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Sustainable subscriptions: How to improve your business to be more green

Here’s how to improve your company to meet new customer expectations around sustainability and zero-waste.


In 2019, Harvard Business Review interviewed some of the most profitable companies in the U.S. They found that executives and investors are more interested in and concentrated on sustainability than previously thought. While the focus has long been on finding green solutions, modern businesses are now putting words to action.

We’ll explore how to improve your subscription box business plan to include more sustainable practices and offer a few business examples for inspiration to get started.

Sustainability has influenced every step of the supply chain and manufacturing world. Sustainability has influenced every step of the supply chain and manufacturing world.

Is going green right for your business?

Changing aspects of your business to align with more sustainable practices could feel daunting at first. It includes digging into your day-to-day to find inefficiencies, finding greener products, and shifting your everyday activities to be more eco-friendly.

However, there are business benefits to going green beyond just doing your part to help the environment. Sustainability can cut costs, improve efficiency along the supply chain and create healthier workplaces. You could even improve your brand’s reputation and connect with customers who are more likely to buy from an environmentally-conscious company.

McKinsey found in their 2019 Quarterly that ESG strategies can create increased business cash flow and customer value through:

  • minimizing regulator and legal intervention: laws supporting sustainable businesses open the doors to government support and more creative freedom.
  • reducing costs: create efficiencies across the supply chain, lower energy consumption, and reduce water intake.
  • facilitating top-line growth: by attracting customers who are concerned about sustainable business practices, you can achieve better access to resources through that strong community.
  • increasing employee productivity: attract eco-conscious employee talent and work toward a larger goal.
  • optimizing investment and capital expenditures: concerning government support and customer interest, investing in green infrastructure can provide higher returns in the longer term.

How to improve your business practices to be more green

Simon-Kutcher & Partners found in their The Global Sustainability Study 2021 that not only is sustainability in the retail industry on the rise, but also that customers are willing to pay more for these types of products and services.

When you first get started, it can be difficult to discern where to focus your efforts. Here are a few options to choose from and eventually build up to as you expand your sustainability options.

Improving efficiencies

End-to-end visibility and supply chain business intelligence technology can increase standardization across your inventory production line. Notice where bottlenecks are happening along the supply chain, like poor inventory management or slow pick, pack, and ship times. How can you streamline these processes to cut labor costs?

Carbon-neutral warehousing

Developing a carbon-neutral warehouse means leveraging automation technologies. With predictive inventory technology, you can track trends and order exactly what your customers want in the correct quantity they’ll need of a single product, thus cutting down on waste and costs.

Automated, paperless communication

Most customers prefer online communication with direct mail. Offering online solutions that support your direct mailing is a great way to cut down on waste and create meaningful communication with your customers. You can have your customers choose the communication they prefer, how often they want to receive updates, and even the types of information they’re interested in receiving. Customizing their experience from top to bottom can improve your churn rate and relationships.

Sustainable subscription boxes to glean inspiration from

Depending on your vertical, there are hundreds of options at your disposal for turning your subscription service into a sustainable, environmentally-conscious one. Here are a few U.S.-based subscription boxes that have earned themselves recognition for their efforts.

  • Cleancult: An eco-friendly home cleaning box that offers GMO-free, vegan, cruelty-free products in reusable glass packaging.
  • Public Goods: With minimalist packaging filled with organic, sustainability-sourced products, Public Goods offers grocery items from food to pet care.
  • Green Kid Crafts: To get your children involved in science, art, and nature, this box offers kids the chance to get creative with sustainable products as they learn about environmental issues.
  • The Nomadik Box: On top of giving back to environmentally-focused organizations, this box brand offers curated, conscious equipment for camping and hiking.
  • Planet Post: This eco-friendly subscription brand provides customers with the tools they need to spread the word about climate change and urge their local governments to take action.

SFG can get you started

When you’re looking for ways to get started in your sustainability journey for your business, SFG’s all-in-one services can help scale your brand. We can help you identify bottlenecks, all while supporting your business to create and maintain its eco-friendly goals.

If you’re ready to help the environment while increasing profits, reach out to an SFG representative today.

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