How the E-Commerce Industry is Trying to Become More Green

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Credit Card by Sean MacEntee via flickr

It’s that time of the year again when online retailers and manufacturers are gearing up for the merriest and busiest season – Christmas. And while the E-commerce industry has always been known for their efficiency, it is inadvertent that, because of the holiday rush, there will be instances where wastes are haphazardly managed which can significantly impact the environment. Good thing however, is that these online commercial giants and many of their smaller counterparts are already integrating smarter and greener concepts into their operations so that, this Christmas, everyone is happy, including Mother Nature.

Integrating green concepts into the e-commerce industry is not really unprecedented as they employ several procedures that can have an effect in the environment. For example, the packaging of orders on crates and packets need to be done in a flawless manner to reduce waste. That is why many in the e-commerce industry are using case erector machines to make sure that the cases of products, orders, or logistics are properly and neatly packed with the least amount of resources used particularly wrapping materials.

If done by hand, there is a tendency to use more of these wrapping materials because of the unevenness of the wrapping and packing. This can lead to re-wrapping or re-packing which substantially increases the amount of waste. And while today’s industries have a much better grasp and understanding of the need for a sounder waste management policy, increased wastes will still have an impact on the waste management system and ultimately on the environment.

Going fully digital in all aspects of online commerce can also help reduce the impact of technology on the environment. By fully digitalizing order processing to logistics management and to shipping and handling, there is now a lesser dependence on paper. Reducing overdependence on paper can be good for the environment as trees won’t have to be felled for their pulp. Additionally, recycling of used materials particularly paper, cardboard, and boxes can help save future generations of trees.

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    The digitalization of the different aspects of online commerce can help in going green by minimizing wastage and improving the efficiency of work flows. This also means that there is no wasted time and resource simply because there are now technologies that effectively monitor and control for variables that would otherwise go unnoticed if humans were put in its place. This is not to say that humans are not needed for an e-commerce industry to thrive. Human input is still at the core of these technologies. The role of green technologies is to help bridge the gap between human activity and the need to preserve the natural environment.

    Modern equipment such as fully automated packers, case erector machines, and others have all been designed with very minimal environmental footprint. These can have a significant impact on efforts to curb carbon emissions while improving work efficiency in online commercial organizations.

    The e-commerce industry is at the forefront of revolutionary technology. They can use this distinction to be helpful to the environment by integrating green technology concepts in all aspects of their operation.