This Christmas, is it greener to drive to your favourite stores, or shop with them online for those last-minute presents? It’s a question that is concerning many environmentally aware shoppers this year.
The parcel comparison site ParcelHero says its recent study – How will home deliveries retain the green crown? – reveals buying online will create substantially fewer CO2 emissions than traditional shopping trips this Christmas.
ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, says: “There really shouldn’t be any more debate about whether online shopping is naughty or nice this Christmas. A dedicated car trip for a specific gift will generate 4,274 grammes of CO2 per kilometre, but a successful first-time home delivery creates just 181 grammes of CO2 per km per parcel.
“A Christmas shopper travelling by car would have to buy 24 gifts to reduce their equivalent emissions to those of a home delivery. That would be a daunting challenge even for the most hardened of High Street shopaholics.”
And the report also reveals many retailers and couriers have recently moved beyond simple CO2 measurements to keep their crown as the greenest form of retail. Explains David: ‘Couriers’ latest Euro 6 diesel vans slash Nitrogen oxide emissions by 55%. And they also cut emissions of Sulphur oxide, Carbon monoxide, Hydrocarbon and diesel particulate. And many of the best-known names in deliveries are actually ahead of the curve in planning to ditch the diesel entirely in urban areas: for example, Royal Mail is introducing a significant fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) from Peugeot and Mercedes and has trialled Banbury-based Arrival vans; while UPS has also ordered 35 of the ultra-lightweight Arrival EVs, scheduled for delivery this month.
Concludes Jinks: ‘There’s no doubting that it is greener, as well as warmer, to order online rather than brave the town centre crowds this December; and to send a parcel rather than drive miles to deliver a gift yourself. Around 950 million packages will be delivered to homes and collection points this Christmas – imagine if all those gifts were still being bought in town by car. Of course, flying reindeer would be even greener, but, until we can persuade Rudolf to deliver all our online purchases as well as Santa’s gifts, home deliveries are the best option for the environment.’
Christmas shoppers concerned it may be too late to order online in time for Christmas can check ParcelHero’s live Christmas tracker of all the major stores’ final order dates, and the last parcel mailing dates for the UK and overseas, at https://www.parcelhero.com/events/christmas-gifts-delivery