Designing sustainable packaging in e-commerce: A WWF India case study on the Flipkart Group

WWF India’s case study identifies Flipkart’s practical solutions — sustainable packaging designs that led to a transformation in the Indian e-commerce ecosystem — and urges greater participation by private stakeholders and other members of the value chain to build a holistic, circular plastic ecosystem and reduce plastic leakage into nature. Read on to know the details of the case study.

WWF

In Flipkart’s efforts to transition to a more sustainable e-commerce ecosystem, packaging has been a key area of focus to reduce our environmental impact. To holistically solve for finding innovative solutions for its consumers, Flipkart has been actively creating impact positive partnerships. One such partnership has been the WWF India’s Un-plastic Collective.

WWF India’s Un-plastic Collective began with a vision of encouraging large companies to stimulate changes and bring about a circular economy in plastic utility and management. With this in mind, the Flipkart-WWF association formed to create long-term value for communities, and private and public stakeholders by incorporating environmental, social and governance aspects of doing business and stimulate other companies towards adopting similar practices.

In a resulting case study of Flipkart’s sustainability efforts, WWF also identifies best practices by Flipkart that can be adopted by other organizations to contribute to the larger goal of a sustainable e-commerce ecosystem.

With a user base of over 400 million across India, Flipkart Group companies, including e-commerce marketplace Flipkart and leading fashion destination Myntra, have eliminated 100% single-use plastic packaging in their own supply chain by working with suppliers, state governments, policymakers, thousands of sellers and other ecosystem stakeholders.

This milestone was achieved through a structured approach supported by four pillars – engagement, innovation, compliance and capacity building – to find scalable solutions and help partners transition to sustainable alternatives.

Here are some of the key learnings :

  • Data-based goal setting: Ensure a data-driven approach to waste management and regularly track the impact of alternatives. As we move towards a zero-waste future, all our waste management practices have helped in creating an understanding of our plastic consumption across the value chain
  • An open view: Create an ecosystem view of the entire waste management journey for plastic packaging
  • Play by the book: Create a state-by-state playbook for training and education across all stakeholders (employees, consumers, and suppliers)
  • Keep focussing on alternatives: Identify and implement the right alternatives to plastic that can sustainably replace plastics

Going beyond this transition to sustainable packaging, Flipkart is also aggressively working towards adopting responsible sourcing and circularity in its packaging value chain in collaboration with sellers and brand partners. Moving ahead, the Group companies aim to create zero waste to landfill across all operations, and collaborate to identify viable alternatives and next-generation solutions to move to a closed-loop economy.

Read the WWF India case study on the Flipkart Group below:

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