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As Earth Day 2020 approaches, many companies have turned their attention to sustainable business practices, including how to make their shipping strategies more sustainable. There are many ways that companies can become more eco-friendly in shipping and logistics. From designing better packaging materials to partnering with customers and suppliers on green initiatives, companies can incorporate sustainability into their shipping strategies.


Developing a green packaging strategy is one way to have a significant impact on shipping sustainability. First, by reducing the number of packaging materials used to ship products, companies can reduce the amount of material needing to be landfilled. Also, in an effort to unburden landfills, they can consider using recycled or recyclable materials as packaging components. Substances that could include recycled content are cardboard boxes, packing slip paper, and labels. Non-recyclable materials that companies could opt out of are packing peanuts, bubble wrap, and plastic wrap. Not only are recycled and recyclable materials environmentally friendly, but they can also be cost-effective so that companies can improve both their environmental footprint and their profitability.


In addition to examining packaging amount and content, businesses can choose to “right-size” their packaging strategy. Right-sizing involves packaging products in materials that are not too big for the task. Using boxes that are not the right size for the product increases not only the material cost of the box but also increases the value of the filler inside the box. When there are bigger boxes and more padding, there is more waste to recycle or discard. Right-sizing is an eco-friendly, cost-effective way to improve a shipping strategy.


Another way to go green in shipping is to partner with customers and suppliers in ways that improve the environmental impact of a company’s shipping strategy. For customers, companies can offer discounts for bulk shipments and savings for slower, more eco-friendly transportation methods. And for suppliers, companies can negotiate the use of reusable or returnable shipping containers. Each of these strategies improves the carbon footprint for companies as well as for their suppliers and customers.


Companies can embrace the theme of Earth Day 2020, “Climate Action,” by incorporating these cost-effective ideas into their sustainable shipping strategies. For other impactful purposes on sustainable shipping, click here.