The information age has indeed led the world to be at our fingertips. Ecommerce has given us the power to buy almost anything from anywhere with a few clicks on commonly used electronic devices. The impact of ecommerce is seen in our lives with online shopping platforms such as Amazon and Lazada have become household names.
Nonetheless, the convenience and swiftness of ecommerce comes at the cost of the environment. This is because transporting goods over long distances can cause significant amount of carbon emissions to worsen the ongoing climate crisis.
Interestingly, different shopping options provided by online retailers lead to varying levels of carbon emissions. With the increasing awareness of individuals for climate change, online retailers can play a role to help consumers make more environment-friendly shopping decisions.
A study undertaken by researchers at the university of Technology and Design sought to provide an answer to this. The study found that adding carbon emission information on different shopping options influenced more than half of the study participants to choose the options associated with lower emissions even if it required longer time to order items.
The study was partly inspired by the availability of carbon emission information on flight search platforms, stated one of the associates. In the same manner, if consumers are informed about emissions associated with their purchase, this can help them make more informed decisions.
The study involved calculating carbon emissions associated with each mode of transport offered by Taobao. The options included shipping the parcel from China via sea or air freight and also delivering the parcel to the receiver’s address or to a parcel locker. If the buyer has to place multiple orders, the orders can be consolidated into a single delivery.