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NEW research reveals that 68% of Australians would choose lower-carbon-emitting parcel delivery methods, an emerging consumer preference that retailers and carriers will need to meet.

The data comes from a survey conducted by parcel collection service Hubbed of an independent panel of more than 1000 Australians.

Last year, online shopping grew by 57%, resulting in a significant increase in delivery vehicles on roads. In fact, Australia’s transport sector is responsible for nearly a fifth of the country’s carbon emissions.

When Hubbed analysed preferences for low-carbon delivery methods across the states, it found Victorians seem to be more environmentally conscious shoppers. Seventy-three per cent of Victorians would choose a delivery method if it would reduce carbon emissions, compared with 68% of South Australians and 59 % of Queenslanders.

The younger the shopper, the more environmentally conscious, too: 74% of 18-30-year-olds would choose a low-carbon delivery method, compared with 61% of over-50s.

Hubbed also found that 69% of Australians would like retailers to label delivery methods with low emissions as low carbon on their checkout pages to help them choose the most carbon-friendly option when shopping online.

The survey revealed that a larger proportion of younger shoppers would prefer low carbon labelling than older shoppers: 79 % of 18-30-year-olds, compared with 59 % of over-50s.

David McLean, founder and CEO of Hubbed, said, “The e-commerce boom we’ve seen over the last 12 months has delivered unprecedented growth in the industry.

“Our findings show that Australians are acutely aware of the impact online shopping can have on the environment and are open to shifting their behaviours as a result.

“A third of consumers also care more about the sustainability of a delivery over the cost, further suggesting sustainable options are becoming increasingly important.”

Mr McLean said this presents a growing challenge for carriers and retailers to ensure they have an environmental strategy in place to manage increased parcel volumes, while reducing their impact on the planet.

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Hubbed has devised five tactics to help retailers and carriers be more sustainable and reduce their carbon emissions.

1. Offer delivery methods that reduce the number of vehicles on the road. Online retailers are advised to consider offering alternative delivery choices at checkout, such as delivery to collection points.

2. Bring parcels closer to customers. With more than half of the global population currently living in cities, it is advisable for retailers and carriers to consider leveraging micro-fulfilment centres in metropolitan areas. This can shorten the distance between customers and their online orders, thereby speeding up delivery times and reducing emissions in the process.

3. Educate consumers about the impact of certain delivery choices. There has been an increase in consumers selecting same-day and next-day delivery options. While they can be convenient for consumers, they also negatively impact the environment, with delivery runs going out that aren’t at full capacity.

4. Partner with environmentally conscious carriers. The good news is that some carriers are already making changes to minimise their environmental impact.

5. Consider sustainable packaging options. Retailers are advised to use recycled or low-carbon packing materials, satchels and boxes. Such options could help attract and retain customers, who may feel confident shopping from retailers that are actively reducing their impact on the environment.

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