Tips to "Green" Your Shipping Strategy Author: T Nguyen
October 31, 2012

No matter which method you use for package shipping (sea, land or air), each of them is coupled with an inherent and uncertain amount of pollution. However, with an assortment of services and programs in existence today, you can rest easy knowing that you're doing your part to keep the planet healthily. Here are a few that tips to get your business on the road to carbon neutrality:

Eco-Friendly packing material
This is the first thing we could think of since styrofoam can be hazardous to the environment in more ways than one. It is non-sustainable, petroleum-based (don't get us started), and makes more waste than necessary during the manufacturing of it. Instead, try using bio-materials and completely opt out of the fuel-based fillers. Also, many biodegradable filler companies offer competitive pricing that can fit your budget.

Locate an Eco-Friendly Shipper
Finding a low-emission transportation company is literally at the tip of your fingers. The Environmental Protection Agency has created a great tool to help businesses, both small and large, find and compare data on all of their shipping partners. With their SmartWay Program, you can rest easy knowing that they are consistently monitoring everything from idle delivery vehicles to optimal tire inflation.

Reduce Carbon Emission Footprint
No matter how efficient a shipment strategy is, businesses still leave an impact on the environment. Purchasing carbon footprint credits is an easy way to offset the footprint of your business thus making your shipments carbon neutral. There are also several agencies similar to GreenShipping that will help companies offset their environmental impact in various capacities by adding a few cents to the total of every package that will fund renewable energy projects.

Have a Return Policy Ready
It only makes sense that with more online sales, the rate of returned goods would also rise. That said, having a practical (and green) return policy built into your shipping strategy from day one is a must. Try to refurbish more expensive items so that the parts do not become waste, while sending a new product altogether for less expensive goods rather than requesting the old or defective one to process the return.

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