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BizReport : Research archives : March 26, 2009

Consumers want virtual stores' operations to be 'green'

For some, online shopping is the epitome of "green" - no drive to the mall, no big power-guzzling store - but behind the scenes there are data centers, warehouses, distribution networks and packaging manufacturers, and these operations are coming under increasing consumer scrutiny.

by Helen Leggatt

Recent research from web hosting firm 1&1 Internet Inc. revealed that consumers now expect online stores to run more green, environmentally-friendly operations. For some of the 543 U.S. adults surveyed, the green factor played a big role in their decision making process. In fact, 60% said they had previously been persuaded to purchase from an online store that had portrayed itself as a green operation.

Over three-quarters said that an online store's environmental practices are important to them, and the majority agreed that businesses across the board should take more responsibility for their environmental impact.

Last year, 1&1 Internet Inc. became one of the first big hosting companies whose data centers' energy usage was offset by renewable, clean energy.

A recent study from The Green Design Unit at Carnegie Mellon University demonstrated that shopping online had less environmental impact than a bricks-and-mortar. By studying's e-commerce model, they found the online shopping operation created far less CO2 emissions and used less energy.

Tags: 1&1 Internet Inc., clean energy, CO2 emissions, e-commerce, environmentally friendly, green, Green Design Unit, online shopping

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