Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working from home and online shopping can increase carbon emissions, UK report claims

Date:
September 22, 2010
Source:
Newcastle University
Summary:
Shopping on the Internet or working from home could be increasing carbon emissions rather than helping to reduce them, a new report claims. The research reveals that people who shop online must order more than 25 items otherwise the impact on the environment is likely to be worse than traditional shopping.

Shopping on the Internet or working from home could be increasing carbon emissions rather than helping to reduce them, a new report claims. The research reveals that people who shop online must order more than 25 items otherwise the impact on the environment is likely to be worse than traditional shopping.

It also highlights that working from home can increase home energy use by as much as 30 per cent, and can lead to people moving further from the workplace, stretching urban sprawl and increasing pollution.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) report looks at the 'rebound' effects of activities that are commonly thought to be green. Rebound effects are the unintended consequences of policies that are designed to reduce emissions, but on closer analysis can move the emission's production elsewhere or lessen the positive impact.

Professor Phil Blythe, Chair of the IET Transport Policy Panel and Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University, which produced the report, said: "We hear a lot about the environmental benefits achieved as a result of working from home. However, on closer inspection it does appear that any environmental benefits are marginal."

The report highlights that buying goods online can provide carbon savings, but only if the conditions are right. The study found that environmental savings can be achieved if online shopping replaces 3.5 traditional shopping trips, or if 25 orders are delivered at the same time, or, if the distance travelled to where the purchase is made is more than 50km.

Shopping online does not offer net environmental benefits unless these criteria are met. The report also highlights that the top 20 per cent of British households spend almost nine times as much on transport costs (such as air travel) as the bottom 20 per cent.

Professor Phil Blythe says: "Our report highlights two important messages for policy makers. Firstly, climate change is a real threat to our planet, so we must not get overwhelmed by the task and use rebound effects as an excuse not to act.

"Secondly, policy makers must do their homework to ensure that rebound effects do not negate the positive benefits of their policy initiatives and simply move carbon emissions from one sector to another."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Newcastle University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Newcastle University. "Working from home and online shopping can increase carbon emissions, UK report claims." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921085524.htm>.
Newcastle University. (2010, September 22). Working from home and online shopping can increase carbon emissions, UK report claims. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921085524.htm
Newcastle University. "Working from home and online shopping can increase carbon emissions, UK report claims." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100921085524.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

Seismic Activity Halts Recovery at Japan Volcano

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) Rescuers were forced to suspend plans to recover at least two dozen bodies from near the summit of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Tuesday after increased seismic activity raised concern about the possibility of another eruption. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Dolphins Might Use Earth's Magnetic Field As A GPS

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) A study released Monday suggests dolphins might be able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and possibly use it as a means of navigation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How To Battle Stink Bug Season

How To Battle Stink Bug Season

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) Homeowners in 33 states grapple with stink bugs moving indoors at this time of year. Here are a few tips to avoid stink bug infestations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins