CO2 emitted in online and offline purchase in Italy 2019, by category

A study conducted in Italy in 2019 reveals that online purchases generally led to a lower amount of carbon dioxide emissions. For instance, the carbon footprint of online shopping of clothing was estimated to amount to 3,3 kilograms of carbon dioxide, 20 percent less emissions than when purchasing in physical stores. More specifically, the source considered the purchase of 1,3 items.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted in online and offline purchase in Italy in 2019, by category

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Release date

December 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The source considered the following scenario:
- the distance travelled by car to reach a physical store for offline purchases amounted to 2 kilometers
- the physical store taken into account is a medium-large store
- for online purchases of clothing, IT and consumer electronics, and books, it has been assumed that the courier delivers 40 parcels in one shift, travelling for 80 kilometers
- for online purchases of grocery, it has been assumed that 12 parcels can be delivered by travelling for 60 kilometers
- the parcels are delivered by diesel vehicles
- the packaging for online purchases is a traditional packaging
- the amount of units considered is the same for both online and offline purchase. In particular, 1,3 items have been counted for purchases of clothing, IT and consumer electronics, and books. For grocery, 65 items have been counted per purchase.

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