Online shoppers suffer ‘green guilt’ over their deliveries

·3-min read
Hermes is building upon its sustainability and ethics programme as research reveals a third of online shoppers are worried about how green their delivery is
Hermes is building upon its sustainability and ethics programme as research reveals a third of online shoppers are worried about how green their delivery is

As the UK continues to shop online, despite restrictions being lifted and shops staying open, many are concerned about how deliveries are affecting the planet.

Research looking into sustainable deliveries was commissioned by Hermes, the UK’s largest dedicated parcel delivery company, as it continues to build on its recent environment, social and governance commitments.

It asked 2,000 adults about their online shopping habits, with data revealing almost half (48%) say a delivery is the ‘highlight of their day’, with four in ten (41%) admitting they’re ordering more online but wish there was a more sustainable process.

Nancy Hobhouse, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Hermes said: “We know that sustainability is a priority when shopping online and that the delivery is one of the customer concerns.

2,000 adults were quizzed about their online shopping habits
2,000 adults were quizzed about their online shopping habits

“The pandemic changed the way we shop, and the shift to online shopping looks set to stay.

“As a responsible carrier we recognise our impact on the environment and the role we have to play to be as sustainable as possible.

“That is why we’ve invested in our fleet to have vehicles running on greener fuels at every stage of delivery, and we’re committed to trialing innovative low carbon ways to deliver parcels – such as by eCargo bike or pedestrian couriers.

“However, we know that there’s more to do, and we will continue to innovate as part of our wider commitment to sustainability and ethics”.

Almost a third of adults admit to being ‘obsessed’ with buying items online due to the convenience of having something delivered, the thrill of a delivery (35%), and the ease of working from home (32%).

And whilst shoppers can control how sustainably they shop, with avoiding poor quality items that are bad for the environment (51%), looking for brands that work in a sustainable manner (46%) and consolidating purchases (45%) as the main ways they shop greener, they worry about the delivery.

Over a quarter (27%) suffer from green guilt from having items delivered and over a third (35%) worry about how green their delivery is. Six in ten (59%) of adults are unsure how to be greener when having items delivered or returned.

With almost three quarters (73%) of adults saying they expect the delivery company to act in the most environmentally friendly way, Hermes is highlighting how it is taking measures to be greener at every stage of delivery.

This is all part of the Hermes ESG strategy, which was launched in October 2021, and aims to reduce its impact on the planet, promote equality and fairness and increase transparency about its operations.

The research also revealed that shoppers are also aware about how returning items can have an impact on sustainability.

Hermes is highlighting how it is taking measures to be greener at every stage of delivery
Hermes is highlighting how it is taking measures to be greener at every stage of delivery

In fact, 28% said they would be less inclined to send an item back because they know sending it could negatively affect the planet and over two fifths (43%) wish there was a simpler and greener way to package and return items.

Hermes offers packageless returns in select Parcelshops across the UK.

Customers can take their return item to a ParcelShop where staff will package it in an FSC-approved eco-friendly bag and consolidate into containers, reducing the amount of driver collections and CO2 emissions, as well as reducing packaging.

Nancy Hobhouse added: “The responsibility lies with us to ensure we deliver to our customers and clients in the greenest way possible.

That’s why we offer various services such as packageless returns in selected Parcelshops and the ability to collect or return parcels from local shops, which reduces CO2 emissions. We’ll continue to push forward our agenda to be as sustainable as possible”.

For further information on Hermes’ ESG commitments, click here: https://www.myhermes.co.uk/environment-social-and-governance

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