduce their carbon footprint" should be a priority when selecting a logistics company.
3. Grouped delivery and collection point delivery: These options help to reduce the number of trips required to deliver parcels to customers. In the case of grouped delivery, it involves sending several parcels in a single shipment rather than sending each packet to a customer individually. In the case of pick-up point delivery, it allows customers to pick up their parcels at a site close to their location rather than at home.
4. Bulk loads: Although this measure is more geared towards large eCommerce companies, it should make us reflect on the importance of centralising shipments. This method of loading involves combined efforts to reduce the use of pallets and increase the occupancy rate of trucks by up to 25%.
5. Implement green procurement practices: Green procurement practices are about buying products and services that have a lower environmental impact. It consists of seeking suppliers and logistics partners that are environmentally friendly, such as the use of biodegradable packaging materials, energy-efficient lighting, etc.
6. Encourage sustainable consumption among customers: a very important action that eCommerce companies can work on is to promote sustainable behaviour among consumers by encouraging them to make sustainable choices. Following on from the previous points, the objective would be to encourage consumers through marketing and communication actions to take actions such as choosing environmentally friendly packaging or opting for slower delivery times that consume less fuel.
7. Offsetting emissions: through private funds to support reforestation and research projects to reduce logistics emissions.