Earth Day is a time to reflect on the environmental impact of our daily lives and make positive changes. This can be challenging, particularly for retailers and eCommerce businesses. You may worry that green practices are too costly or waste too much time, or wonder how to shift toward more sustainable products or business model. Fortunately, its not impossible to go green and remain successful—there are real practices you can put into place to decrease your business’s carbon footprint without sacrificing profit or spending a great deal of time. In fact, a few of these practices may even lead your business to recover money otherwise lost!

Offer More Sustainable Products

One important way to support sustainable business practices is to evaluate the products you sell and shift toward sustainable options wherever possible.

For some brands, this may mean switching manufacturing processes. It may involve using eco-friendly parts, shifting to renewable energy in your factories. It may require changing your packaging to reduce waste and incorporate recycled materials. While such a shift can be a major undertaking, now is the perfect time to explore the possibilities and make a plan for the future.

If your brand doesn’t manufacture its own products, the process will likely be a lot more simple. Contact your distributors to find out what green alternatives they offer to products you already sell. If they don’t have sustainable options available, do some research and find out what alternatives exist in the marketplace and where to source them responsibly.

While changing your product offerings may be a daunting task, there is good news here. An impressive 85% of consumers surveyed in 2021 indicated that they have changed their behavior for the sake of sustainability in the last 5 years. Interestingly, 24% Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers report significantly changing their habits, while 32% of Millennials say the same.

With younger consumers more aligned with sustainability efforts, you can help ensure a strong future for your brand by catering to their views. This means not only pushing out greener product lines, but also means sharing information about your business model that might attract positive attention.

Aim for a Green Online Store—and Flaunt It

In eCommerce, it’s easy to overlook the environmental cost of doing business. However, web-based businesses are just as susceptible to pollution and waste as their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

The first piece of the puzzle to consider is your website itself. Yes, believe it or not, the internet has a carbon footprint, and it is massive. It’s estimated that the internet accounts for 6-10% of the world’s electricity usage and 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than all global air travel. Even more startling, this figure is expected to double by 2025. To reduce your brand’s emissions, consider vetting your web-services providers or  switching to a server run on renewable energy resources.

Next, consider how your goods are packed and transported. Some industries, such as apparel, grapple with the environmental impact of the products themselves, but something too many businesses share is the use of excessive plastic packaging. To tackle this, look for shipping products made from recycled materials. Or switch to biodegradable mailers and packing peanuts rather than plastic and styrofoam. Also, ensure your packaging is as close as possible to the size of your products, with minimal wasted space inside. This will allows shipping providers to better allocate space in their delivery trucks and reduces fuel consumption.

Finally, don’t be afraid to market these efforts. You’ve seen that consumers respond positively to environmental consciousness, so get the word out any way you can. Taking this initiative shows forward thinking and will solidify your brand in their minds of your customers as one they don’t have to worry about.

Participate in Re-commerce and Join the Circular Economy

Finally, one of the most important ways to make your business more sustainable is to participate in the circular economy rather than allowing your products to be destroyed or dumped into landfills.

In another age, it was an acceptable practice for companies to dump damaged, returned, or overstock goods. Today, we know better, and with all the waste in certain industries, consumers expect retailers to make an effort at sustainability. But you don’t want to clog up your warehouses with products that aren’t selling or that can’t be sold as new. What’s a brand to do?

Fortunately, B-Stock has your back. Our re-commerce solution means you can offload excess or damaged products into the secondary market rather than tossing them.

How do we do this? Brands that partner with B-Stock list excess inventory by the pallet or the truckload in our online auction marketplace—or if they have significant enough volume, their own private, custom-branded marketplace. Vetted business buyers bid on these auctions, competing with one another for your liquidation inventory. Then, instead of your items going into a landfill, they’re given new life in the secondary market. These buyers resell the inventory to their customers on platforms like Amazon, eBay, and Poshmark. Even broken or damaged items sell for their valuable parts.

A Win-Win: Sustainability Isn’t the Only Benefit

The best part? A greener presence isn’t the end of the story—B-stock brings your business so much more. The auction format naturally fetches the highest willingness to pay. That’s an especially a great proposition considering the demand from a network of hundreds of thousands of global buyers. You can also handpick buyers and enforce seller terms and conditions that dictate where and how buyers sell your goods. Further, tour dedicated B-Stock account manager is available daily to provided expert auction strategy and our marketing team is always working to bring new buyers to your marketplace. Finally, centralizing your liquidation efforts to a single online platform allows new heights of operational efficiency and data-based decision making.

So the next time you need to clear out some space in your warehouse, go green and liquidate with B-Stock. We’re the sustainable solution to returned, damaged, overstock, or otherwise dead inventory.

Will Simon

Will Simon is a content writer and manager for B-Stock Solutions, the world's largest B2B recommerce marketplace. He specializes in creating seller resources highlighting the demand, efficiency, and insight that the B-Stock Platform brings its enterprise clients.

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