Our Top Ten Sustainability Solutions

Why spend hours and weeks trying to figure out the best ways to reduce your environmental impact, when you can spend five minutes skimming our top ten list to find the top ten ways to reduce your emissions.

Since everyone’s situation varies, different solutions will deliver different results, but these ten can make a huge difference – and check out Sustainability Solution Finder for even more!

RankSustainability Solutions
1Rightsize your Packaging!
If you only do one thing, rightsize your packaging! Cut your transportation, labor and packaging costs by 10% or more while reducing customer complaints, claims, cardboard waste and CO2! 

Rightsizing is the miracle cure for increasing capacity, profit margins, customer experience and sustainability. There are a wide range of technologies to assist at every price point, and every scenario, starting at the bargain basement price point of FREE!

Check out our rightsizing section to see the different types of solutions, costs, compare vendors and sign up for a free savings assessment from our founding sponsor Paccurate!
2Network Optimization: Shorten Your supply chain through forward stocking and DC placement
Reducing distances between suppliers, distribution hubs, and customers results in less kilometers traveled, while minimizing the need for expensive and polluting air shipments. 

Every 1% reduction in distance traveled represents a 1% reduction in omissions. In the US, relocating from the coasts to more central locations or placing your inventory in two locations instead of one, can slash your transportation emissions up to 70% and costs by 40% and reach over 90% of the US population in two days or less.

Visit our DC Placement and Forward Stocking section to compare the impact to shipping emissions, transit times and costs from different US cities and when stocking from one, two or three locations.
3Optimize Mode: Stop shipping by air, and start shipping by rail!
The average express shipment is both more expensive and between 10 to 50X+ more polluting than one shipped by truck. And rail or intermodal is about 90% more efficient than truck, plus it’s usually cheaper and features similar transits on many of the longer lanes. 

To learn more, check out our Mode Optimization section to learn about impacts and opportunities to reduce costs and emissions while still meeting your transit commits.
4Renewable Energy
Rooftop solar enables you to slash your electricity costs with potentially no upfront costs, but since so many folks lease their warehouses, buying renewable energy gets complicated real quick. Check back in November and we’ll have all the details you need about rooftop solar, community solar, renewable energy certificates, and more!

Renewable Energy Solution and Vendor Catalog coming soon!
5Reduce Returns 
Returns cost you a lot and are a disaster for the environment. Not only did you spend money on packaging and shipping the item out, now you’re having to pay to ship the item back, receive it, inspect it, and restock, resell or dispose of it, so anything you can do to avoid returns will improve your margins and your sustainability.
Here’s a good article on tips to reduce returns
6Eliminate Completely-Empty & Partially-Empty Truck Trips
Why pay the fiscal and environmental cost of moving a completely or partially empty truck, when you can find shippers willing to fill the space?

Matchmakers like Convoy, Cargomatic, Flock Freight and others match truckers with extra space to shippers needing space in a way that minimizes distances, costs, and transit times so that everyone wins, including the environment by reducing the number of trucks on the road, and especially dead haul/empty miles traveled.
7Improve Building Efficiency
There are a whole host of things that can be done to improve the buildings energy efficiency, from adopting LED lights to implementing cool roofs and parking lots. An energy efficiency consulting company can help you identify all sorts of ways to reduce your energy bills and environmental impacts, plus help you score all sorts of tax rebates and credits as part of the inflation reduction act here in the US. 

Building Efficiency Solution and Vendor Catalog coming soon!
8Fly the Shortest Distance Possible
If you are shipping high-value, time-sensitive items that can’t be distributed across multiple locations for shipping, then it makes sense to locate your manufacturing/distribution in a FedEx, UPS or DHL hub that features direct flights to the majority of your customers locations. 

Why? Because the hub and spoke model means that the actual distance an item can travel could be 2 to 10X greater if a shipment is routed to a hub first and then back out to the customer. Plus, the takeoff is the most polluting portion of a flight, so the actual emissions is much more than would be projected based on just additional mileage since it involves two departures, not just one.

If you can’t do that, select the carrier with the shortest route. Unfortunately, there is currently no automated way to check distance or accurate estimated emissions prior to shipment, but you can make estimated assumptions about distance based on knowledge of hub locations.

I’ll write in more detail about this later.
9Drop Ship Directly to Your End Customers!
Eliminate the costs and emissions from shipping items to the middleman first. Caveat if the distances are great enough, the drop shipper may ship the item by plane to meet service commitments vs. by boat and truck to you, and then by truck to the end consumer. In that case, drop shipping will almost invariably be more polluting since planes generate about 10 times the pollution per mile as trucks and over 60 times as by boat.
10Greenify Your Packaging
If you can’t eliminate the need for packaging, then you can select lower-impact packaging. However, beware that packaging needs to be evaluated from multiple angles, the materials its generated from, e.g. oil, recycled plastic, recycled cardboard or virgin trees, its reusability/recyclability, e.g. will it go into a landfill, be reused or recycled, and the mode/distance of how far it will be shipped, for items shipped on jets and/or very long distances, the emissions from the transortation will dwarf the impact of the packaging itself, so in that case weight is the most important variable.

Check out the Sustainability Solution Finder for an even more extensive list of sustainability opportunities that you can sort and filter by type, ease of adoption, as well as impact on sustainability and profitability