Your ultimate guide to shipping green

Eco-friendly shipping for eco-friendly online stores.

ogoship background graphics
ogoship background graphics

Gone are the days when sustainable packaging was enough to keep customers happy. And it’s a good thing that consumers are becoming more and more environmentally conscious — both for your business and the planet.

In 2022 and beyond, customers don’t treat eco-friendliness as an added bonus — it’s a make-or-break factor that determines whether they’ll hit that Purchase button.

So what’s an online store to do?  That's what we'll discover next.

Eco-friendly shipping
Eco-friendly shipping for eco-friendly stores

Eco-friendly product considerations

When marketing your business as eco-friendly, there are plenty of considerations you’ll need to make when creating and selling your products.

Raw materials 

What you use to create your product (or where you source it from) is arguably the most important consideration in becoming an eco-friendly business. Customers will notice and even seek out products made with recycled materials, zero or fewer harsh chemicals, and that are certified organic. 

If it’s not possible or feasible to use organic or recycled materials in your product, not to worry — there are plenty of other ways you can move the needle on the eco-friendliness of your business (we’ll get to those a little further down).

Product type

Single-use products or products with a short life cycle are undesirable for environmentally conscious shoppers. So if your product is replacing a single-use product or is created in a way that extends its life cycle, be sure to highlight it in your communications.

Durability and repairs

There’s no use having an eco-friendly product if it’s going to wear quickly or break easily, right? That’s why durability testing, quality guarantees, and even free repairs can help put customers’ minds at ease around the longevity and quality of products made from (for example) recycled materials.

Product end of life

Like all good things, products come to an end at some point too. And of course you can’t guarantee that customers will act responsibly at the end of the product’s life, there are a couple of things you can do to do your bit as a business, like giving clear instructions on recycling the product, or creative ideas on upcycling it. 

So we’ve covered one piece of the puzzle: the product life cycle. But besides from the product itself, what other considerations should an aspiring eco-friendly online store make?

Other important considerations for

eco-friendly e-commerce businesses

1. minimize returns, 2. sustainability in the order fulfillment phase, 3. optimize the supply chain by multi-warehousing

1. Minimizing product returns 

As long as you’re selling products, products will be returned. Perhaps the product or the size may be wrong, or the product might have been damaged.

From the eco-friendliness point of view, it’s important to try and minimize the need to return the product in the first place.

And while it’s not possible to eliminate all product returns (wouldn’t that be amazing?), there are steps you can take to reduce the frequency of returns, like:

  • Creating detailed product descriptions
  • Shooting high-quality photos
  • Providing accurate size charts
  • Providing detailed and accurate information
  • Showing customer reviews
  • Reducing mistakes in the order fulfillment phase

Ready to go green?

Get in touch to find out how OGOship can help achieve your sustainability goals. 


2. Creating a sustainable order fulfillment process

In the order fulfillment and product packaging phase, small considerations can make a big importance. 

The beauty of running an online store is that you don’t need to worry about in-person visual merchandising or how your products look on the shelf at first glance. Of course, there are aesthetic aspects of product packaging that you can work on to create a great first impression when your customers receive your product — but they don’t have to come at a cost to the environment. 

Here are a couple of tips for eco-friendly packaging and order fulfillment: 

  • Do away with unnecessary fillers and use as few materials as you can
  • Optimize your package size: no large packages for small items
  • Use sustainable packaging materials like non-plastic packaging
  • Aim to use recycled packaging materials 
  • Make sure the customer knows how to dispose of the packaging materials after they have received the product. You can use these instructions to let your brand personality shine too!

3. Optimize supply chain by multi warehousing

As a rule of thumb, air freight is the fastest but the worst possible option, shipping via rail and ocean freight are significantly better, and in regards to road freight, the answer is “it depends”. 

It’s tough, because fast shipping is the #1 consideration for most e-commerce consumers, and it’s easy to feel the pressure to go to any lengths necessary to get your products to your customers fast — even if it’s at the expense of carbon emissions. 

But if you’re not looking forward to pioneering a ”slow shipping movement”, you need to provide fast AND sustainable shipping both at the same time. The key to having the cake and eating it too? Distance. 

In a recent study, we investigated the CO2 emissions on some of our routes — and the results emphasize the importance of distance.

Example 1

Shipping from southern Sweden to a customer in Amsterdam

As you can see from the example, Air freight is the worst option to get products from Sweden to Amsterdam. Rail and ocean are better options, and road freight is a low CO2 option, and also a more economic solution. 


Example 2

Local like shipping to a customer in Amsterdam

Optimized supply chain by multi-warehousing is not only the lowest CO2 option, but usually also the cheapest and fastest option too. Win-win! By using a local like option you really save on all key elements for your e-commerce business!


Optimized supply chain by multi-warehousing — what does it mean?

It simply means storing inventory in multiple warehouse locations, so that the distance between the product and the end customer is always as short as possible. In order to make this work, you do need to have a system that can handle connecting multiple inventories to the same store.

But don’t worry — warehousing in multiple locations might sound daunting at first, but once you understand the benefits of multi-warehousing (and how easy it can be with myOGO), you’ll never look back.

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How could multi-warehousing benefit your e-commerce business?

Faster shipments, lower costs and less Co2 emissions. Does that sound like something for you?

Get in touch with our e-commerce specialists today and explore the options available for your needs. 

Logistics companies CO2 programs

Many logistics companies have CO2 programs where they compensate for the CO2 emissions produced. Either they compensate for everything in bulk, or they offer additional CO2-free shipping options that may cost a little extra. DHL for example invests in various climate protection projects globally, PostNord has various initiatives from capacity utilization to bio fuel and FedEx is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2040.

As an online store, the most impactful deed you can do is, however, to keep the shipping distance as short as possible.

OGOship is a 3PL company specializing only in e-commerce. Our mission is to make sure e-commerce businesses can ship their goods fast and cost-effectively, all around the world.

Logistics partners´ CO2 programs
OGOship is a 3PL company specializing only in e-commerce.

How to decide what’s right for your online store

How to decide what’s right for your online store
OGOship e-commerce order fulfillment

Ultimately, it’s up to you to find the right balance of eco-friendliness and cost effectiveness for your business and your products. However, it is the job of the e-commerce industry to do better for our planet.

Our friendly e-commerce experts are knowledgeable in all things sustainable shipping and multi-warehousing — and they’d love a chance to chat with you. Simply get in touch.


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