Sustainable Shipping Solutions to Support a Circular Economy

by LJM Group

Free and fast shipping tops the list of importance for online shoppers, but consumers are becoming more conscious of their shopping habits. The sustainability component is playing a more prominent role in e-commerce selling as well as buying. When it comes to reducing packaging waste and environmentally friendly shipping, 25% of consumers view it as an important delivery criterion. In addition, 60% say they would be willing to pay more for delivery if CO2-neutral shipping was guaranteed in return.1

As consumer purchasing habits continue on the path of online shopping, the landscape of packaging needs to adapt to address environmental concerns. While packaging must be durable enough to protect goods, provide a pleasant brand experience, and stack and ship efficiently, it’s incumbent upon brands to take the initiative in making packaging more sustainable, recyclable and minimal to support. These actions will support a Circular Economy that is based on principles of keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems. In a recent study, 78% of respondents said that companies could be doing more to mitigate packaging waste.2

Here are some tactics to consider for sustainable packaging and shipping:

  • Offer carbon-neutral shipping by offsetting emissions
  • Ship items in bulk
  • Use sustainable packaging that can be repurposed
  • Offer a returns program for your empty product containers
  • Recycle on behalf of your suppliers and offer shipping-friendly items
  • Work with wholesalers to reduce individual shipments and limit return shipping
  • Reduce the size of your packaging
  • Use compostable mailers

Almost all companies and suppliers have made sustainability commitments over the next five years, including zero waste. ASOS, a giant in the e-commerce industry is a shining example of efforts to ship more sustainably. The company has made mitigation of packaging waste to the front position of its environmental policies. 

ASOS modified its signature black and white mailer bags and reduced their thickness by ten to twenty microns. This small change translated into reducing their impact by 583 tons of plastic annually. With ambitions to become a circular fashion business, ASOS has also implemented a closed-loop system with their packaging manufacturer to collect returned packaging and incorporate it into the new mailing bags.

Businesses should now be building sustainability into corporate budgeting. The process for allocating funds is key. What if dollars are there and you just don’t know it?  LJM Group will analyze your current Carrier contracts and help renegotiate rates to lower your shipping spend. And with the savings LJM Group helps you achieve, you can now use that money to invest in sustainable solutions.


  1. Sustainable Consumption in the U.S. 2021 Report, Statista Global Consumer Survey
  2. Shipping and Sustainability: How to Decrease Your Environmental Footprint and Increase Customer Satisfaction, Parcel Industry News
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