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The environmental implication of E-commerce in the food industry

Negri, Mirco (2004)
Packaging Logistics
Abstract
The importance of E-commerce in the grocery and food retailing is growing and an increasing number of home delivery solutions are being studied. Some observers predict that the consumers will use e-commerce and home delivery services more and more in the future. However, these developments are affected by a number of problems, many of which are not completely understood. This thesis particularly focuses on the environmental effects of b2c e-commerce, and especially on the potential impacts on pollution that can be associated with home delivery practices.

This thesis aims to compare the environmental impacts of traditional shopping (with a large majority of people using private cars) with a scenario characterized by e-commerce shopping... (More)
The importance of E-commerce in the grocery and food retailing is growing and an increasing number of home delivery solutions are being studied. Some observers predict that the consumers will use e-commerce and home delivery services more and more in the future. However, these developments are affected by a number of problems, many of which are not completely understood. This thesis particularly focuses on the environmental effects of b2c e-commerce, and especially on the potential impacts on pollution that can be associated with home delivery practices.

This thesis aims to compare the environmental impacts of traditional shopping (with a large majority of people using private cars) with a scenario characterized by e-commerce shopping and home delivery. The evaluation is done based on the simulation and analysis of vehicle emissions of CO2, NOx and particles in the atmosphere. The main research questions are as follows:

- Can the development and implementation of b2c e-commerce (associated with home delivery solutions) benefit the environment, especially concerning vehicle emissions?

- Under which conditions and with which practical solutions are the environmental impacts of e-commerce more beneficial?

In addressing these questions a system approach has been used with the purpose of both explaining and understanding the phenomenon. Secondary data has been collected from the literature with a qualitative approach, while the primary data has been obtained by means of case study research (conducted with the support of Lund University, Department of Packaging Logistics) about the emissions of home delivery services in the city of Lund (Sweden).

The results of the calculations show that, the environmental effects of e-commerce home delivery can be beneficial (i.e. causing a substantial reduction in the emissions of CO2, NOx and particles), on condition that a vast number of consumers do e-commerce instead of traditional shopping.

The problem is that most customers order by Internet only a limited number of goods (and especially dry, heavy or ?boring? products), but still make car trips to buy the majority of the products they need. In other words, e-commerce can be an additional modality to the traditional shopping, and not a substitute for that. In this case the environmental impacts of e-commerce may be not beneficial, because the emissions of the home delivery vehicles must be summed with the emissions of the cars that go to the store.

This is the reason why there may be the need for public policies for traffic limitation, or ?environment-friendly? logistic structures to support the development of e-commerce, so that to the new technology can develop with environmental sustainability. (Less)
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author
Negri, Mirco
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Technological sciences, Food retailing, E-commerce, Grocery, Teknik
language
English
id
1318784
date added to LUP
2008-06-03
date last changed
2010-02-01 14:40:04
@misc{1318784,
  abstract     = {The importance of E-commerce in the grocery and food retailing is growing and an increasing number of home delivery solutions are being studied. Some observers predict that the consumers will use e-commerce and home delivery services more and more in the future. However, these developments are affected by a number of problems, many of which are not completely understood. This thesis particularly focuses on the environmental effects of b2c e-commerce, and especially on the potential impacts on pollution that can be associated with home delivery practices.

This thesis aims to compare the environmental impacts of traditional shopping (with a large majority of people using private cars) with a scenario characterized by e-commerce shopping and home delivery. The evaluation is done based on the simulation and analysis of vehicle emissions of CO2, NOx and particles in the atmosphere. The main research questions are as follows:

- Can the development and implementation of b2c e-commerce (associated with home delivery solutions) benefit the environment, especially concerning vehicle emissions?

- Under which conditions and with which practical solutions are the environmental impacts of e-commerce more beneficial?

In addressing these questions a system approach has been used with the purpose of both explaining and understanding the phenomenon. Secondary data has been collected from the literature with a qualitative approach, while the primary data has been obtained by means of case study research (conducted with the support of Lund University, Department of Packaging Logistics) about the emissions of home delivery services in the city of Lund (Sweden).

The results of the calculations show that, the environmental effects of e-commerce home delivery can be beneficial (i.e. causing a substantial reduction in the emissions of CO2, NOx and particles), on condition that a vast number of consumers do e-commerce instead of traditional shopping.

The problem is that most customers order by Internet only a limited number of goods (and especially dry, heavy or ?boring? products), but still make car trips to buy the majority of the products they need. In other words, e-commerce can be an additional modality to the traditional shopping, and not a substitute for that. In this case the environmental impacts of e-commerce may be not beneficial, because the emissions of the home delivery vehicles must be summed with the emissions of the cars that go to the store.

This is the reason why there may be the need for public policies for traffic limitation, or ?environment-friendly? logistic structures to support the development of e-commerce, so that to the new technology can develop with environmental sustainability.},
  author       = {Negri, Mirco},
  keyword      = {Technological sciences,Food retailing,E-commerce,Grocery,Teknik},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The environmental implication of E-commerce in the food industry},
  year         = {2004},
}