More consumers are purchasing through their preferred online channels and companies in every sector are facing unprecedented pressures related to e-commerce. In 2020, the main web shops witnessed an important increase in web visitors and web traffic grew significantly compared to pre- Covid 2019 situation. According to Statista, it has been estimated that nearly 25000 million units of parcels were distributed worldwide in 2020. In line with European Statistics, e-shopping is growing steadily, with the biggest increase among young internet users. However, a delivery of a parcel to a recipient’s address generates costs of customer service and environmental pollution. The objective of this study is to explore what aspects of the e-commerce contribute the most to the environmental impact and what solutions can reduce the associated emissions from a life cycle perspective. This study presents a review based on 34 articles published between 2002 and 2022 in international journals and conference proceedings, available in the ISI Web of Knowledge database. A descriptive analysis was carried out to evaluate the main features of the articles; then the articles are classified considering the aspects analyzed and the possible solutions proposed to reduce the environmental impacts. This study highlights that the environmental burdens associated with ecommerce are still underexplored from a life cycle perspective and presents the elements that can be addressed to reach a higher level of sustainability.

The Environmental Impacts of E-Commerce: A Literature Review

Sara Toniolo;Ivan Russo
2022-01-01

Abstract

More consumers are purchasing through their preferred online channels and companies in every sector are facing unprecedented pressures related to e-commerce. In 2020, the main web shops witnessed an important increase in web visitors and web traffic grew significantly compared to pre- Covid 2019 situation. According to Statista, it has been estimated that nearly 25000 million units of parcels were distributed worldwide in 2020. In line with European Statistics, e-shopping is growing steadily, with the biggest increase among young internet users. However, a delivery of a parcel to a recipient’s address generates costs of customer service and environmental pollution. The objective of this study is to explore what aspects of the e-commerce contribute the most to the environmental impact and what solutions can reduce the associated emissions from a life cycle perspective. This study presents a review based on 34 articles published between 2002 and 2022 in international journals and conference proceedings, available in the ISI Web of Knowledge database. A descriptive analysis was carried out to evaluate the main features of the articles; then the articles are classified considering the aspects analyzed and the possible solutions proposed to reduce the environmental impacts. This study highlights that the environmental burdens associated with ecommerce are still underexplored from a life cycle perspective and presents the elements that can be addressed to reach a higher level of sustainability.
E-Commerce
Environmental impact
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1081850
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social impact