It all comes down to sustainable delivery according to researchers from the Centre for Retail Research who presented research on sustainable ecommerce at Lund University's Sustainability Conference
Today Lund University held its second interdisciplinary sustainability conference. 130 scientists from a variety of disciplines gathered to share knowledge and discuss work in progress. “Listen to the science” has become a common rallying cry for researchers working within sustainability but the conference’s keynote address—by Julia Leventon—focused on why just listening to the science is not enough. Leventon highlighted the tiny percentage of sustainability research funding that is allocated to social science research and suggested that this is one of the reasons why the science is not (yet) telling us how to change our social and economic systems so that we are able to live more sustainably.
Several researchers from the Centre for Retail Research attended the conference. Daniel Hellström, deputy director for the Centre, Klas Hjort, and John Olsson presented a paper on sustainable ecommerce in which they highlighted the needs for a system acupuncture approach to deliver systemic change when it comes to complex problems such as sustainability. System acupuncture helps researchers to identify the key measures that will have the most impact on the entire system.
Hellström, Hjort and Olsson's research concerns how to make ecommerce more sustainable. In order to get a clear picture of needs, anchored in user perspectives, they consulted with ecommerce practitioners from industry and public authorities in a series of workshops. The study identifies eight key areas for change to achieve sustainable e-commerce and highlights the need for a consumer-centric approach. They conclude that sustainable delivery is the key to more sustainable ecommerce. "I predict that Swedish package delivery will be largely fossil-free within the next 12 months," said Hellström during his presentation. "E-retailers are demanding it because they know that consumers want it and the delivery experiences is key."