Climate balance – challenge for golf mail order

E-commerce is booming, business is also running well in the golf sector. Cartons of golf balls, golf shoes or bags are piled up in the carport of the customer who is willing to buy, which is why the question arises: How exactly do the large mail order companies in golf actually deal with the issue of sustainability?

A call to all4golf and Golfhouse, which dominate the golf market in Germany and Austria, shows that the topic is obviously well known. The statements sound similar: Bernhard Linz , Head of Communications at Golf House, explains, “It’s a big issue, it’s our turn and we still have a long way to go.” For Tobias Bergenthal, COO at all4Golf, the statement is identical in content: “Basically, the topic is important to us, we are responsible for it. But we are far from having achieved everything.” The sports retailer Decathlon, which offers far fewer golf goods but is also pushing into the market due to its price aggressiveness, dedicates an area of its website to the topic and explains the previous projects.

Ecodesign” products on offer are examined and classified according to their environmental impact using a list of points. Corresponding products are marked. In the golf sector, however, only a base layer for men and a pair of golf Bermuda shorts for children have made it into the line-up.

Exactly how much has already happened in companies with regard to climate-friendly mail order?

All4golf and Golf House have at least done away with plastic bags as shipping packaging. The paper packaging consists largely of recycled goods, the same applies to the cardboard boxes. “We used to have seven packages, but now we still use a plastic cover when shipping drivers,” Linz analyzes the situation.

Otherwise, however, one thing is clear: Apart from the fact that Golf House has reduced the printing of the thick paper catalog and that the printing of the paper advertising material is offsetting for the afforestation of forest areas, both companies are mainly in the planning phase, what sustainable e-commerce.

After all: Golf House is already working on a concrete concept with the sustainability consultancy “Focus Future”. This year, according to Linz, the aim is to become CO2-neutral. At the moment, however, none of the suppliers of golf products offers customers the option of CO2 compensation when making a purchase, and environmentally friendly options such as GoGreen are not used by DHL for shipping. “We definitely have that on the agenda for this year,” explains Tobias Bergenthal. One notices that the topic burns under the fingers of the gentlemen.

No wonder, because not only at bevh, the association for mail order and e-commerce, the topic fills several web pages and employs a commission. The topics are diverse and have long been on the agenda not only of mail order giants such as Amazon or Zalando, but also of medium-sized companies.

The topic of plastic remains difficult

How to deal with returns and waste? Is the customer made aware of sustainable products? What to do with the plastic packaging for the countless items of clothing that are always wrapped to protect them from dirt? How can it be avoided that the customer receives two packages even though he has placed several products in just one order? Or how do you balance the emissions from air and car transport of the goods?

A sustainable conversion is complex, it costs time and money, and requires creativity. At all4golf, for example, a returned piece of clothing is not repackaged in plastic, the shipping box is used several times. Golf House has decided to point out sustainable products for the first time in spring-summer fashion and has completely dispensed with placing ads in magazines that have a plastic cover. In both cases, that is important to both Bergenthal and Linz, it is only the beginning. At the end of the year, so the unanimous statement, the balance sheet will be significantly better.

Mountain lovers play a pioneering role

A look at the online shop of Bergfreunde, which can show climate neutrality retrospectively as far back as 2006, shows that medium-sized mail order companies can also make a difference. The online outdoor retailer, which works with ClimatePartner, has definitely set new standards. The climate balance can be accessed on the website, individual measures such as the use of 100% green electricity at the logistics site, a photovoltaic system for the administration and new carton folding machines are just a few of the details that stand out. “Climate change is the topic of our time,” explains the managing director Matthias Gebhard his customers in the image video.” That’s a topic that doesn’t leave us cold as mountain lovers.” But he also makes it clear: “We don’t have all the answers yet.” But you look for them – just like with your colleagues the golf industry.