March 21, 2011, 4:23 PM

U.K. consumers say they want to go green by shopping online

But a survey finds shoppers don’t want to pay much more for ecofriendly shopping.

Stefany Moore

Associate Director of Research

Lead Photo

Nearly 73% of shoppers in the United Kingdom think online buying is less damaging to the environment than shopping in stores, a 25% increase over last year, according to new research from Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), a web retailing industry association.

The findings reflect research that suggests carbon dioxide emissions from a delivery van are significantly less than from trips made by consumers to bricks-and-mortar stores to make purchases, says Alan McKinnon, director of the Logistics Research Centre at the Heriot-Watt University.

“Ordering goods online and having them delivered to the home can be much more carbon-efficient than travelling to the shops by car or bus to buy them,” he says. “Internet retailing appears, overall, to offer a significant environmental advantage.”

Though U.K. shoppers say they favour making green choices in their shopping activities, they’re not willing to pay a lot more to lessen environmental impact, IMRG says. Nearly 65% of shoppers said they are willing to have their products delivered in a carbon-reduced manner, but nearly three quarters of respondents said they do not want to pay a premium of more than 10 British pounds ($16.28) a year for such a service.

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