If your business handles a lot of shipping, you may be looking for ways to make the process more eco-friendly. There is good news on this front. Purchasing agents in the USA are always on the look out for ways to make shipping cheaper and to reduce the carbon footprint of the business.
- Use recycled boxes and boxes with a certification from the FSC. When your certified purchasing agents are looking for boxes to ship your goods in, making the decision to recycled can make a big difference. Purchasing agents in the USA who deal with your shipping supplies should look for boxes that were manufactured using materials that were harvested in forests that are sustainably managed. The U.S. Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) offers certifications to packaging companies. Another thing you can do is look for boxes that were made from recycled materials. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) offers certification for boxes and materials that are good for the environment. All boxes have the amount of recycled content that they contain written on the box.
- Make your shipping fillers be more eco-friendly. You should use more paper products when you need to include filling material in your packages. Purchasing agents in the USA often look for paper filling materials to protect their goods from damage due to dropping the package, bumping it or from hot or hold weather. When you use styrofoam or other materials that are made from petroleum not only is a lot of waste created as they are manufactured but these filling materials are not sustainable. Paper, on the other hand, is very sustainable. Another option is the use of corrugated cardboard fillers.
- In eco-friendly shipping, less is more. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the packaging that is used in the products they buy and use. People have an eye on the environment and their contribution to making it better or worse. Today, they appreciate it when the items they buy do not have a ton of extraneous packaging. Apple offers the perfect example of how companies can reduce the amount of packaging they use while still making sure their products arrive in the best condition possible. The fewer packing materials you can use, the better. You will spend less money and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Work with a shipper who takes the environment seriously. Purchasing agents in the USA have a lot of options when it comes to what shipping company to use. If you look, you can find cargo companies that have eco-friendly processes and equipment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even maintains a list of American cargo shipping companies that have policies that are better for the environment.
- Have the shipping company pick up your shipments. Shipping companies generally have their trucks out on the roads going through their routes every day. This means, you wind up using less energy when you schedule a time for them to come get your packages than when you take the time to deliver them yourself. They have ways to make the process more energy efficient, as using more fuel has a direct impact on their bottom line. While it may seem to be a bit counterintuitive, you will help the environment more if you let them pick up your shipments. This works for door to door delivery as well as other kinds.
- Plan for returns. As most purchasing agents in the USA will tell you, returns are a fact of life for companies that sell goods. This is especially true for online purchases. If you are sending out items that are not very expensive, if someone needs a replacement, it might make more sense to not ask for the customer to return the defective or damaged item. If you do have them return products, work on a way to refurbish and reuse them to cut down on the waste.
There are many good reasons to try to make your shipping process better for the environment. You can use your commitment to the environment in your marketing materials and your customers will appreciate it. Many consumers today look to buy from companies that are more environmentally aware and place a priority on using eco-friendly products and services.