Fuel Smarts

Survey Shows Majority of Public Cares About “Green Shipping"

May 15, 2014

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The American public cares more about how their products are delivered to them they you may have though, at least in one sector of the shipping business.

More than half are willing to pay at least 5% higher prices for products ordered online if they’re delivered sustainably and 76% would wait at least one extra day for climate-friendly transport, according to a new study by business and technology consulting firm, West Monroe Partners.

“The modern consumer is paying more than lip service to environmentally-conscious decisions these days, and plenty are willing to put their money and patience where their mouths are,” said Yves Leclerc, managing director and leader of West Monroe Partners’ supply chain practice. “Given the dominance of ecommerce and trends such as same and next-day delivery, order fulfillment’s impact on the environment is a significant one. Consumers are willing to sacrifice for products delivered in ways that don’t yield damaging greenhouse gas emissions – they just need to be aware of these alternative delivery models first.”

In its Need for Green or Need for Speed study, more than 600 U.S. consumers were surveyed to determine what compromises they’d be willing to make for more sustainable delivery of products purchased online.

Highlights from the study include:

  • 12% of US consumers would pay up to 10% more for sustainable delivery.
  • Annual income was not an influential factor in consumers’ willingness to pay more for sustainable delivery. In fact, respondents who earn over $100,000 a year were slightly less likely to accept higher prices for climate-friendly transport.
  • Similarly, age had only a minor impact on attitudes toward sustainability, with 18-25 year olds slightly less likely to pay more for climate-friendly transport compared to 26-35 year olds.

However, the study does show that, if knowledgeable about the options available to them, many consumers would make at least minor concessions for more sustainable delivery.

Management and technology consultancy BearingPoint conducted the same study in Europe and found consumers there are more aware of green delivery options than those in the U.S.

Of the 1,000 European respondents BearingPoint surveyed, nearly half were aware of climate-friendly shipping alternatives and one in five has already used them. Almost 60% were willing to pay more for green shipping and 76% were willing to wait up to three days longer for sustainable delivery.

“E-commerce organizations therefore should consider new ways to promote delivery alternatives to please both consumers and shareholders,” said West Monroe Partners. “Firms should build sustainable processes into their supply chains and use tools to track and report on progress.”

 

 

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