Sustainability responsibilities can be time-intensive and confusing, so it’s understandable that brands often don’t know what to do next.

That’s why – while writing our Ultimate DTC Guide to Sustainability – we wondered: what’s the easiest and most impactful way you can reduce your carbon footprint?

What we learned is that the most effective step towards sustainability isn't a little change like losing the plastic straws, or even a huge organizational shift like reimagining your manufacturing process from the ground up.

Instead, the number one way to improve your organization’s effect on the environment is information: measure your impact, be transparent about what you discover, and then educate yourself on next steps.

To learn more about how information can catalyze your sustainability efforts, you’ll want to download the guide, but here’s a preview of what you’ll find:

Measuring Your Impact

Action starts with information. You can’t fix something without first finding out what’s wrong with it. Similarly you can’t reduce your carbon footprint if you don’t know what it is.

And while it might feel easier to just start with any old eco-conscious trend, you need to understand where you are in order to really make a difference,

So how do you gather information about your business’ impact on the environment? And how do you share that information with your customers?

While writing our Sustainability Guide we found two powerful partners for brands looking to discover and communicate their commitment to environmental responsibility: B-Corp and Climate Neutral.

When your brand earns a B-Corp certification, it means that they’ve met B-Corp’s rigorous standards for balancing purpose and profit. This certification carries a lot of weight with customers because it indicates that you’ve made a legal commitment to consider the impact of business decisions on workers, consumers, suppliers, community, and environment.

Similarly, a Climate Neutral Certification indicates that your company is on a path to eliminating carbon emissions and creating a “net-zero future.” Climate Neutral helps you measure the greenhouse gas emissions you produce, then facilitate your ability to offset those emissions through carbon credits.

In fact, Verbal+Visual got its own Climate Neutral certification back in 2021, so we were incredibly proud to include them among the powerful partners for measuring environmental impact in this guide.

Interested in gathering data about your business’s effect on the environment? Downloading the guide is a great first step.

Measuring your impact is important, but having that information won’t help much if you don’t share it. That’s where transparency comes into play.


It’s hard to get someone’s help solving a problem if you don’t tell them what it is. Likewise, your operations team can’t reduce your supply chain carbon emissions if they don’t know about them.

Even though it may feel counter-intuitive, it’s imperative to share information about sustainability shortfalls within your organization. Perhaps even more counter-intuitive, it’s also important to be honest with your customers about your company’s sustainability progress. Consumers want transparency, and real honesty is met with surprising customer loyalty and re-engagement.

Supply chain transparency is in the spotlight these days, so when we found the Harvard Business Review’s five manageable steps for improving supply chain transparency, we made sure to include them in our guide. Here’s a preview of what they suggest:

1. Gauge Risks and Set Goals: This often includes a plot of internal and external stakeholder interests.

2. Visualize the Supply Chain: Gain a deeper understanding of goods flows, map suppliers and processes, and expose information gaps.

3. Collect Actionable Information: Collect information on practices and performance that provides insights about potential risks, opportunities for improvement, and information gaps.

4. Engage: Address specific issues such as labor-related risks, environmental impacts, and supplier monitoring and support.

5. Disclose: The level of disclosure can range from sharing a code of conduct to disclosing traceability in the supply chain.

“Disclosure” is another way to say transparency, and transparency is both an integral component of shaping your company’s sustainability initiative, and a powerful way to engage your customers.

Want to learn more about how to achieve and mobilize transparency in your organization? Download the guide here. Measuring your business’ impact and then being transparent about what you discover are the first steps in utilizing information to power your sustainability initiatives. But what do you do with that transparent information? That will be dictated by education.


Sustainability is constantly evolving and improving. Eco-conscious business practices that felt far fetched even a year ago are now being adopted industry wide. The more education you have on sustainability, the better choices you can make towards an environmentally friendly existence. And the more we all spread awareness, the more we can do together to conserve our planet and help others understand its importance.

While writing this guide, we had the opportunity to educate ourselves on tons of exciting new tools available to businesses to help grow their sustainability impact. You can find them throughout our guide, but here’s one of our favorite examples: The Shop Pay app has created a carbon offsetting feature that aims to reduce the environmental impact of deliveries. Customers can just select the Shop Pay logo at checkout and then part of their purchase is used to plant trees at no extra cost to them! As the trees grow, they remove enough CO2 to offset those Shop Pay deliveries.

Partnering with an app like Shop Pay is just the sort of step a brand can take if they’ve educated themselves about the most recent sustainability developments in the marketplace. If you’re looking to improve your eco-conscious education, downloading our guide is a great place to start.

Let's Get to Work

The number one way to improve your organization’s effect on the environment is information.

Of course there’s an even more important first step when it comes to sustainability, but if you’re reading this, then it’s a step you’ve probably already taken:

That step is making a commitment.

It may seem simple, but none of the work being done today to build an environmentally-friendly retail ecosystem could happen without brands like you deciding to make a change.

So while you’re working hard on complex projects like getting your B-corp status or bringing in an app like Shop Pay, remember to take time to celebrate the fact that you’ve already taken your first steps on the road to crafting commerce for a truly sustainable world.

Then, once you’ve given yourself that well-deserved pat on the back, tell yourself what we say at the conclusion of our guide:

Let’s get to work!

Ready to get started? Download The Ultimate DTC Guide to Sustainability.

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