Online shopping habits and the potential for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions from passenger transport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Opportunities for online shopping are transforming travel behaviour related to shopping, and they have the potential to reduce overall travel demands. This paper analyses the potential for reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from passenger transport due to an increased use of online shopping in Sweden and adds to the broader picture of what potential growing online shopping might have on transport sustainability. This paper shows that there is a sustainability potential related to more sustainable travel habits by those who shop online more frequently. Calculations indicate that the predicted increase in online shopping behaviour together with the predicted increase of the Swedish population in 2030 would give a 22% decrease in CO2 emissions related to shopping trips compared to 2012. Furthermore, if all travel is taken into account this would result in a 2% reduction in 2030 compared to total CO2 emissions 2012. The paper furthermore discusses how these results might influence transport sustainability ambitions and policies. The discussion suggests that online shopping might facilitate reductions in CO2 emissions but above all, it could act as a facilitator for implementing other policies promoting a less car dependent planning regime including shopping localisation.


External organisations
  • Trivector
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Transport Systems and Logistics


  • Modal split, Online shopping, Transport policy, Travel behaviour
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-169
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sep 10
Publication categoryResearch