ReBOUND’s targeted action is driving sustainable change for retail returns

ReBound sustainabilityReBOUND Returns is the fastest growing eCommerce returns provider, managing millions of return transactions for 500+ global retail brands, including ASOS, Gymshark, Sweaty Betty and Missguided.

ReBOUND has been transforming the way the eCommerce industry thinks about returns since 2014.

ReBOUND was recently ranked 19th out of 200 UK businesses for International Sales growth in the Sunday Times International Track 200,


Runaway growth is driving up emissions

The UK average return rate is 30% for the fashion sector, which comes at a significant financial and environmental cost to retailers. If not managed well, returns can lead to additional economic burden for the retailer, considerable risk of surplus stock levels which the retailer can’t shift, leading to high levels of waste and unnecessary carbon emissions from transporting the goods to customer and back.

With the eCommerce industry growing aggressively, not even the Covid-19 pandemic has been able to slow it down. Research shows that daily eCommerce sales spiked by 66% at the height of the first UK lockdown and with this increase in sales also comes an increase in returns. ReBOUND reported that return volumes increased 65% during the COVID crisis and with the transport sector accounting for 25% of global emissions, it is the world’s most carbon-intensive sector.

Tackling the carbon impact of moving goods around the world is therefore critical to meet the Paris Agreement targets and so ReBOUND are putting sustainability at the heart of everything they do.


Visibility over the carbon impact across a global network

Avieco worked with the ReBOUND team to map and measure the carbon emissions associated with their logistics network, allowing them to take the lead in educating their customers on the carbon cost of their returns.

ReBOUND’s network extends across 4 continents, fulfilled by a number of different carriers, each with their own routes and delivery options. Mapping the delivery routes for each market relied on engaging with these partners to wade through the complex data exercise and ensure accuracy and transparency. The results allowed ReBOUND to identify high impact routings and opportunities to streamline and improve the efficiency of the network. For long haul routes, such as from New Zealand or Australia back to the UK, the vast distances and air freight used mean the carbon impact is very high. After all, air freight is 15x more carbon intensive than road per mile. If you add multiple stopovers across the globe this just gets worse. For example, indirect routing from New Zealand increased the impact of that route by up to 5 kg CO2e per parcel (more than the entire emissions of returning the same parcel from anywhere in Europe). This is a shocking statistic, and just strengthened ReBOUND’s determination to not just report on the problem, but to drive the solution.


Action taken is already resulting in a 25% drop in carbon emissions for key routes

In only the second year of calculating their carbon footprint, the improvements ReBOUND has already put in place resulted in decreases of more than 25% in the carbon intensity per parcel for key long-haul routes. By identifying unnecessary stopovers and other poor routing decisions following the first carbon footprint, ReBOUND were able to engage with those carriers to streamline their network, implementing more direct routes, cutting down on both carbon emissions, but also saving transit time! The next focus is customers. With ReBOUND focusing on bespoke reporting for customers they are in the ideal position to use their data to not only drive efficiencies within their own network, but to educate and advise their customers decision making.

Recognising their key role in the eCommerce market, ReBOUND have changed their mission statement to help retailers achieve smarter, more sustainable returns whilst enhancing the customer experience. Their ability to rapidly react and take action is increasingly allowing them to accelerate past simply carbon reporting and the business is implementing real and quantifiable change.


Corina Radu Avieco

For more information, please contact:

Corina Radu, Senior Consultant

[email protected]

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