Environmental sustainability in online delivery: Woolworth

Does Woolworths need to pursue a project to reengineer their home deliveries packaging system?

What would be the + and – of changing the existing system? ( Logistics issues, financial impact, consumers impacts

Consumer thoughts: What’s the initial feeling about Woolworths? Is it an important in the decision to shop there or not? Is it changing anything? Would a change attract new customers?will customers stop shooping at Woolworths if they keep using plastic bags for home delivery instead of eco bags as they advertised that they use eco bags and the reality is different?

Case studies: Have other companies experienced a similar situation? What was the outcome?

Aim & Objectives

What’s the legal impact of doing nothing?

Woolworth is one of the leading retail company offering a range of services including online shopping. The proliferation of e-commerce has enhanced this form of business due to its convenience. Delivery needs to be timely and appealing to the consumers. The company’s Sustainability Strategy 2007-2015 states that as a retailer and brand owner, the organization is committed to improvement through offering cost-effective ways to reduce packaging and minimize waste generated from label goods while maintaining the delivery of quality products to the consumers at low prices (Woolworth 2011). Environmental sustainability is a critical undertaking by the modern generation to protect the planet while utilizing the resource available (Sutton 2014). Woolworth has a huge market share that has facilitated the implementation of online and delivery services. Nevertheless, customers have raised concerns over the excessive use of plastic bags, missing goods, and the availability of the services. Customer satisfaction is imperative to the sustainability of any business (Australian Council of Trade Unions 2016). Global consumer trends show that there is a shift to environmentally conscious customers. Companies whose corporate social responsibility guarantee protection of the environment are likely to have more loyal clients compared to firms facing issues related to pollution (Broomhill 2011). Suggestively, the excess packaging of Woolworth products with plastic bags can significantly affect business. Given the statements in the sustainability strategy and the complaints raised by Woolworth customers, there is a need to re-engineer the company’s home deliveries packaging system.

Impact on Logistics            

Plastic bags are non-biodegradable products and can lead to detrimental effects on the environment, although they are appropriate for guaranteeing hygiene and freshness of products. The use of these bags should be compliant with the relevant legal provisions. The use of polythene and plastics can be attributed to certain factors that are meant to appeal to the end user of the product. Arguably, the effect the environment has on the product is considered greater than that of the packaging material on the environment. From this perspective, Woolworth states that it uses the minimum amount of materials for packaging to ensure protection and safety of the product as it reaches the end user. Changing the existing system would have an impact on the logistics units. For instance, tertiary packaging that allows goods to be sold in small quantities to the consumer can result in bulk packaging forcing them to pay more while the packed goods are more than they need for consumption (Ferreira and Monedero 2013). Wraps are used to keep the products fresh by preventing loss of moisture to the surrounding during storage and delivery. Additionally, they prevent contamination of products during handling. Often people ordering products online do it in bulk and products are delivered together (Viehland 2000). If each product was not properly packaged, there is the likelihood of contamination from other goods. For instance, fruits that produce ethylene can lead to the destruction of vegetables and ripening of other fruits (Western Australian Government 2016)…..

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