News & Views

Optoro: Reverse Logistics a Key Component of a Retail Sustainability Strategy


According to a report by Sustainable Brands, 86% of US consumers expect companies to act on social and environmental issues.¹

As consumers increasingly prioritize Corporate Social Responsibility, retailers must work to ensure they’re meeting the demand. However, there is an impactful pillar commonly overlooked in many retailer’s sustainability strategy: Reverse Logistics.

We partnered with Sustainable Brands to survey senior-level sustainability experts from large brands and retailers on how they merge the two functions.

The results show that 88% of respondents believe an optimized reverse logistics strategy would have an impact on their environmental footprint. This reveals that the ties between reverse logistics and sustainability are relatively well understood.

Those who understand the value of a strong reverse logistics strategy are also well aware of the detrimental environmental impact of returns. For example, every year returns in the US alone are responsible for 5 billion lbs of product waste, 1.6 billion gallons of diesel fuel, and 15 million metric tons of CO2.²

With a reverse logistics strategy, returns can be leveraged to cover a broad range of sustainability goals. The investments that leading retailers and brands make in returns management varies greatly, but we have witnessed an average impact of 45% waste reduction, 15 – 20% fuel reduction, and 15-20% emissions reduction.³

Despite the fact that 64% of respondents associate reverse logistics data with their sustainability goals, only 36% engage with their reverse logistics team. Further, another survey we ran shows that a mere 3% of retailers cite reverse logistics as their biggest supply chain investment in 2018.⁴

Where do you fall in this gap between awareness and action? Download our infographic to see how you compare to these major organizations and what you can do to ensure you’re hitting the mark.

Download now.


²Analysis done by Environmental Capital Group and Optoro, 2017

³Analysis done by Environmental Capital Group and Optoro, 2017



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Marie Perriard

Global Brand & Corporate Communications
office: 415.626.2212