Environmental Impact of The Holiday Season

27 November, 2023

'Tis the season of being mindful of our environmental impact.

  • The holiday season in the US is just around the corner. It’s the season of joy, celebration, and generosity. A festive spirit fills the air as families and friends celebrate together. However, amidst the merriment lies the considerable environmental challenge of increased consumption. Extensive production sprees and product packaging to employee gifts - the holiday season tends to leave a substantial carbon footprint.

Environmental Impact

The surge in holiday-related activities brings a tide of environmental consequences. One of the significant contributors is the spike in carbon emissions and waste generation.

The increased manufacturing and transportation associated with increased production, consumption, and irresponsible disposal during the holiday season substantially increase GHG emissions.

Add to that the plastic waste that shoots up considerably during the holiday season. The allure of wrapped presents often masks the environmental toll of excessive packaging. Mountains of wrapping paper, ribbons, and boxes contribute to landfill waste, taking years to decompose and releasing harmful substances into the environment. The holiday season witnesses an upswing in the use of disposable items. These items, often used for short durations, have a lasting impact on the environment.

Every minute, the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is thrown into our oceans. This number goes much higher during and after the holiday season. Recognizing the gravity of this situation is crucial in fostering a sustainable approach to holiday celebrations.

Corporate Consumption

Organizations often see a partial blackout in their value chains during the holiday season with operational closings, resulting in a decrease in upstream Scope-3 emissions. However, their pre-holiday consumption reached an all-year high with the employee gifting, increased production activities, and packaging. While gifting helps companies accomplish their internal social responsibilities in part by focusing on employee well-being, it contributes to their environmental impact - a holiday dilemma.

Moreover, during holidays, the end line of their supply chains - stores, warehouses, etc. - functions at their maximum capacity to accommodate the increased consumer appetite. It contributes heavily to the company’s downstream Scope-3 emissions. What can companies do to reduce their impact?

Mitigating the Impact

Mitigating the carbon footprint can help organizations increase their consumer base. In a recent survey, Gartner challenges conventional wisdom on holiday marketing. The survey states inclusivity and ESG achievement can help organizations stand out. According to the report, 43% of Gen Z and 41% of millennial respondents say what a brand stands for influences their purchase decision (34% of Gen X and 29% of baby boomers also felt the same way).

Addressing the environmental impact of increased consumption during the holiday season requires a concerted effort from sustainability professionals, businesses, and policymakers.

One of the substantial and immediate ways to mitigate the impact is through adopting sustainable packaging practices - such as using recycled materials or minimizing excessive packaging, which can significantly contribute to environmental conservation. Corporations can also take the lead in fostering sustainability during the holiday season. Implementing corporate initiatives, such as offsetting carbon emissions generated during production and transportation, demonstrates a commitment to environmental responsibility.

Companies can also invest in eco-friendly practices throughout their supply chain, from sourcing raw materials to disposal of end products.

However, these broad-stroke solutions may not provide the optimal solution. Data capturing and processing can play a vital role for organizations in understanding specific problems and crafting customized solutions.

Role of Technology

Data and automation are vital in facilitating complete visibility and informed decision-making towards improved sustainability. Capturing granular data during holiday seasons can help companies gain insights into their supply chain operations. It can provide them a baseline to build and improve on for the upcoming holiday uptick in production. It can also help companies source raw materials more responsibly and reduce their environmental impact in the long run.

Supply chains form a significant part of an organization’s carbon footprint. Coordinating with thousands of suppliers for accurate ESG data can be burdensome for enterprises. That’s where Treeni’s SaaS platform resustain™ and Managed Services can streamline and automate this process. Here’s how resustain™ can help you effectively manage your entire supply chain’s ESG and tackle Scope 3 emissions.


The holiday season in the US is a time of celebration, unity, and generosity. However, it is imperative to recognize and address the environmental impact of increased industry activity and consumption during this period. By adopting sustainable practices, businesses can contribute to a healthier planet.

  • As we embrace the holiday spirit of the season, let us commit to sustainability, ensuring that our celebrations leave a positive, lasting legacy on the environment.

Are you interested in streamlining your supply chain sustainability? Fill out the form below so that we can get in touch.

To Get More Insight

  • Please enter your first name
  • Please enter your last name
  • Please enter your company email
  • Please enter your contact no.
    Enter 10 digit phone number
  • Please enter your message
  • I am not robot
  • Please wait...