With the rise in online shopping and next-day deliveries, it has become more and more important to find an environmentally sustainable way to offer that service. Many European countries have already put into place cargo bikes or e-bikes to reduce congestion and pollution. In the UK, we are witnessing a rise in eco-friendly delivery services carrying parcels and takeaway food, but what is the impact of online shopping on today’s world? What strategies can we put in place to reduce our carbon emissions?

The Impact of deliveries

greenerAccording to a study, Britain has been named among the top ten most gridlocked countries in the world with motorists spending more than 30 hours a year stuck in traffic, London, Manchester and Birmingham being the worst cities. Traffic is not only bad for the planet, but it has also been linked to stress, anxiety, and depression resulting in frustration and work absences.  

Online shopping is great for customers because it’s quick and easy, however, it does bring a lot of traffic to the roads and could soon become a real issue for the environment and the planet. Indeed, online shopping is responsible for a big portion of the UK’s carbon emissions. 

The Rise of Eco-Friendly Services

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Nowadays, it’s really easy to send parcels across the world with the help of companies such as Parcel2Go, you can now go online or on your phone and choose the cheapest delivery service to send your parcel but you could also drop it off somewhere or have it collected at your house. Therefore, offering more sustainable options to customers could really make a difference in the way we shop and could push customers to make greener choices.

Many delivery companies are now implementing a more environmental approach to shipping with the use of cargo bikes or e-bikes. In fact, cargo bikes or e-bikes are considered an ecological option compared to delivery vans because they’re reliable and, as surprising as it sounds, they are also faster than a van in most cities due to traffic and road works. DPD and Royal Mail are trialing deliveries of that kind with 100 electric bikes in London for Royal mail already. 

To improve the quality of air, London has established an “Ultra Low Emission Zone” (ULEZ) where the City of London charges the most polluting vehicles in Central London a fee if they wish to drive there, thus dramatically reducing carbon emissions by 20%. 

With the rise of online shopping, next day delivery, and food takeaways, it has become urgent for delivery services to turn to greener solutions to avoid increasing carbon emissions but also reducing traffic in big cities. 

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