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Etsy and Walmart Expand Eco-Friendly Initiatives

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Etsy and Walmart Expand Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Etsy and Walmart are expanding some eco-friendly initiatives that will also help them generate good PR.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman vowed to offset carbon emissions generated by the shipping of orders by Etsy sellers. “98 percent of Etsy’s total emissions stem from items shipped from our sellers to our buyers. Although we do not actively manage this shipping process, we are in the position to do something about the environmental impact. That’s why, starting today, Etsy is becoming the first global ecommerce company to offset 100% of carbon emissions generated by shipping.”

And in a bold statement, Silverman said Etsy was offsetting shipping emissions from all online shopping in the US on a single day (February 28). A spokesperson told EcommerceBytes the effort was the equivalent of protecting 100 square miles of forest for one year. “By picking up everyone’s carbon tab for the day, Etsy hopes to raise awareness that offsets are a viable and affordable option that companies can take to mitigate their impact on the environment,” she said.

Silverman is looking to take the lead in ecommerce, writing in his announcement, “While we are proud to be the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping, we certainly hope we are not the last. Considering these offsets will cost less than one penny per package for Etsy, we don’t believe that cost should be a prohibitive factor for others to follow in our footsteps.”

Also sharing in eco-friendly initiatives, Walmart this week promised to reduce plastic packaging waste, by leveraging its massive private brand program.

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“New commitments, announced at Walmart’s annual supplier forum, are expected to impact over 30,000 SKUs. The move is designed to help get to the heart of the problem by focusing on the retailer’s private brand packaging, building upon existing efforts to reduce plastic waste in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club operations, and encouraging national brand suppliers to set similar packaging goals.”

Walmart announced it will work with its US private brand suppliers on the following commitments:

  • Seek to achieve 100 percent recyclable, reusable or industrially compostable packaging for its private brand packaging by 2025;
  • Target at least 20 percent post-consumer recycled content in private brand packaging by 2025;
  • Label 100 percent of food and consumable private brand packaging with the How2Recycle® label by 2022;
  • Work with suppliers to eliminate the non-recyclable packaging material PVC in general merchandise packaging by 2020; and
  • Reduce private brand plastic packaging when possible, optimizing the use to meet the need.

“Plastic waste is a growing concern for Walmart customers, associates and other key stakeholders. Walmart’s aspiration is to achieve zero plastic waste by taking actions across its business and working with suppliers to use less plastic, recycle more and support innovations to improve plastic waste reduction systems.”

See Walmart’s full announcement on this page.

Note that Amazon was recently criticized for its new plastic packaging in an article in the Washington Post (the newspaper owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos). The Post said that the new plastic mailers allow it to squeeze more packages in trucks and planes, “But environmental activists and waste experts say the new plastic sacks, which aren’t recyclable in curbside recycling bins, are having a negative effect.” (via Mercury News)

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

3 thoughts on “Etsy and Walmart Expand Eco-Friendly Initiatives”

  1. I thought this would read something like Wal Mart would no longer store acres and acres of lawn and garden chemicals out in the parking lots

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