Shopping Centers Today International

APR 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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T H E C O M M O N A R E A 8 S C T / A P R I L 2 0 1 6 Shopping in physical stores is greener than buying online, according to an environmental-impact study of shopping habits conducted by Simon with consulting firm Deloitte. In fact, consumers can reduce the impact their shopping has on the environment by as much as 7 percent annually if they cut out the clicks and shop at the bricks, according to research the two firms have compiled. For one thing, the packaging used for delivery of online orders has a greater environmental impact than the shopping bags distributed at stores. Furthermore, about 33 percent of items bought online are returned, burning up a lot of fossil fuel, while only 7 percent of those pur- chased in brick-and-mortar stores are re- turned, the report says. Customers also tend to travel to shop- ping centers in groups, buying larger quantities of items at stores than online, reducing overall fuel consumption per product, according to the report. Four products bought at a mall might produce about 10.2 million grams of car- bon-dioxide equivalent, while those same four products purchased online may produce 10.7 million grams. "Mall shopping has a lower greenhouse gas impact than online shopping," writes Kenneth R. Richards, a professor of envi- ronmental and energy policy at Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, in the report. Physical stores also bring more jobs and tax revenue to communities — creating five times as many jobs as the online shopping side for the same value of sales, according to the report. Simon hired Deloitte to help study the comparative store/online environmental impact — from factory to landfill — of a theoretical basket of products that included women's shoes and apparel, a coffeemaker and wine glasses. "Sustainability is an im- portant consideration for our employees, customers and other key stakeholders," said Mona Benisi, Simon's senior director of sustainability. "In an age when consumers are increasingly demanding same-day or fast delivery, which requires more resources and fuel to fulfill, the negative impact of online shopping is likely to worsen. This study underscores how the choices consumers make when shopping impact the environmental footprint and may influence future behaviors." It's greener to shop in stores: Report '' In an age when consumers are increasingly demanding same-day or fast delivery, the negative impact of online shopping is likely to worsen. '' N E W S F R O M A L L C O R N E R S O F T H E S H O P P I N G C E N T E R I N D U S T RY

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