In the traditional economy goods are made, used, and then discarded. But in a circular economy products and packaging get a second (or third or fourth) chance at usefulness.
The goal of the circular economy is to minimize the use of resources at the beginning of a product’s life cycle, as well as eliminate waste at the end. Through reuse, repair and recycling, circularity reduces waste, pollution and carbon emissions and helps regenerate natural systems.
But for the circular economy to work, consumers and manufacturers need convenient and efficient ways to move goods and close the loop. Most return systems are simply not efficient, generating 5 billion pounds of products and packaging waste every year.
UPS offers solutions specifically designed to advance the circular economy by making goods as easy to return as they are to order.
UPS Returns Manager®, is an online tool that makes it easy for customers to print return labels, and it gives merchants online management and visibility of returns.
“UPS Returns Manager is ideal for small and medium businesses,” said Stu Marcus, UPS vice president of customer technology marketing. “It provides a consumer-friendly process similar to those at large retail sites without the effort or cost of technology integration.”
“Offering an online returns experience that drives customer loyalty is now critical.”
UPS has also made a strategic investment in Optoro, a reverse logistics technology company that works with retailers and brands to better manage, process and sell returned inventory.
Using data analytics and online marketing, Optoro’s software platform determines the best path for each item: return-to-stock, reselling on secondary marketplaces, donating or recycling. By routing the items at first touch, Optoro’s technology helps retailers maximize the value of their returned inventory and reduce waste.
“As more people are working from home and not going into offices, packaging and labeling a return and making a trip to the post office feels more burdensome than ever,” said Tobin Moore, co-founder and CEO of Optoro. “We're seeing more consumers checking return policies and options before they even make a purchase. Offering an online returns experience that drives customer loyalty is now critical.”