Dirty delivery: the carbon cost of online shopping revealed
Online shopping this Black Friday is expected to break records but at what cost to the environment? The personal finance experts at money.co.uk have revealed the eco-friendly shopping habits of UK consumers.
Plus, they have crunched the numbers to reveal which delivery companies are the most carbon conscious and which ones could be doing more to be greener.
Men vs women – who’s the most concerned about the carbon footprint of their online shopping?
Men are more impatient when shopping online with 38% of men admitting they look for next-day delivery compared to 33% of women.
However, women are more price-conscious when it comes to online shopping. Three-quarters of women (75.82%) look for free delivery, compared to just 67% of men.
12% of males say that carbon-friendly delivery is important to them when online shopping for Black Friday purchases compared to 10% of women.
Meanwhile, 11% of men find carbon offsetting important when online shopping compared to just 7% of females who find this important. However, overall women feel more environmental guilt (25%) when purchasing items online than males (22%).
17% of men surveyed admitted that the delivery company an online retailer uses very much impacts their purchase decision. Whereas, only 13% of women are impacted by the delivery company chosen by online retailers.
22% of men state they would not be willing to offset an individual online purchase when shopping this Black Friday compared to 18.31% of females who stated this. However, 17% of men and women did admit they would be willing to pay between £1 and £2 to offset an individual purchase.
The majority of men and women surveyed were unsure about how much carbon an average online shopping purchase generates – 35% of men stated this compared to 47% of women.
Surprisingly, 14% of men were correct and stated that between 3kg and 4kg of carbon is generated by an average online purchase, whereas only 12% of women were correct.
Almost half (42.84%) of males surveyed believed they are an environmentally friendly shopper compared to 37% of females that believe they are an eco-friendly shopper.
Eco-friendly shopping habits of UK consumers
Just one in 10 shoppers (11.7%) factor carbon-friendly delivery into their online shopping decision, but almost three quarters (72%) admit preferring retailers who offer free delivery; the least eco-friendly option.
One in five (20%) said they would refuse to pay extra to offset the carbon generation by their purchase, compared to 17% who would pay up to £2 to do so.
Age plays a part in eco-shopping decision making. Those aged between 16-24 are twice as likely (16%) to opt for a green delivery option when compared to the 55+ age group (8%).
However, shoppers aged over 45 are more thrifty when it comes to online shopping, with 80% of those in the 45-54 and 55+ age groups admitting to looking for free delivery.
Similarly, these two age groups are also happiest to wait longer for their parcels to arrive.
Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “With almost a third of consumers (32%) stating that they would be more likely to shop with a retailer if they offered a green or eco-friendly option, it is clear there is some appetite for more environmentally conscious delivery methods.
“Despite this, our research found that 20% of shoppers did not want to pay to offset the environmental impact of their online purchases, and a further 42% admitted to not feeling any environmental guilt when purchasing items online.
“Although there is clear interest from consumers to reduce their carbon footprint when shopping online, it appears speed and reliability are two qualities British consumers are more keen for delivery companies to possess.”
Key points again:
- Men are more impatient when shopping online with almost two-fifths of men admitting they look for next day delivery compared to a third 33% of women
- Women are more price-conscious when it comes to Black Friday online shopping with three quarters (75.82%) looking for free delivery
- Just 1 in 10 shoppers consider the environmental impact of their online shopping**
- Deliveries from Black Friday shopping are expected to release over 429,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere*
- Hermes is forecasted to produce 58,313 tonnes of CO2; the most out of all online delivery companies this Black Friday.
- Amazon could process 5.1 million transactions on Black Friday which could result in 18,854 tonnes of CO2
- One in three (35%) of consumers opt for next day delivery when making a purchase online which can be the least carbon-efficient