According to a 2008 study by Carnegie Mellon’s Green Design Institute, e-commerce purchases use approximately 30% less energy than purchases from brick-and-mortar retailers. This information bodes well for online retailers like PlanetRx. The study names customer transportation to and from the store as the main reason that e-commerce is more energy efficient. Even though delivery trucks use more gas per mile, UPS stated that it uses 0.117 gallons of gas per packaged delivered. This figure is much smaller than the average 0.636 gallons of gas that consumers use on a trip to buy a product at a store.
Since the study was published, the equations used have changed for the better. Those changes have made e-commerce even more energy efficient than shopping at a brick-and-mortar store. The increased efficiency of e-commerce can be attributed to online retailers opting to use airfreight less often, as well as using more recycling options for packaging. At the same time, a decrease in the energy efficiency of brick-and-mortar shopping has occurred due to store closings, meaning that consumers often have to drive further to alternate locations. These results indicate that consumers who are interested in controlling their environmental impact should shop with online retailers like PlanetRx.