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Cutting Your Carbon Footprint With Delivery

As coronavirus threatens societies across the globe, we are reminded that we’re all in this together and share the same ecosystem. At SHIPSI, the environment is always top of mind, and that is especially true today, on Earth Day. Not only does offering delivery help increase retail sales, it also is the greenest method of getting customers their orders.


Researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands, recently looked at the carbon footprint of shopping in-store vs. delivery from local stores vs. shopping online in the U.S., U.K., the Netherlands, and China. Their study takes into account the entire process from the factory where goods are produced all the way to the consumer. While most of the process shows almost equal emissions levels, the biggest difference lies in the “last-mile”, the final journey of the purchased item to the purchaser.


Many factors went into analyzing this final leg, including distance, method of transportation, number of items purchased, and batching. After studying the possible scenarios, the greenest method was almost always local delivery, followed by traditional shopping and then online retail. This is especially true in the U.S.—in comparison to China and the Netherlands—where most traditional shopping is done by car and not on foot or by bicycle.


While all of us in the retail industry still have a long way to go and delivery may seem like a small step, shifting our priorities to focus on the environment and allowing consumers to make greener decisions is a giant leap forward for all of mankind.


Read the full study here.