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If Environmental Sustainability is Core to Your Brand Your Fulfillment Partner Plays a Major Role

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Here’s What to Look For

For brands operating in the beauty, cosmetics, health and wellness and apparel industries, meaningful environmental sustainability practices are no longer a nice-to-have. They’re required. Employees want to work somewhere that prioritizes sustainability and, increasingly, customers are making purchasing decisions based on a brand’s sustainability practices. 

There’s social and financial value in environmental sustainability.

But on their own, brands can only do so much. Their partners’ environmental sustainability practices are the dominant contributors. We’re talking about suppliers, manufacturers and yes, fulfillment partners. 

How these supply chain partners embrace environmental sustainability directly impacts the brand’s overall sustainability. 

Drilling down into sustainability initiatives amongst fulfillment partners, here’s what brands should look for.

Carbon Reduction Efforts

This is the key performance indicator of a fulfillment partner’s environmental sustainability initiatives. At a high level, overall carbon reduction is a summation of the three Rs: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse.

“Brands today expect this of their 3PL partners. They expect real recycling and waste management initiatives. I think there’s a future where all supply chain partners are going to be able to position themselves as zero waste. That’s the holy grail that we’re all working towards.” 

– Nate Schisler, Chief Maven | Maven Circular

At Capacity, we developed a custom carbon footprint calculator that measures our emissions, waste, electricity usage, gas consumption, water usage and landfill contributions for our New Jersey campus. 

In 2022, we recycled 698,220 lbs of mostly cardboard. In 2023, we added wood and metal, driving our recycling volume to 1,069,880 lbs, nearly a 70% increase. Our 2024 numbers are well on track to exceed that amount. 

We’ve also dramatically reduced our water and electricity consumption. 

Our faucet sensors in our corporate HQ building in New Jersey have reduced water outflow by 84%, from 2.2 to .35 gallons per minute.

In all of our New Jersey buildings, our lighting occupancy sensors reduced our electricity consumption by 9.7% between 2022 and 2023, saving over 200,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). What’s more, the majority of the buildings on our New Jersey campus have LED lighting that typically uses 90% less energy than traditional T8 fluorescent lights. We also have solar panels on two of our New Jersey buildings that generate over 600,000 kWh per year.

Additionally, we often reuse our pallets and certain packaging materials and regularly purchase certified repurposed pallets.

“More and more, we’re seeing brands ask about our green initiatives. How are we approaching our own facilities? How are we thinking about the waste generated servicing brands? They want transparency into their supply chain – and we love that. Transparency is core to who we are.” 

– Kasia Orlowska, EHS Manager | Capacity


The world of environmental sustainability certifications can sometimes be tough to navigate. What’s legit? What are the reputable issuing bodies? Does a company have to maintain standards in order to stay certified? 

One of the most recognizable and reputable environmental sustainability-related certifications is Energy Star, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Fulfillment providers can have their buildings evaluated for Energy Star certification. Buildings are issued a score ranging from 1-100 that is based on actual, measured energy use. The score accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations. 

Buildings that score 75 or higher earn an Energy Star rating.

Energy Star certification is given on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. Information submitted in the certification application is verified by a licensed third party professional engineer or registered architect.

Here at Capacity, we are Energy Star certified. 

LEED certification is another indicator of environmental sustainability commitment. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the leading green building rating system. According to the United States Green Building Council, “a building is LEED-certified once it has achieved a certain number of credits—which then earn points—by implementing green building practices that address carbon, energy, water usage, waste, transportation, materials, and health and indoor environmental quality.”

Our cHQ building in New Jersey is LEED certified.

Consolidator Relationships

In the fulfillment space, a consolidator is a third party logistics company that ships multiple brands to a single retailer. Instead of a brand shipping one purchase order to a retailer, a consolidator aggregates multiple brands into one full container load, reducing costs, miles traveled and emissions. 

Capacity is a consolidator for Sephora and Ulta. In 2023 alone, we saved Ulta more than 900,000 road miles. For Sephora, it was well over 1,000,000. Just think of the reduced fuel consumption and emissions reduction!

Consolidator relationships can have a huge impact on environmental sustainability not just for the fulfillment provider, but the retailer and the brand. 

Learn more about Capacity’s consolidator relationship with Sephora and Ulta

Constant Innovation

Environmental sustainability is not a one-and-done activity. It’s an ongoing effort that requires constant innovation. 

Here at Capacity, we have a dedicated team responsible for environmental sustainability that is constantly refining how we measure and improve our total carbon footprint. We also keep our finger on the pulse of new innovations from within the fulfillment industry that we can impart on our clients such as eco-friendly packaging innovations – from air pillows to crumpled craft paper and everything in between.

Environmental Sustainability is More than Good for the Earth

It’s good for business. When our efforts are directly correlating to our brands’ bottom lines, everyone wins.