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· 2 min read
Gordon Bazeley

Returns are an all round nightmare ...


  • For the planet - since returned products have two delivery legs plus extra packaging
  • For your profits - because reverse logistics (i.e. the process of receiving a product then quality checking and preparing it for resale) often costs somewhere between three to six times as much as sending a product to a customer
  • For your customers - as they need to take time to repackage products to be returned and drop them off

The best way of reducing returns is to avoid dispatching the wrong products in the first place. Doing so will drastically reduce your return rate which will increase your profitability and reduce your environmental impact.

For that reason, you should provide the customer with more information before they make a purchase to make it more likely that they will choose the right product for them (for example the right colour, size, style or fit).

This might take the form of more relevant reviews posted by customers who are similar to the current customer, or perhaps it might take the form of educating the customer about the environmental impact of return. Many merchants are also experimenting with removing free returns to help the customer to consider the impact of returns and to reduce wardrobing.

Finally, merchants are starting to use emerging technology such as detailed 3D models and accurate customer sizing to ensure that the product will fit the customer perfectly. You may even want to consider custom building products to the customer’s exact size.

· 2 min read
Gordon Bazeley
Speed and Scale


John Doerr is a partner at Kleiner Perkins and has been making climate related investments since 2006, way ahead of the curve. He outlines a very detailed plan for getting to net zero using OKRs (Objectives & Key Results), a technique popularised by Google and widely used in the tech space.

In many respects it's similar to billg’s book but it's a lot more prescriptive and probably benefits from Bill’s book being published first. There are interviews with a lot of climate luminaries - the book was written in the run up to COP26 and so there are lots of positive looking statements which unfortunately weren’t backed up by commitments from all countries in Glasgow.

The book contains Lots of great investing war stories and interviews with entrepreneurs & policy makers. My favourite of these was the time that he passed on investing in Tesla and backed Fisker (who? Exactly).

In summary, this is the best of the "climate plan" books that I've seen. Ultimately it relies upon substantial public policy changes which have been slow in coming.

A few things I learned

  • The current global energy mix includes ...
    • 16% hydro
    • 6% wind
    • 4% solar
  • ... the hydro figure is a lot higher than I'd expected
  • If the worlds 1 billion cows were a country they’d rank third in greenhouse gas emissions (after US & China) - primarily down to their methane emissions.
  • A two thirds vegan diet, including one serving of meat a day, reduces livestock emissions by 60%.
  • Beyond Meat are aiming for price parity with beef burgers by 2024.