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Online shopping this Black Friday is expected to break records but at what cost to the environment? The personal finance experts at have investigated how much CO2 could be produced by the millions of packages set to be delivered across the country.

The Dirty Delivery Report, analyses the environmental credentials of the top delivery firms, the number of packages they are predicted to deliver, and the carbon produced by each delivery.

After crunching numbers the experts predict that, with sales estimated to rise by at least 14% vs last year***, Black Friday 2020 could be responsible for 429,000 tonnes of carbon emissions; equivalent to 435 return flights from London to New York.

How the big five delivery companies contribute to carbon creation:

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One of the UK’s largest delivery companies, Hermes, is predicted to produce the most carbon emissions this Black Friday. The company delivered 13.9 million parcels in 2019 which is estimated to have resulted in 51,152 tonnes of carbon being produced.

Assuming the estimated rise in online Black Friday transactions this year, and that the average parcel is delivered, it is predicted that 58,313 tonnes of carbon will be emitted by Hermes delivering parcels to households across the UK.

Dirty Deliveries – how carbon-conscious are the UK’s delivery companies?

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Of the 12 delivery companies included in the report, Royal Mail was identified as the most carbon-conscious delivery company, scoring 54.5 out of 60. The company has the largest ‘feet on the street’ network of 90,000 postal workers, and they have reduced carbon emissions by 29% since 2005. The company has recently invested in a 295 strong fleet of electric vehicles.

Amazon takes the top spot for the number of click and collect parcel locations in the UK with around 16,000. Not only do these click and collect locations and lockers help the environment by preventing numerous home deliveries, but they also serve to drive much-needed footfall into local business.

The company has also invested heavily in electric vehicles with 1,800**** vehicles from Mercedes-Benz to be added to its delivery fleet in Europe this year.

Eco-friendly shopping habits of UK consumers

Just one in 10 shoppers (11.7%) factor carbon-friendly delivery into their online shopping decision, but almost three quarters (72%) admit preferring retailers who offer free delivery; the least eco-friendly option.

One in five (20%) said they would refuse to pay extra to offset the carbon generation by their purchase, compared to 17% who would pay up to £2 to do so.

Age plays a part in eco-shopping decision making. 16-24-year-olds are twice as likely (16%) to opt for a green delivery option, compared to the 55+ age group (8%).