Electronic Retailer November 2013 - (Page 46)

The of Shipping and fulfillment companies create efficiencies to conserve natural resources while improving the bottom line By Ian P. Murphy N early every consumer products marketer makes use of the term "green," focusing on the relative nontoxicity, biodegradability, and sustainability of their products as yet another reason to buy. But where environmentally friendly strategies may have the biggest impact for DR marketers is in shipping and fulfillment. Since it takes considerable resources to get a product into customers' hands, the back end offers many opportunities to conserve. "We are right in the middle of the supply chain, and being green is a critical component of the discussion," says Steve Leffin, director of Global Sustainability for UPS. Shipping and fulfillment companies are pursuing green strategies in several areas, looking to protect the environment and cut costs at the same time. "We feel better about doing things to reduce our energy usage," says Ayal Latz, president of Greensboro, 46 electronicRetailer | November 2013 Ga.-based a2b Fulfillment. "But the No. 2 reason to go green is the cost savings. We can see a reduction in costs, and we are saving customers money on the shipping side. When you can save clients money, you know you're a winner." Containers of Costs First among many shipping and fulfillment providers' strategies is to limit the materials used in packaging and their environmental impact. Companies reuse and recycle corrugated cardboard, and employ biodegradable boxes and cushioning materials whenever possible. Though perhaps less obvious, right-sizing the boxes used to ship products is also important. In packaging, "You can think of being green in two ways," says Patrick Moulton, director of New Business Development for Los Angeles-based Moulton Logistics Management. "The first is to use environmentally friendly packaging, which costs more, but is better for the environment. The second way is to be more efficient. For example, making sure you are using the least amount of packaging possible and not shipping a box that has a lot of filler in it just because it happened to be the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Electronic Retailer November 2013

Happenings
Bottom Line
Dispatches
Retail Movers
Data Mining
IMS Retail Rankings
JOrdan Whitney's Top Categories
Dish With Rick Petry
Law & Orders
DR 101
All Aboard
Show & Sell
InfoNation
The Greening of Fulfillment
Smart Buy
Classifieds
Advertisers' Index
Parting Shot

Electronic Retailer November 2013

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