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Driving the Future of Sustainable E-Commerce | Arctic Leaf

By: Catie Moyer, Marketing Associate | Mar 13, 2024 | 3 Minute Read

We leave nothing on the table in this zero waste discussion all about conversions and conservation - this session of OnTap with Arctic Leaf!

In a ever-evolving e-commerce landscape, sustainability takes center stage as a driving force in consumer choice. This goes deeper than ethical sourcing and renewable materials. Sustainable solutions in carbon neutrality and carbon offset are the next big markers of climate action, as more and more customers care not just about their carbon footprint, but the footprint of the businesses they shop. 

In our exclusive one-on-one with Founder and CEO of EcoCart, Dane Baker, attendees learned more about responsible sustainability for e-commerce brands with thoughtful questions from our host, co-Founder, and CEO, Josh Garellek. They were joined by Arctic Leaf Head of Partnerships, Jason Hackenberry, and shared their passion for a more circular economy. 


Sustainable e-commerce not only helps the environment; consumer trends show having a sustainable strategy can help your bottom line. Throughout the conversation, our panel uncovered: 

  • The hidden advantage of social responsibility shifting from consumers to businesses.
  • The customer behaviors that are impacting businesses. 
  • The importance of carbon accounting for your future business success.
  • And more...

Gain important insights and hear interesting discoveries from the live attendee Q&A in the full discussion below: 


Here are the top questions asked by attendees and the answers from the experts at EcoCart:

Question: Returns are a huge sustainability problem. What are the best solutions we have so far?

Answer: Returns pose significant sustainability challenges, especially in the context of e-commerce where return rates are between 10-20%. Some tips I’d give to brands for managing returns sustainably:

  • Optimized Sizing Guides and Product Information: Providing accurate sizing guides, detailed product information, and high-quality images (and even video!) helps customers make more informed purchasing decisions, reducing the likelihood of returns due to sizing or product dissatisfaction.
  • Educational Campaigns and Communication: Educating customers about the environmental impact of returns and the importance of mindful purchasing practices encourages more sustainable consumer behavior and reduces the frequency of returns.
  • Partnering with Local Return Centers and Drop-Off Points: Establishing local return centers and drop-off points enables customers to return products more conveniently, reducing the distance traveled and carbon emissions associated with return transportation.
  • Implementing Recycle, Refurbish, or Resell Programs: Implementing strategies to reuse, refurbish, and resell returned products can extend their lifecycle and minimize waste generation. This may involve refurbishing products to like-new condition or repackaging them for resale. Many brands are leaning into this and partners like Treet can help make this simple. 

Question:What are the best ways to promote a brand’s sustainability initiatives without appearing inauthentic?

Answer: This is a common question because unfortunately the words ‘sustainability’ and ‘eco-friendly' have been thrown around too loosely. It's important to promote sustainability efforts creating a ripple effect across other companies and consumers. 

  • Transparent Communication + Action-Oriented Messaging: Be open and honest about your sustainability efforts. Focus on tangible actions and initiatives rather than vague statements and highlight the journey your brand has taken to reduce environmental impact as well as your future goals. 
  • Educational Content: By providing valuable information about sustainable practices, you empower your audience to make informed choices (like whether or not to make a return!). 
  • Third-Party Certifications: Consider obtaining third-party certifications or endorsements from reputable organizations to validate your sustainability claims. Some examples include:
  • Engage with Stakeholders: Foster meaningful relationships with your brand’s stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. Involve them in your sustainability journey and seek feedback to continuously improve! Actively listen to concerns and suggestions, and demonstrate a genuine commitment to addressing them.
Remember, sustainability is not about being perfect; it's about being authentic and sincere in your sustainability efforts. By highlighting the actions your brand is already taking and openly acknowledging areas for improvement, you can build trust and credibility with your audience while inspiring positive change towards a more sustainable future. Every effort and every step in the right direction is impactful!

To learn a little bit more about our speakers, keep reading!

Dane Baker, founder and CEO of EcoCart, smiling for the camera! Dane Baker is the co-founder and CEO of EcoCart as well as recent Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee. EcoCart is a sustainability technology that enables businesses to calculate and offset the carbon emissions of their operations and then encourages consumers to engage with them through transparent and authentic front-end experiences. EcoCart started with the mission to make the fight against climate change easy, affordable, and accessible for everyone, working to leverage the immense power of digital commerce as a force for good.



Jason Hackenberry Headshot - Background

With over 10 years of experience in e-commerce, visual merchandising, and operations, Jason Hackenberry is responsible for the strategic commitment to deliver qualitative and quantitative success to online merchants. With 700+ Arctic Leaf site launches and growing, Jason plays an integral role in analyzing growth data and certifying results.




josh-garellek-2-2From the beginning, Josh Garellek has been passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, and building strong partnerships. After starting an independent gaming studio, he fused his passions together in a merger that gave life to the full-service e-commerce agency Arctic Leaf is today. As a recipient of Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Business Journal in 2019, and a finalist for Top Business Owner in the 2020 Ottawa Awards, Josh has found success through expert innovation, creative marketing, and sales strategies.


Now that you're all caught up, we'd love for you to join us for future discussions! Simply click here and we'll make sure to add you to our early registration list.

Every OnTap discussion invites e-commerce merchants and industry leaders to have open, fun, and honest conversations. The series promises to deliver expert tips, tricks, and strategies around the most relevant industry topics from a panel of e-commerce heavyweights!

As always, feel free to reach out to marketing@arcticleaf.io if you have any questions about anything we covered in this discussion. We hope to see you soon!