How Reducing RTO Can Be Beneficial To The Environment?

by | Mar 29, 2023 | Trending

Home » Clean Technology » Trending » How Reducing RTO Can Be Beneficial To The Environment?

The world is at the pinnacle of digital evolution, and businesses are looking to adapt to this revolution. The pandemic saw this boost even more, and many companies, small and large, are looking to make their debut online. While there are perks of eCommerce businesses making their debut online, they have established some expectations among customers. Customers want faster delivery options, easy payments, return policies, and an accessible shopping interface. While businesses have adopted this, customers benefit from this royal treatment. However, they forget that there are some environmental consequences. Therefore, it is often said that Reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment.

What is RTO in eCommerce?

These days eCommerce websites are competing with each other to meet customer expectations, which is mutually benefiting businesses and customers alike. For these reasons, most eCommerce websites have introduced express delivery options and convenient return policies where customers can return an item if they aren’t satisfied. However, even though this is a great deal, it can harm the environment.

RTO is an abbreviation for Return to Origin, where customers can return the item they buy from where it was initially dispatched. Now one might wonder, how is this contributing to climate change or negatively impacting the environment? Yes, it does have a direct impact, and logistics, transportation, and packaging are the aspects one needs to consider. Hence, one gets an idea of how this RTO policy can lead to the downfall of Green initiatives and contributions to Climate Change.

Understanding The Link Between Carbon Emissions and RTO

A customer orders a Hoodie from an eCommerce website, and the customer’s delivery address is in Mumbai. Now, the customers are unsatisfied with the Hoodie’s quality and have decided to ship it back to its origin, Bangalore. The item had to travel between Mumbai and Bangalore in this process unnecessarily. The unnecessary transfer of objects between two cities was responsible for carbon emissions while traveling or dispatching the item. The second aspect includes packaging. A customer haphazardly opens the package and returns the object with new packaging by the courier service. In this process, plastic is poorly managed and demands more resources.

reducing RTO can be beneficial to the environment

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Poorly managing plastic waste or unnecessary means of using transportation has a direct impact on the environment. In its current state, the eCommerce market in India is at a valuation of around 99.45 billion dollars which is expected to grow twice its present form by the next decade. This also means an increased demand for courier services, logistics, and packaging materials that are harmful to the environment.

How Is RTO A Mess For Logistics And Bad For Business?

Since there is high competition in the eCommerce industry, companies are shaping their business profile to meet customer expectations. Customers are taking advantage of this situation while it is a logistics mess and increasing transportation dependence for packaging. Returning the package to the source also affects the business and incurs additional packaging and dispatch costs while updating the inventory again and again. For this reason, there needs to be an alternative drafted so that the customer-eCommerce-Environment trio benefits from the same. This will make the eCommerce industry greener, more prosperous, and more liked by customers. Hence, Reducing RTO can help the Environment and promote Earth’s recovery.

What Are The Alternatives To RTO Policy?

Yes, reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment. The alternative would include returning the items to dedicated warehouses near the city. This will save time returning to the source and reduce dependency on transportation. Another policy that eCommerce websites can put is to pack the products well and return the packaging material for reuse. Besides this, a greener choice of packaging material should be encouraged. This will make it easier to curb plastic pollution and reduce carbon footprints. Hence, eCommerce websites should adopt these alternatives so that customers can shop easily without contributing to unnecessary carbon emissions.

Reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment: A Fact?

It is possible to reduce the environmental impact by curbing reductions in RTOs and COD policies where customers are free to return the orders if they don’t like them. This will help prevent unnecessary carbon emissions, and customers will know how to order wisely. Therefore, the waste of resources is prevented. Hence, reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment.

reducing RTO can be beneficial to the environment

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How Are Customers Unknowingly Contributing To Environmental Issues?

ECommerce websites are pampering customers by providing products at their fingertips. This makes people snobs when choosing the quality of the product, color, similar to the ad picture, and more. The bottom line is that customers are choosing and quickly issuing returns without any second thoughts. This easy RTO policy has become a concern for the environment, and for years to come, it will be an even more significant problem as the eCommerce industry grows. Therefore, customers are unaware of the impact of the environment on their little choices. Hence, awareness needs to be established on this matter.

How To Reduce Carbon Emissions From Vehicles?

Well, for starters, unnecessary returns can cause an increase in carbon emissions. You can check the carbon emissions calculator to know more about how much emissions a vehicle can contribute to the Greenhouse effect. If you order wisely and minimize your returns, you can quickly mitigate carbon emissions. This is a great strategy that you can adapt as an individual before eCommerce websites take a step. Reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment considering its minimal carbon footprints, which is possible with limited travel distance.

The Bottom Line

Reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment as it reduces the distance traveled by the courier services. Hence, one directly impacts reducing carbon footprints on an individual level. Besides, ordering products online is a way of sustainable living that needs to be adopted among the masses. When people realize that Reducing RTO can be beneficial to the Environment, it will trigger the right path to Earth’s Recovery. Hence, you can make a significant difference in making Earth a better place for all species to live. It is time to take action on this, boost green initiatives, and cut down on carbon emissions wherever possible.



  • Dr. Tanushree Kain

    Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.

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