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Australia’s green online retailers 2022

Interested in going greener when you shop online? Here are the online retailers in Australia that are doing their part for people and the planet.

According to Finder research, Australians are looking to make more sustainable choices, with 1 in 2 revealing that they are actively searching for "greener" products or services. But we know that actually finding green options isn't always easy and that's why the Finder Green Awards exist. Picture not described

We take out some of the hard work by looking at factors like greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy use, waste management and more so you can go greener with your money.

Below, we've highlighted some of the online retailers that are leading the way when it comes to shopping sustainably online. So take a look at these brands to kickstart your green shopping addiction.

Winner: Green Online Retailer of the Year 2022

Seed & sprout logoSeed & Sprout's commitment to sustainability shines through in every aspect of their business, with a goal to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics. Their products are designed to be a one-off purchase that can be reused again and again, minimising waste and saving you money.

Founded by a Byron Bay mum looking for a waste-free alternative for her son's lunches, Seed & Sprout is an online retailer offering eco-friendly solutions for common household products like lunchware, soaps, cleaning products, beauty products and more.

The retailer has taken some impressive steps when it comes to reducing its environmental impact, including being 100% emissions-free. It was also pleasing to see that many of their products come with no packaging or packaging that is completely compostable or recyclable at home. It also scored well for both targets and renewable energy usage.

2022 Green Online Retailer of the Year finalists

Banish

Picture not describedBanish was named a finalist in the Green Online Retailer of the Year category for 2022. Banish is a sustainable marketplace that helps Australians reduce their waste and their ecological footprint.

All brands that appear on Banish must adhere to a strict set of guidelines which includes criteria like not being tested on animals, being shipped using recyclable materials, and all wood or bamboo being sustainably sourced, among others. It also screens out a selection of banned ingredients including BPA, palm oil, sulphates, parabens, synthetic fragrances, insoluble plastic microbeads and formaldehyde.

Good & Fugly

Picture not describedGood & Fugly was also named a finalist in this category. Good & Fugly is on a mission to rescue imperfect fruit and vegetables by creating produce delivery boxes so customers can put that less-pretty produce to good use.

Each box of fruit and veg is full of fresh and affordable produce that might be too "fugly" for supermarket shelves and may otherwise go to waste. The impact of this is lost income for farmers as well as a whole lot of water and energy wasted on produce that never gets to the consumer. These boxes give that produce a new life.

What makes a green online retailer?

  • Current performance and targets (58%)

A majority of our judgement looked at the retailer's general environmental performance. This included their current performance and future targets, as well as any external accreditations they had received.

Current performance looked at the environmental impact of the business and took into account factors such as emissions intensity, the proportion of energy sourced from renewables, and how much of their waste avoided landfill.

We also looked at environmental targets that have been set by the business in these areas. In addition to this, we wanted to know about any external awards or accreditations held by the business.

  • Industry-specific environmental criteria (42%)

The remaining 42% of the scoring looked at factors pertaining to the online retail industry in particular. Key areas of focus included the sustainability of their packaging, delivery and products.

More specifically, we wanted to know how much of their packaging was made from recycled materials and, similarly, how much of their packaging could be recycled. In terms of delivery, we were interested in the average emissions generated per delivery.

Finally, we looked at the sustainability of the products they sold. We took into account whether the brand had a process for identifying sustainable products on their website, as well as what proportion of their products sold met their definition of sustainability.

Green Online Retailer of the Year Award methodology

Eligibility criteria: Retailer must have offered products to customers in Australia in the 12 months prior to 31 December 2021 with more than 50% of sales from online channels. The table below shows a more detailed breakdown of the scoring. If you're interested in more details you can view the 2022 Finder Green Awards entry criteria document (PDF).

General environmental criteria:Sector-specific environmental criteria:

Current performance: 47%

  • Emissions intensity
  • Emissions intensity (inc. offsets)
  • Energy from renewable sources
  • Waste avoiding landfill

Environmental targets: 11%

  • Emissions target
  • Renewable energy target
  • Waste target
  • Public climate change plan
  • External benchmarks/accreditation

Sustainable packaging: 12%

  • Packaging from recycled materials
  • Packaging that can be recycled

Sustainable delivery: 11%

  • Customer delivery emissions

Sustainable products: 14%

  • Showcasing sustainable products
  • Proportion of products meeting criteria

Other sustainability initiatives: 5%

For a full list of winners and finalists, check out our Finder Green Awards.

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