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Returns and Sustainability: A Report

May 6, 2024
Insights from the goTRG & SupplyChainBrain Retail Returns Sustainability Report 2024 unveils key insights from 250 U.S. retailers and brands on the sustainability of their returns management practices. This report highlights the critical need for the retail sector to prioritize sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in their reverse supply chains.

Key Findings

  • Environmental Impact: Retail returns are not just a financial burden but also a significant environmental concern, generating 16 million metric tons of carbon emissions and contributing to 9.5 billion pounds of landfill waste annually in the U.S.
  • Consumer Expectations: An increasing number of consumers (56.4% of survey respondents) expect brands to adopt eco-friendly practices, influencing their purchasing decisions.
  • Shift in Returns Practices: There's been a notable 9% increase in "buy online, return in store" (BORIS) behaviors, reducing the carbon footprint associated with shipping returns. Also, fewer retailers are charging fees for online returns, which encourages more sustainable in-store returns.
  • Investment in Sustainability: Retailers are actively investing in enhancing their reverse logistics, with 72.8% focusing on sustainable improvements, and over half allocating significant budgets toward these initiatives.
  • Consumer Sentiment: The acceptance of refurbished and second-hand goods is on the rise, indicating a shift towards a circular economy and reducing waste.

The survey indicates a growing trend among retailers to integrate sustainability into their business models, driven by both consumer demand and environmental responsibilities. The findings highlight the ongoing efforts and investments in sustainable practices that are set to reshape the retail industry, making it more environmentally friendly and economically viable.

These insights should motivate further investment in sustainable returns management, contributing to a healthier planet and more satisfied customers. For detailed insights and more data from the report, click here.

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About goTRG

goTRG is a leading reverse logistics company that specializes in solving returns. goTRG's connected suite of returns management SaaS, reverse supply chain, and ReCommerce services, under one roof, delivers a true end-to-end solution for returns from initiation through resale. goTRG works with retailers, eCommerce brands, and vendors, to deliver the smartest choices for every touch movement and pricing decision, while also preventing items from unnecessarily ending up in landfills.

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