Using an online grocery delivery service can cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least half when compared with individual household trips to the store, according to research from the University of Washington. The study found that trucks filled to capacity delivering to customers clustered in neighborhoods produced the most savings in carbon dioxide emissions.
The research found that delivery service trucks produced 20 to 75 per cent less carbon dioxide than the corresponding personal vehicles driven to and from a grocery store. They also discovered significant savings for companies – 80 to 90 per cent less carbon dioxide emitted – if they delivered based on routes that clustered customers together, instead of catering to individual household requests for specific delivery times.
“A lot of times people think they have to inconvenience themselves to be greener, and that actually isn’t the case here,” said Anne Goodchild, one of the study’s authors and Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. “From an environmental perspective, grocery delivery services overwhelmingly can provide emissions reductions,” she said.