Welcome to our next method profile on Sendle! Our previous entry focused on using Resistance Management in social enterprise. In operating any venture, everything flows from your approach, and identifying a proper method helps you effectively fulfill your team’s initiative.
Together, we’ll be profiling interesting social enterprises to discuss an anchor method to strive for social good. The term “anchor method” is to express the intentional and grounded nature of the approaches propelling a social enterprise forward.
This post is an outside observation of a company for inspiration in social enterprise initiative improvements.
In today’s post, we’ll look into the parcel pioneer Sendle leveraging Open Discussion. Sendle operates a shipping service for small businesses that want to lessen negative impacts on the environment.
Knowing the Company: Sendle
Sendle is a shipping service that is 100% carbon neutral. Sendle is a registered B Corp that chooses to offset the emissions of each parcel the initiative handles. Small businesses can use Sendle to have better access to an efficient shipping network with lower shipping costs. True to their mission, the initiative maintains the environmentally-friendly aim by partnering with South Pole.
Their operations use a “hub and spoke” approach for carriers to increase the positive environmental impact. Parcels are organized at facilities to be assigned a group based on the delivery route. Following this approach is different from traditional carriers that use a singular point-to-point route. Sendle compares the model to public transportation for parcels. Fewer carriers need to be used for this approach, so fewer emissions are put into the environment.
Through environmental approaches, the initiative offset 16.4 billion kilometers of carbon. Determined, the initiative is continuing to experiment on how to integrate more environmentally-friendly measures. A fleet of solar fuelled electric vehicles (EVs) was added to Sendle’s Australia location in partnership with Bonds Couriers.
Not only the environment but small businesses can thrive with Sendle. When saving money and time using the shipping service, small businesses can focus on growing. Another benefit is that Sendle forms an atmosphere of open discussion for their community of small businesses.
Forming a Collaborative Atmosphere
Collaboration is a significant component within Sendle’s operation. South Pole sets off carbon emissions through the funding of projects. Sendle partners with South Pole to choose the projects across the world that will receive a portion of the profits from their shipping service. South Pole provides projects and experts to help initiatives reach their sustainability goals. Discussions between the two entities improve the amount of impact each initiative can create.
Every year Sendle asks the small businesses using their service to help decide on the projects that the shipping service will support. Project examples include the Boobera Native Forest Regeneration in Australia, restoring degraded agricultural land, or the Lower Mississippi Valley Reforestation to reforest one million acres in the region. Chosen projects may change every year depending on the availability in South Pole and the clients’ preference. Clients can feel that they matter in the operations and can have a collective influence in the initiative they engage with.
Encouraging this participation helps clients to feel more invested in the community of the initiative. People like to be part of a like-minded community or connect with people who share similar interests or concerns.
Let’s Talk About It
One interesting facilitating tool Sendle uses is their blog. Many companies and organizations have blogs but don’t quite use them to the same advantage. Typically, blog content features How-to posts letting clients understand an initiative’s service or product. Informative posts on trends in the industry are also popular on initiative blogs. Content of this kind is useful for the clients. People reading the blog can gain value and apply it to themselves, while the company gains trust as an expert. Engaging in this way comes with limits since the interaction is not interactive.
Unlike most company blogs, Sendle interviews their clients for their blog. Direct interaction with clients allows Sendle to get more familiar with the people engaging their service, and vice versa. Client interviews on the blog show that Sendle values their community’s voices both collectively and individually. For readers, fellow clients can feel connected as they read the content. Having this atmosphere that is similar to an open discussion where you can see and experience what others are operating through enhances the interactive nature of the community. Subsequently, impacting loyalty within the community.
Notice, interviewing clients is different from interviewing staff. The latter helps place a face and personality to an initiative, yet there remains a subconscious barrier separating the client from the company.
Sendle also has a webinar series, called Hey Sendler, where discussion is held. Webinar episodes create a literal open discussion where the community feels more like developing a hub for the small businesses to gather around. Episodes are hosted on Sendle’s Instagram in the IGTV section, which pivoted from Vimeo. Guests on the series range from experts to clients as they express thoughts and lessons around enterprise-related content.
Sendle’s content has everything to do with their stakeholders, though not directly focused on their service. Forming the expectation of an open discussion becomes a staple in Sendle’s brand identity, helping further to differentiate the initiative among any other shipping service a small business may come across.
An anchor based on Open Discussion improves the interaction, trust, and loyalty among clients. To experiment with this anchor method, imagine the current communication methods between the initiative and the clients. Next, determine how much communication the initiative Is willing to commit to doing. Then, think about where and when the initiative can involve clients in more discussion. The initiative can start with small experiments to find the most fitting method and continue to grow afterward.
Sendle’s expansive Open Discussion completes this profile.
People Helping People Podcast is seeking methods clearly supporting an effective impact. Observations and discussions on happenings in the social enterprise community is a significant part of our contribution to social good. Continue to check-in for more conversation-starting content.