By David Randall
Translation by Katharina J. Wieczorek

The market for e-commerce continues to grow rapidly. This is excellent news for online retailers – especially for those who have had to close their shops due to the corona lockdown. However, there are concerns about the ecological effects of this trend – an issue that retailers could barely worry about in 2020 due to the corona crisis and its consequences.

That seems to be understandable at first. Nonetheless, the e-commerce industry has an ecological responsibility and sooner or later it will have to live up to it. A study by Accenture shows that e-commerce experienced a gigantic growth during the crisis, comparable to the development over the last ten years. According to a report by the World Economic Forum in 2020, the amount of delivery vehicles may rise 36 percent by 2030 as the industry grows. That means an increase in CO2 emissions of 20 percent. Striving for climate neutrality on the last mile is first and foremost a moral obligation. A survey by IPC shows: 61 percent of online shoppers want sustainable delivery. Two thirds would even wait longer for their delivery if they can be sure that they are being supplied in a climate-neutral way.

Ways to solution

The obvious way to decrease the environmental impact on the last mile is to opt for sustainable delivery options. These are deliveries by bicycle, e-car or with transport aids on foot. Many shipping services providers have ambitious projects to lower their CO2 emissions on their agenda. DHL will completely transform its delivery vehicles using electrical technology by 2030, according to its own statement. Internet Retailing reports in its study Sustainability: After the Buy Button, 2020, that ASOS has signed a new contract with DPD. This stipulates that 50 percent of all deliveries in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone must be made with e-vehicles.

Click & Collect is another delivery option that is being used successfully by a large number of our retail customers. A large proportion of the retailers involve their local shops more in collections and return of online parcels from retailers. As a result, retailers improve the carbon footprint of their own deliveries and ensure more public business of brick-and-mortar stores, which in turn boosts sales. The connection between consumption and climate impact is present in the customer’s consciousness. This will inevitably be reflected in the purchasing behaviour, regardless of the corona-related situation. The transition to sustainable delivery options is already well underway – a welcome process with winners on all sides.

The full article in German can be found at:

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