Study: Online shopping is better for environment

Pittsburgh A new study by Carnegie Mellon University's Green Design Institute found that shopping online via's e-commerce model reduces environmental impact with 35% less energy consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions than what is produced in the traditional retail-shopping model.

Using data provided by, and building on previous Green Design Institute studies, Carnegie Mellon researchers compared the energy use and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with delivering a flash drive from a manufacturer to a home via the traditional retail channel and's e-commerce channel.

Considering retail and e-commerce logistic differences, the largest contributors to energy consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions were from customer transport for traditional retail, and packaging and last mile delivery to customer homes for e-commerce. Approximately 65% of total emissions generated by the traditional retail model stemmed from customer transport to and from retail stores.

"This study solidifies that online shopping is another avenue they can embrace to help lower their carbon footprint and energy consumption,” said Neel Grover, CEO and president of

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