BlogRSS Feed

Jaidyn Farar

Missed Our Sustainability Conference? Catch It on Demand!

by Jaidyn Farar

From inventory management to returns, businesses have countless opportunities to go green, and good reason too—becoming more sustainable often goes hand in hand with significant cost reductions and greater customer loyalty.

At the EasyPost virtual conference Unboxing Sustainability, speakers from organizations like the National Retail Federation, Adidas, and more shared strategies and best practices for incorporating sustainability into logistics. 

If you missed the conference, no worries! You can watch it on demand for free.

In this article, we’ve summarized some key insights and takeaways to help you prepare your organization for a more environmentally friendly future.

Integrating Sustainability Into the Retail Business Model


In this session, Scot points out that contrary to popular opinion, eco-friendliness and financial growth aren’t mutually exclusive.

In the early days of retail, many businesses pushed back against sustainability. But at the same time, they implemented cost-reduction and energy efficiency measures (like minimizing packaging or turning off lights) that also made their operations more sustainable.

“There are all these things that some people thought of only as cost savings, but [they] realized eventually, hey–wait a minute. Those also have environmental benefits. When consumers start expressing a desire to buy more sustainable products from more sustainable retailers, all of a sudden you realize you need to … have a story to tell.”

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • The history of sustainability in retail
  • Three steps to incorporate sustainability into your retail business
  • The importance of collaborating with suppliers on green initiatives
  • Challenges of adopting more eco-friendly practices
  • What the future of sustainable retail looks like

Watch the session here.

Marketing Green: Promoting Your Sustainability Journey

Speaker: Veena Harbaugh, director of sustainability at Sendle

Many businesses view sustainability as simply cutting back—reducing materials waste and carbon emissions. In her session, Veena argues that you can (and should) take things a step further. 

“Some businesses are looking past this goal of sustainability, into regenerative business. That means that instead of this break-even of negative and positive impact, you're having a net positive impact. And actually, the world is a better place because of your business.”

Of course, a regenerative business model may not be possible for every organization yet. But as you understand customer priorities, integrate sustainability into your strategy, and stay transparent, you can drive growth and have a positive impact on both society and the environment.

Veena poses three questions to help you evaluate your current sustainability strategy, including how you promote your efforts: Is your business sustainable to a significant degree? Do your customers care about sustainability? And are you willing to share specific examples of sustainability wins with your customers? 

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • The three pillars of sustainability
  • What defines a regenerative business
  • The importance of analyzing sustainability efforts
  • How to align green initiatives with consumer priorities
  • Tips for incorporating sustainability into your marketing strategies

Watch the session here.

Eco Evolution: Learning From Adidas's Journey to Sustainability


Adidas isn’t just a renowned sports brand—it’s a frontrunner in sustainability efforts. The organization has tackled sustainability from various angles, including materials, factory operations, sourcing, transportation, and the circularity of their products.

In this session, Kyle and Scot have a conversation about Adidas’s sustainability journe, with Kyle stressing the importance of integrating sustainability into an organization's culture and DNA for long-term success. It's not just about implementing sustainability initiatives as isolated efforts, but transforming the entire organizational mindset.

One way that Adidas drives their green initiatives is through the SBB, or Sustainability Sponsor Board. Kyle explains, “It reports directly to the executive board, and it's responsible for global operations. So they're doing the development, the coordination of our sustainability efforts and strategy, and they're doing it at the highest level so it can have that top-down push. … If you have that accountability, just like in all things in the supply chain, [sustainability will] get the focus and the prioritization that it needs.”

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • The steps Adidas has taken toward more sustainable practices
  • Achievements from Adidas's sustainability initiatives
  • Why transparency and customer education are critical
  • Why organizations should choose partners that value sustainability
  • What the future holds in store for sustainability

Watch the session here.

Return to Green: Rethinking Returns in Logistics

Speaker: JC Hernandez, product marketing manager at Loop

JC kicks off this session with some eye-opening statistics:

  • Seventy-three percent of shoppers check how sustainable a merchant’s return policy is.
  • Eighty-eight percent of shoppers agree that more eco-friendly return policies would make them more likely to shop again.
  • Fifty-six percent of shoppers care about the environmental impact of returns.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to align returns with sustainability efforts. Too often, returns lead to wasted packaging materials, wasted products, and double the carbon emissions of a non-returned shipment. 

With the right solutions, you can minimize the environmental impact of returns. JC shares some techniques that Loop uses, including consolidating returns, promoting the reuse of original packaging, and reselling returned products. 

He says, “It's simple but powerful. Integrating sustainability into your returns isn't just good for our planet. It's great for business. … As we push forward toward a more sustainable future, remember, it's not just about reducing waste. It's about creating value for our planet, for our customers, and for our businesses. Let's make the journey from return to restock a little greener.”

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • How to reduce waste when it comes to returns
  • The best strategies for dealing with returned products
  • How dynamic routing minimizes the carbon emissions associated with returns
  • Benefits of letting customers keep items
  • The power of automating the returns process

Watch the session here.

Shaping the Future: Exploring Carrier Initiatives in Sustainable Logistics

Speaker: Andria Smith, sustainability program manager at UPS

When striving for greater sustainability, your business doesn’t have to operate in a vacuum. By leveraging partnerships with other sustainable partners, you can combine your efforts to achieve greater results.

UPS has focused on sustainability for the past two decades, implementing measures to help both the planet and their partners. By aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050 and setting short and medium-term targets, UPS is actively working towards reducing their environmental footprint.

One overarching message of this session is the importance of collaboration and stakeholder engagement. UPS firmly believes that sustainability is a collective effort and that organizations must work together to address challenges. 

Andria explains, “Sustainability is truly about collaboration. When we are keeping an eye on these emerging sustainability disclosures, we're working with partners in governmental affairs. We're working with partners in operations. We're working with partners in engineering that are local to the facilities where some of these laws are being enacted.”

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • UPS’s key sustainability goals and milestones
  • Four levers that drive sustainability at UPS
  • The progress UPS has already made toward carbon neutrality
  • How UPS reports its carbon emissions and environmental impact

Watch the session here.

Green Warehousing: Sustainable Practices for Storage and Distribution

Speaker: Dan Weiss, vice president of transportation at ShipBob

When people think of carbon emissions reduction, they often focus on the type of transportation: optimizing shipments to travel via ground rather than air. But shipping method isn’t the only thing that affects emissions. Inventory distribution can have a major impact on your CO2 output, as Dan explains in this session.

Using ShipBob’s fulfillment centers as an example, Dan illustrates how inventory placement affects sustainability. By ensuring inventory is in the right place at the right time, ShipBob avoids split shipments and multiple deliveries to the same address, significantly decreasing the carbon emissions of each shipment. Inventory distribution also reduces travel distances, another sustainability perk with the added benefit of faster deliveries.

Dan says, “Having two plus packages for a shipment is a killer from a sustainability standpoint, it's a killer from a cost management standpoint, and it's a killer from a customer experience standpoint.”

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • How strategic inventory placement helps lower transportation emissions
  • Why it’s important to calculate carbon emissions
  • Types of green packaging brands should consider
  • How logistics partnerships can help you achieve more eco-friendly shipping

Watch the session here.

Measuring the Carbon Impact of Your Transportation


Without data on the carbon emissions of every package you send, you’ll be hard-pressed to reduce your carbon footprint. 

In this session, Christopher and Jason highlight a Körber solution that provides shippers with powerful analytics for measuring the carbon impact of their transportation methods. The tool allows businesses to filter and analyze data on carriers, service levels, zones, and origin locations.

With this data, you can uncover potential cost savings by shipping from different locations and optimizing your choice of shipping services. For example, you might save money (and decrease your environmental impact) by opting for ground shipping rather than expedited services.

What you’ll learn about in this session:

  • Why it’s important to measure carbon emissions
  • How to gain greater visibility into your shipping process
  • The power of data analysis to drive sustainability
  • Tips for reducing both costs and carbon emissions

Watch the session here.

Join us for our next event!

We hope this content has given you some great ideas for kickstarting (or accelerating) your sustainability strategy. 

Already excited for our next event? To get notified about the next EasyPost virtual conference, subscribe to our LinkedIn newsletter. We’re constantly sharing event announcements, shipping tips and best practices, and industry news.

See you at the next virtual conference!