More and more people are making conscious decisions every day to reduce their carbon footprint. Bike and public transport are chosen over a car; vegetables and local product is chosen over meat and dairy.
Recycling is easier than ever before – bins are on the corners of many streets, even in smaller towns, and numerous shops have stopped giving out free single-use plastic bags.
In the last decades, people’s shopping habits have changed drastically. Instead of doing our shopping in a physical store, we don’t even have to get out of bed to get things we need. People prefer to buy their food, clothes, and pretty much all other products online with just a few clicks.
Shopping online may not necessarily be as green as you’d think, especially when you consider the huge transport emissions that come with it. The customer of the 21st century is well aware of all that. According to research published in 2020, 57% of shoppers would be willing to pay a higher price for a product purchased online to include measures to reduce the negative impacts on the environment.
People are increasingly favoring brands that offer a chance to make purchases on their e-commerce site in a climate-friendly way. That out of the way, let’s talk about how to reduce your e-commerce carbon footprint.
Why should you reduce the footprint of your e-commerce business?
As people, especially the younger generation, value climate-neutral buying options, businesses have a good reason to pay attention to the topic as well. If you work in the retail industry, you probably have a good overview of the new preferences that have emerged in recent years. In addition to valuing fast shipping and easy refund options, customers want to shop in a planet-friendly and guilt-free way. Taking all of that into consideration, brands that take sustainability and climate action seriously, have an advantage in the online market.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- 54% of Gen Z consumers take the carbon footprint into consideration when making a purchase online.
- 88% of clients want you to help them live more sustainably.
- products that are labeled as sustainable grow in sales 5.6 times faster than products that aren’t labeled as sustainable.
A simple conclusion can be drawn from this – consumers want to be more sustainable but they need your help to do that.
What is carbon offsetting?
CO2 neutrality is the first step for a better world for both companies and individuals. It means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. For example, to compensate for a ton of emissions and greenhouse gases, it’s necessary to destroy, catch, or prevent one ton of emissions and greenhouse gases.
To do that, we can plant trees, save rainforests or change the production technologies of companies. By introducing carbon offset practices in your company, you’ll be able to strengthen the bond with your clients and gain more loyal customers as well (more on that in a bit). And what kind of a business could say no to an increasing number of loyal clients?
Why you should care
Our carbon footprint is equal to the greenhouse gas emissions we make. The more we drive our cars, consume electricity and heat etc, the bigger our footprint is.
Greenhouse emissions cause climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. They cause smog, which in turn is the cause of many respiratory diseases. Climate change brings about extreme weather conditions, such as floods, storms, droughts, and forest fires.
By offsetting carbon dioxide emissions, for example by supporting afforestation, ocean cleanup, and the development of planet-friendly technologies, you can effectively reduce your carbon footprint.
In fact, reducing your footprint is not hard at all. Small steps make for big changes, that applies both to individuals and companies. Despite the simplicity of it, an insufficient number of companies offer their clients the possibility to shop in an environmentally-friendly way. That’s exactly why Makeitneutral was developed.
Why your company should go climate neutral
Environmental friendliness and climate positivity have gained a slightly negative undertone over the last few years. With headlines informing us of countless melting glaciers, it might seem like climate change and hopelessness go hand in hand. The reality is different.
More and more companies are interested in ways to make their brand planet-friendlier. Sustainability is a journey on its own. Good things take time and the same goes for fighting climate change. In case you need further convincing, we’ll give you 5 good reasons why every company should thrive towards climate neutrality.
1) Employees look for employers who act sustainably
Professionals choose a company based on the environment-related choices that a company makes. 2/3 of Millenials say that they wouldn’t want to work in a company that doesn’t have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. It’s more preferred to work for a smaller wage in a company that is taking climate action than to work for a bigger wage in a company that is not environmentally conscious.
- 83% of Millenials say they’d be more loyal to a brand if it helped them contribute to the health of the planet;
- 75% would prefer to work for a smaller wage in a company that is taking climate action than to work for a bigger wage in a company that is not environmentally conscious;
- 88% say that if a job helps them be more climate-friendly, it also makes them more satisfied;
- 76% take into account company’s social and environmental commitments when choosing a job;
- 64% say they refuse to work in a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices.
Millennials make up almost 50% of the workforce already. By 2025, the percentage will have reached 75. That means that it’s wise for companies to adjust their values accordingly in order to attract upcoming talent.
2) Clients prefer brands that are climate neutral
Worries about the health of the planet have had a significant impact on consumer purchasing decisions, as well. The quality of the goods or services is not the only thing that matters anymore. It’s also important that the environmental prospects of the brand align with the clients’ ones.
71% of those clients who believe in the importance of a sustainable lifestyle are willing to pay more to get an environment-friendly product. Planet-friendly companies and e-commerce businesses are more preferrable. Therefore, those companies that can offer clients what they want – a chance to contribute to the fight against climate change – are more competitive.
3) Sustainable companies are more profitable
It’s often thought that saving the world is an expensive hobby. The goal for most companies is to make a profit and when it might look like introducing sustainable practices takes more than it gives, then why bother?
Well, you should bother. A non-profit organization CDP conducted research that discovered that companies that make deliberate climate-positive choices see an 18% higher return on investments than companies that don’t take climate action.
In addition, another study showed that products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than those that were not. Environment-friendly actions may cut your costs immensely. For example, energy efficiency can help reduce your electricity bill.
4) Investors are looking for future-oriented companies
Sustainable brands are more competitive. An even better bonus is that the sustainable mindset of companies does not go unnoticed by investors who are looking for innovative and future-oriented companies.
For a long time, there was a belief that investors tend to steer away from sustainable actions and “climate hooey”. This is no longer the case, however. The global value of sustainable investments has reached 30 trillion US dollars (a trillion is a million millions, so a 1 with 12 zeros!).
The number has increased 68% compared to the year 2014. Boston Investing Group pointed out that companies with social and environment-related goals, see a greater long-term financial success. However, they also found that although 90% of CEOs say that sustainability is an important part of their business plan, only 60% of them have actually taken steps to be more sustainable. Taking climate action and being transparent about it, you have a real chance to stand out in your field and in turn increase your competitiveness.
5) It’s only a matter of time before climate regulations will start changing the business plans of companies
The laws of the European Union already require big companies (companies with more than 500 employees) to publish regular reports on their environmental and social impacts.
More regulations are laid down as time goes by. Both governments and investors pressure companies to introduce sustainable practices. If you soon have to shift your business plan towards sustainability anyway, wouldn’t it be easier to start now?
Be ahead of time and introduce carbon-neutral practices to promote the health of the planet and the competitiveness of your company before they become mandatory by law.
How to reduce your carbon footprint?
To reduce your carbon footprint, you have two options:
- do less of those things that create carbon dioxide emissions;
- compensate for your carbon footprint.
What does it mean?
To create fewer emissions, you can:
- prefer a bike or public transport when going to work or choose a more environmentally friendly way of driving;
- offer your coworkers a ride (the more the merrier, in accordance with local laws of course);
- eat less meat and dairy products and prefer local produce;
- use green energy – switch to an energy provider that offers that option;
- not leave the lights on – you’ll decrease your energy usage;
- fly less and prefer shorter distances at a time when traveling;
- not leave the water running in your office kitchen and when using the dishwasher, use water and energy-saving function;
- reuse and recycle – set up recycling bins in the office to make it easier for your workers to be sustainable;
- say no to plastic bags;
- say yes to reusable packaging;
- stop offering free returns – in the US alone, product returns cause over 2.2 billion kilograms of landfill waste and 15 million tons of carbon emissions in a single year.
One thing to do to reduce our carbon footprint is to plant trees. Plants, trees included, provide the Earth with oxygen, help regulate the planet’s temperature, and sequester CO2. Makeitneutral helps your company compensate for its carbon footprint by doing just that.
We’ve made it easy. We created an easy-to-use solution that allows the customers of your e-shop to reduce their carbon footprint at checkout with just one click. We offer different payment options and don’t ask for any joining or service fees. If you want, it’s completely free for you!
You have several options:
- Your customers add the cost of forest-positivity to their baskets. Entirely free for you.
- You split the cost with your customer and can choose between either fixed or dynamic pricing.
- You pay for forest-positivity yourself. The dynamic calculation formula is 3.33% for cart total or max 1.5€ per order.
Sustainability is a journey
If we take sustainable steps together, we can still stop climate change and create a more harmonious present and future for ourselves and for those who come after us.
Hopefully, we helped you realize that your company has more than one reason to go green. Sustainability saves time and money and helps you be more competitive in the emerging environmentally conscious market.
As the rising talents of the younger generation care about the health of the planet, they’re more interested in companies that take action and introduce adequate practices. Saving the world is not done overnight or alone. Start today and do it with Makeitneutral.