There’s an increased demand for eco-friendly products as consumers become more educated about the damage the world has created in the past, and there is more willingness from consumers to open their wallets wider for eco-friendly products. But, are sellers keeping up with demand? Tradeling takes a look at how manufacturers can capitalise on a rising trend.
The world is “off track” in meeting the United Nations 2030 Agenda, according to the UN, adding that the world was already derailed from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) even before the COVID-19 crisis erupted. However, it points out that the planet can get back on course by “increasing investment in public services, showing solidarity on financing, and reshaping how people, work, learn, live and consume.”
It is a matter of willingness to adopt more sustainable products and practices. The need for solidarity has never been greater.
Investing in a better future
Sustainability is not just a buzzword; it is fast becoming a necessity. Intention is one thing, but putting your money where your mouth is, is another. Companies and individuals alike need to be more eco-friendly than ever before or risk doing further irreparable damage to our planet. Some corporations are doing their bit for society by coming out with eco-friendly products and implementing long-term sustainability plans. But more need to follow suit.
Automakers have long catered to a rising demand for greener cars by coming out with hybrid or electric vehicles that are kinder to the environment. Some big-name designers are also putting 100% sustainable products on the shop floor, and well-known sporting goods companies have been seen actively reducing their carbon footprint and reducing waste.
But retailers have been generally lagging when it comes to green initiatives, which means there is an opportunity for the e-commerce marketplace sector to take the lead. With online shopping sales going through the roof, the need for responsible packaging is increasing with it, or else the size of landfills would continue to grow fuelling an even bigger environmental disaster.
Online shopping already contributes to significant waste from cardboard boxes, plastic and Styrofoam. So, there is a huge opportunity for the sector to take more responsibility and come up with innovative packaging that paves the way for a more sustainable future. But it is more than just the packaging the needs addressing. Companies need to start thinking about greener product offerings.
Data already suggests that more and more consumers are turning to environmentally cleaner products, even if it means paying more. A study from the University of Bonn shows that consumers are willing to pay 30% more, on average, for ethically produced goods. Other studies suggest that shoppers prefer products with environmentally friendly packaging.
And while governments in some countries are rewarding companies that have adopted environmentally friendly measures by giving them tax breaks, more incentives are needed to move the needle further – and faster.
Buying with a Conscience
Consumer trends show that millennials and generation Xers put sustainability high on their check list when it comes to purchasing goods, and with demand for more socially responsible products from millennials and Generation Xers – both of which who have significant purchasing power, we will likely see the demand for sustainable products to continue in both the B2C and B2B sectors.
Tradeling has welcomed many companies to its e-commerce platform that also put sustainability high on their list of values.
GreenOffice, for example, is an eco-friendly stationery supplier in the UAE that sells a host of eco-friendly alternatives to plastic and paper that are recyclable or biodegradable.
Meanwhile, India’s BioQ Eco Solutions develops products that are aimed at helping people make the switch to eco-friendly alternatives without compromising on aesthetics or functionality. It focuses on sustainable raw material with an end-to-end sustainable supply chain.
And, Pepaa is a full-stack sustainable solutions provider for brands and zero waste lifestylers in the field of paper-based stationery and packaging. But it doesn’t just stop there. It goes one step further. Peppa’s stationery can also be planted and grown into trees, flowers, and even vegetables. Each product is embedded with 100 per cent organic seeds sourced from local farmers.
With growth in the e-commerce sector growing by the day, the demand for environmentally friendly products is likely to continue to grow with it, and there is an opportunity for manufacturers to invest more time and money into preparing for a more sustainable future for everyone.
Top Tips for A More Sustainable E-commerce Business
- Implement sustainable shipping practices
- Use eco-friendly products
- Introduce sustainable packaging
- Sell sustainable products
- Reduce packaging
- Reduce waste
- Offset carbon emission
– Center for Economics and Neuroscience, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany