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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 11, 2010

British consumers favor eco-friendly online retailers

British consumers want online retailers to reduce their environmental impact to the same degree as high street stores, according to new research by web hosting firm 1&1 Internet.

by Helen Leggatt

The implementation of eco-friendly technologies and using renewable energy could drive customer loyalty and spending, according to 1&1 Internet's research. The survey of around 1,500 British consumers found that a quarter would only purchase items from online retailers who state they operate using renewable energy.

Over half (59%) look for "green" credentials before considering a purchase. Such practices would include using limited and recycled packaging materials and changing delivery and company fleets to eco-friendly vehicles.

"As more of us think about our personal impact on the environment, there has been a surge in demand for greener practices in retail," said Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet, a company that became one of the first big hosting outfits whose data centers' energy usage was offset by renewable, clean energy.

"A significant proportion of British consumers now expect all types of retailer to power their operations with renewable energy, and for online stores that should start with their website. By implementing more eco-friendly technologies such as green-hosting, smart retailers of any size can demonstrate their effort to lower environmental impact and can bolster customer loyalty and spend in doing so."

A study in May last year by 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: e-commerce, eco-friendly, green, online retailers

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