In an article in the Guardian we could read a topic from Lucy Siegle about the green effect and advantages of shopping online. It sound very environmental friendly to do your shopping from the computer, but is this really true?
In the United Kingdom they expect the online Shopping to grow up to 21,3 billion pounds in 2011, a growth with almost 9 billion pounds. Some people do their shopping with the computer, because they consider it to be green, less transport and less shopping bags. There have been several studies on this topic.
One of these studies goes back to 2000 when Webvan, a big US onliner retailer, when they concluded that wider adoption of online shopping would not result into environmental profits, another study in 2002 of US book retailing did not see greater energy savings when buying online.
One of the most recent studies is the study of Carnegie Mellon University, where they concluded that shopping online via resulted in a decrease of 35 per cent energy consumption and CO2 emissions than the traditional retailer (where they loose energy because of the open doors of the store and bad refrigeration furniture for example).
This effect is caused by the save of the driving to the stores and for example less receipts. But both ways to do your shopping need the transportation to get it to the distribution centers, stores or at home. We can now see more and more retailers who introduce electricity home-delivery cars like the Spanish supermarket chain Condis or the Eco-Truck of Delhaize in Belgium where the route is better planned and the load is bigger to save extra kilometers.
Online shopping may prove marginally more green in terms of energy saving but we see retailers more and more take measurements to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions and acting green.