A member of the Shutterfly Inc. family, BorrowLenses, is an online camera rental giant with small business-style customer service. Their mission is to advance the photographic and cinematic dreams of their customers by delivering superior, cutting-edge gear through their stress-free rental process. Rent, shoot, return – it’s as easy as that!

Customers can choose the gear they want, when they want to receive it and for how long they want to rent it for. BorrowLenses can ship the gear directly to customers or to one of their many convenient pick-up locations, and a prepaid return label is included for ship-back ease. Now, creatives from all corners of the U.S. can have access to top quality camera equipment without the pressures of ownership.

The Sharing Economy: Why Renting Is Often Better Than Buying

BorrowLenses has a unique business model that centers around sustainable principles. By providing customers with the opportunity to rent specialized camera equipment, it reduces the amount of new equipment purchases that often go unused. A prime example of the sharing economy in action, this circular business model helps save resources used to manufacture new gear, reduces e-waste that comes from outdated and unused equipment and increases people’s access to using this equipment for their creative endeavors.

Once camera equipment has reached a number of uses or a new model has been released, BorrowLenses sells these items at a discounted rate to further extend product life and support the circular economy.

Eliminating Emissions and E-Waste

Because of the nature of photo and film equipment, BorrowLenses has made it a priority to ensure the proper disposal of e-waste like batteries, lamps and other electronics. Doing so can save valuable e-waste components like precious metals from entering landfills. These materials can then be recycled back into useful raw material for new products.

BorrowLenses extends this waste reduction effort by reusing all shipping boxes and practicing responsible recycling onsite. They are considering an organic waste collection program this year as well. In 2020, BorrowLenses partnered with UPS through their Carbon Neutral program in order to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s A Family Effort

BorrowLenses’ commitment to supporting sustainable practices and a greener economy is intertwined with Shutterfly’s overall sustainability mission. Shutterfly launched an employee resource group known as the Orange Goes Green team to create a space for staff to collaborate and find solutions for sustainability challenges throughout the company. This group has been a critical asset in building buy-in for sustainable practices at the company through regular newsletters and events, and it has allowed inspired individuals to take action and make a positive impact.

As Shutterfly began to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) actions over the last several years, each brand and business unit has worked to understand what sustainability means to them and how they can contribute meaningfully in this space. For BorrowLenses, this came naturally as their foundation is already rooted in circular thinking and green practices. They are eager to exercise their innovation and share their expertise with the Shutterfly community.

It’s exciting to be a part of a mission so grand. However, BorrowLenses admits that figuring out where to begin on the path to sustainability can be overwhelming. With seemingly endless opportunities to grow as a green business, BorrowLenses is focusing on the areas most important to their customers, employees and other stakeholders. There’s no doubt that BorrowLenses will continue to grow as an important member of the Shutterfly family and help realize its potential in the green space because where there is family, there is strength.

“At Shutterfly, sustainability means making decisions and acting in a way that enables the business to meet the needs of our employees, customers and communities today without jeopardizing the needs of tomorrow. We want to be a place people are proud to work for the next five, ten and fifty years because of the positive impact we leave behind and how we work with the resources we have.”

– Kierstan, Corporate Sustainability Manager of BorrowLenses

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