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Doddle has warned that consumers should be wary of the carbon intensity of increased delivery services throughout November and December, with around 41,500 vans needed to deliver parcels to homes during these months.

Analysis from the company has revealed that switching to a “click and collect” service would reduce the amount of delivery vans on the road by 78% – essentially removing 32,369 vans from the roads every day.

Doddle’s chief executive Tim Robinson said: “Click and collect is to delivery, what Tesla is to driving. Consumers choosing to click and collect their Christmas orders are choosing the carbon light delivery option that will help the UK remove more delivery vans off our roads than any other initiative. We’re looking forward to doing our part to make 2016 the greenest Christmas yet.”

Using information taken from the US Environmental Information Administration, the firm notes that each delivery van will emit 125kg of CO2, on average, each shift during the next months in order to deliver around 260 million packages.

But switching to a click and collect service such as Doddle’s would not only clear the majority of vans off of the road, but would cut carbon emissions equivalent to planting 12.8 million Christmas trees over the festive period. Based on Doddle’s calculations, it takes 15 minutes to deliver four parcels to individual homes, the same time it takes to deliver 50 parcels to one of Doddle’s parcel consolidation points.

Sharing economy

With traditional parcel delivery accounting for a large carbon footprint, the concept of a sharing economy can help drive down the amount of delivery vehicles on roads in order to reduce emissions

Sharing economy solutions have surfaced around the UK recently including the arrival of Norwegian delivery service Nimber last year. The service utilises a community of ‘senders’ and ‘bringers’ to deliver items as part of a commute or regular journey.

Nimber has also partnered with classifieds marketplace Friday-Ad, making use of the public to deliver packages as part of their planned journeys, negating the need for delivery trucks or lorries and significantly reducing carbon emissions.

LISTEN: Doddle deliveries and zero-waste restaurants

In an exclusive interview for edie’s Sustainable Business Covered podcast, Doddle’s chief customer officer Paddy Earnshaw outlined the company’s localised sharing economy project, Doddle Neighbour.

“People are finding that members of their community are finding ways of to get them to take their parcels in for them and it struck us as odd that there was currently no way businesses were harnessing this,” Earnshaw says. “So we asked the question ‘are you the person on your street who seems to collect parcels for everyone else?’, if that’s the case maybe it’s time you were paid to do so.

“Doddle Neighbour was born off the back of this idea. Doddle stores serve as a hub location, off that hub location there are a series of members who can collect parcels from the store and deliver them to their community.”

Alex Baldwin

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