News & Insights

Read and share Parliament Hill insights and news on the tips, trends, and key developments we’ve identified for benefit management and member satisfaction.

Sustainability and Online Shopping

Sustainability is a topic that is gaining more and more traction in the world. Every person seems to be making small changes in their life in order to reduce their carbon footprint and be eco-friendlier.

There has, however, been a huge increase in the past few years of online delivery which undoubtedly comes with negative environmental impacts. Online delivery services range from retail (such as ASOS) to food delivery, and you could argue that since early 2020 (due to Covid-19), there has been a massive spike in the number of orders placed online for quick home delivery. For a nominal fee paid on an annual basis (averaging around £10) you can receive unlimited next-day delivery from the majority of online fashion retailers. The past two years has also seen a rise in companies offering immediate delivery of groceries – such as Getir and Gorillas. So what options are there for those of us who enjoy the convenience and ease of home delivery, but wish to reduce our environmental impact?

There are a number of ways in which you can still enjoy the handiness of online delivery without it costing the earth. The majority of the big delivery companies (DHL, DPD, CitySprint etc.) are introducing green delivery options whereby the parcels are taken to a local substation and then cycled or walked the remainder of the journey to your door. This of course doesn’t completely off-set the carbon emissions of the delivery but it is a good starting point. It is worth noting also that a lot of delivery companies will slowly have to update their vehicles as climate change laws come into force, and a number of companies have already started to introduce hybrid and fully electric vehicles into their fleets.

Another green option is to have parcels sent to collection hubs, which means the courier isn’t making multiple stops. Once it has been delivered to the hub you can walk or cycle to collect it, which is great for your physical and mental health too! It is also worth considering shopping locally; you may find some treasure troves in your vicinity that you didn’t know about. Maybe next time you get a parcel sent to the collection hub you can use that time to look around the area to see which businesses you may have previously missed.

Not everyone is able to make these changes of course, as some people may be housebound and reliant on deliveries being taken directly to their door. But for those of us who can make these small changes, it’s worth trying! I have been trying to make a more conscious effort to minimise my reliance on home delivery and have developed a ‘checklist’ of sorts to consider when I am browsing online. I have listed these below, so next time you’re looking at placing an order online, why not follow these steps:

  • · Think before you buy, as returns add even more carbon emissions
  • · Choose green delivery where you can
  • · Have your parcels sent to a collection hub
  • · Shop local to avoid having deliveries sent out

Overall, there is only so much that we as individuals can do to minimise the effects of climate change, however it’s important that we all try to make sustainable choices and changes to our lifestyles where possible. If you’re interested in Parliament Hill’s green journey please do check out our Sustainability Hub.

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