The rapid development of business-to-consumer e-commerce has sparked interest in the environmental impact of the last-mile logistics of goods purchased online. The distribution stage, with orders from many different manufacturers in far-flung locations and the need for the fastest possible parcel delivery, has become complicated, expensive and environmentally damaging. The aim of this paper is to investigate consumers' willingness to pay for reducing or offsetting the emissions generated by their online purchases and the acceptability of alternative collection methods in order to reduce the environmental impact caused. We surveyed 1204 Italians using a discrete choice experiment and analysed the data using multinomial logit (MNL) and mixed multinomial logit (MMNL) models. The results show that providing information on the amount of pollution reduction/offset and the type of project implemented significantly increased consumers' willingness to pay to reduce the environmental impact of last-mile logistics. Our sample was willing to pay up to €0.88 to fully offset the environmental impact caused by the delivery received and an additional amount of €0.17 if the funds raised would be used for reforestation projects. We also found that consumers' socio-demographic characteristics and online shopping habits influenced both the willingness to pay and the acceptability of choosing more sustainable logistic settings regarding delivery time and location. Eco-conscious customers were more likely to accept longer delivery times and non-home delivery points. The minimum discount required to accept these delivery options ranged from €0.20 to €0.80. Our findings are new to the literature and are relevant not only to businesses seeking to integrate sustainability and efficiency into delivery services but also to policy makers seeking to mitigate the environmental impacts of e-commerce and freight.

Environmental impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce: Does it matter to consumers?

Marta Biancolin;Lucia Rotaris
2023-01-01

Abstract

The rapid development of business-to-consumer e-commerce has sparked interest in the environmental impact of the last-mile logistics of goods purchased online. The distribution stage, with orders from many different manufacturers in far-flung locations and the need for the fastest possible parcel delivery, has become complicated, expensive and environmentally damaging. The aim of this paper is to investigate consumers' willingness to pay for reducing or offsetting the emissions generated by their online purchases and the acceptability of alternative collection methods in order to reduce the environmental impact caused. We surveyed 1204 Italians using a discrete choice experiment and analysed the data using multinomial logit (MNL) and mixed multinomial logit (MMNL) models. The results show that providing information on the amount of pollution reduction/offset and the type of project implemented significantly increased consumers' willingness to pay to reduce the environmental impact of last-mile logistics. Our sample was willing to pay up to €0.88 to fully offset the environmental impact caused by the delivery received and an additional amount of €0.17 if the funds raised would be used for reforestation projects. We also found that consumers' socio-demographic characteristics and online shopping habits influenced both the willingness to pay and the acceptability of choosing more sustainable logistic settings regarding delivery time and location. Eco-conscious customers were more likely to accept longer delivery times and non-home delivery points. The minimum discount required to accept these delivery options ranged from €0.20 to €0.80. Our findings are new to the literature and are relevant not only to businesses seeking to integrate sustainability and efficiency into delivery services but also to policy makers seeking to mitigate the environmental impacts of e-commerce and freight.
2023
14-dic-2023
Pubblicato
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210539523001451?via=ihub
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3066498
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