The main companies of the electronic commerce They are on their way to dumping into the atmosphere the CO2 equivalent to what 44 coal plants emit each year, according to an analysis that concludes that Amazon and four other giants in the sector still depend on the fossil fuels to deliver your parcels.
The work, carried out jointly by the network Clean Mobility Collective (CMC) and the research group Stand.earth Research Group (SRG), predicts that if the current rate of growth of online purchases is maintained, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) -culprits of climate change- will increase exponentially by 2030, and warns that cases of diseases aggravated by air pollution will also skyrocket.
Amazon logistics, DHL eCommerce Solutions, UPS, FedEx and Geopostthe leading delivery companies linked to internet orders, “are not following through on their promise to roll out zero-emission vehicles and are avoiding disclosing enough data related to last mile emissions”, highlights the research, which reflects the climate and health impact of the rise of ‘e-commerce’.
If you continue the trend At present, the annual global volume of deliveries could even double from more than 315 billion packages in 2022 to up to 800,000 million a year by 2030, the study says.
Even without taking into account those projections of growth, the authors calculate that, if there are no changes in the composition of the fleet of e-commerce multinationals, global shipments will emit in 2030 up to 160 megatons of CO2 each year, equivalent to what is emitted by 44 coal-fired power plants.
“This supposes that we would have to plant more than billion trees each year and let them grow for ten years to save the pollution produced by the carbon emissions of last-mile deliveries,” argue the researchers, referring to the last leg of a delivery, from the deposit from distribution to the place of delivery, which does not necessarily have to be one mile.
“Emissions from the last mile of the companies of electronic commerce translate into up to 168,000 cases of increased asthma, up to 285,000 cases of respiratory symptoms and up to 9,500 premature deaths”, they expose in their analysis entitled “The price of comfort: revealing the hidden impacts on the climate and health of the global parcel industry.
According to the Report of Amazon Sustainability 2021less than 7% of all deliveries from this company in Europe are made in electric vehicles or other modes of clean mobilitywhile in the United States this figure drops to 1%, they add, to emphasize that, although Amazon has committed to deploying 100,000 electric delivery vans, currently there are only about 3,000 in circulation.
They warn that the transport associated with these orders could exacerbate the climate crisis, since this sector is “the world’s largest source of new GHG emissions”, responsible for 12% of the global emissionsand 29% of the Spanish women.
Despite the environmental costsaccording to a survey published at the end of April by the e-commerce logistics platform Packlink, 76% of the consumers considers that returns for their ‘online’ purchases should always be free, a percentage that is 3% higher than last year’s valuation.
For generations, Packlink found that the youngest -usually “more aware” with the climate footprint of transport, they point out – they are the most receptive to paying for returns, while the ‘baby boomers’ are the most reluctant.
His report ensures that the return rate of purchases online can reach 30%, compared to less than 10% in physical stores.