Online from: 1971
Subject Area: Operations and Logistics Management
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|Title:||Comparative analysis of the carbon footprints of conventional and online retailing: A “last mile” perspective|
|Author(s):||Julia B. Edwards, (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK), Alan C. McKinnon, (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK), Sharon L. Cullinane, (Logistics Research Centre, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)|
|Citation:||Julia B. Edwards, Alan C. McKinnon, Sharon L. Cullinane, (2010) "Comparative analysis of the carbon footprints of conventional and online retailing: A “last mile” perspective", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 40 Iss: 1/2, pp.103 - 123|
|Keywords:||Air pollution, Carbon, Delivery services, Distribution channels and markets, Internet shopping|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09600031011018055 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to focus on the carbon intensity of “last mile” deliveries (i.e. deliveries of goods from local depots to the home) and personal shopping trips.
Design/methodology/approach – Several last mile scenarios are constructed for the purchase of small, non-food items, such as books, CDs, clothing, cameras and household items. Official government data, operational data from a large logistics service provider, face-to-face and telephone interviews with company managers and realistic assumptions derived from the literature form the basis of the calculations. Allowance has been made for home delivery failures, “browsing” trips to the shops and the return of unwanted goods.
Findings – Overall, the research suggests that, while neither home delivery nor conventional shopping has an absolute CO
Research limitations/implications – The number of items purchased per shopping trip, the choice of travel mode and the willingness to combine shopping with other activities and to group purchases into as few shopping trips or online transactions as possible are shown to be critical factors. Online retailers and home delivery companies could also apply measures (e.g. maximising drop densities and increasing the use of electric vehicles) to enhance the CO
Practical implications – Both consumers and suppliers need to be made more aware of the environmental implications of their respective purchasing behaviour and distribution methods so that potential CO
Originality/value – The paper offers insights into the carbon footprints of conventional and online retailing from a “last mile” perspective.
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