Thanks to ‘Smartdrop’, an intelligent last-mile calculation tool to determine the impact of online parcel deliveries, consumers can choose the most sustainable delivery option. It was developed by the Belgian trade federation Comeos and the Brussels University’s research group VUB Mobilise.
The tool considers several factors associated with online purchases: CO2 emissions, traffic congestion, air quality, noise pollution, accidents, and infrastructure. According to VUB Mobilise’s calculations, approximately one million parcels ordered online are delivered daily in Belgium alone. They account for an estimated annual cost to society of 188 million euros.
The most sustainable delivery option
However, the environmental impact can be reduced by choosing the most sustainable delivery option. This could, for example, be a collection point, the store itself, work, or at home. “Choosing the most sustainable option can reduce the impact on society by 21%,” says Koen Mommens of VUB Mobilise.
Smartdrop tells traders which delivery option between the distribution center and the consumer is the most sustainable, but the final decision lies with the consumer. Comeos expects that the first applications will be available on Belgian webshops at the end of this year. Minister of Post Petra De Sutter allocated money to develop the tool.