With e-commerce setting records during the 2020 holiday season and package deliveries forecast to grow by 80 percent over the next decade, a new study by the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab reveals the tangible environmental benefits of online shopping.

Driven by the stay-at-home economy, online retailing surged and remained at peak levels throughout 2020. Early estimates suggest U.S. online sales grew by upwards of 50 percent (y/y) in 2020’s expanded holiday shopping season, with similar trajectories in other major e-commerce markets including China, Europe, Japan and elsewhere.

Using average emissions results from the MIT study, the share shift to e-commerce resulted in approximately 2.4 percent fewer emissions per package.

The structural change urban fulfilment centers to direct-to-home delivery can even further decrease emissions.

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