Sustainable shopping deliveries

Lockers at Tube station car park

There are many things we can do to change the way we shop to help make our city greener and more sustainable. 

😲 In 2021 there were 156 million failed deliveries (Source: IMRG, 2021). For each missed delivery, the carbon footprint per order can be increased by up to 75% because of additional trips needed to complete the order. (Source: Edwards & McKinnon, 2009)

🥲 An average of 22% of orders are returned, with most returns being clothing. Each return adds on extra delivery miles. (Source: IMRG, 2020)

🚚 Same-day deliveries can also have a greater impact on traffic and emissions than standard delivery. This is because often, faster deliveries are unable to be combined as efficiently as standard deliveries. Same-day deliveries can cause an impact on the environment 30 times greater than next-day deliveries. (Source: Allen at al 2018)

Next time you’re shopping, consider what you can do to help reduce the number of failed deliveries and schedule deliveries more sustainably. 👏🏻

How to reduce your carbon footprint

There are many options that can help you reduce your carbon footprint while shopping: 

  • Reduce the number of failed deliveries by making sure you are around to meet your order. Alternatively, make use of collection points in shops or parcel lockers 
  • Choose eco-friendly delivery options which are often offered by retailers, such as eco-friendly delivery slots 
  • Consider if you really need next-day or same-day delivery
  • Reduce the number of items you return if you can 
  • If shopping or returning items in person, walk, cycle or use public transport to complete your journey

Lockers on our network with InPost and Amazon

Where you can, making use of collection points in shops or parcel lockers can help ensure you don’t miss your delivery. This means you can collect at your convenience. If everyone used click-and-collect lockers, it could lead to up to an 80% reduction in delivery vehicles on the street. (Source: Doddle, quoted by CILT, 2019)

Getting your order at a collection point or parcel locker may also be a cheaper option. 

We’re working with Amazon and InPost to increase the availability of locker options. We have parcel lockers at more than 50 locations across our network. 👌🏻 

🔎 Find an InPost or Amazon locker 

Comment from our partners at InPost

At InPost, we’re committed to improving delivery convenience for today’s busy consumers. With many Londoners working mixed working schedules post-pandemic, allocating days to stay at home to receive parcels, or finding the time to queue over lunch breaks to return items, often just isn’t practical, and can be a real cause of frustration. Thankfully, our lockers put an end to this. 

We have a longstanding relationship with TfL, and our lockers at TfL’s car parks close to tube and rail stations means that these locations can act as hubs of the local communities – providing commuters with convenient ways to send and receive parcels as part of their daily journeys. 

As a business, we have a clear roadmap towards net zero targets by 2040 and are focused on contributing to positive environmental change and climate-neutral cities.

Michael Rouse

CEO at InPost International

Q&A with Gordana Hauselmaier, Commercial Asset Manager

Why introduce lockers at Tube stations

We love London, we love our customers, and we love our environment. E-commerce is increasing year-on-year and we want to help meet this demand by providing sustainable e-commerce solutions.

When were lockers first introduced on the TfL estate

The first lockers were rolled out back in 2014 at Victoria Coach Station and Buckhurst Hill station. Since 2014 we have increased the number of installations, reflecting the growth of e-commerce over the years, especially from 2020 and 2021. Now we have lockers at over 50 locations across our transport network.

What has the reaction from customers been

Customers love it. We have received lots of positive feedback from customers citing convenience, safety, and fantastic service, especially as there’s no need for queueing or to print labels! 

What do you see as the future of lockers

We want to continue supporting sustainable solutions and build volume across London and our estate. This will provide convenience to customers as well as help us reduce congestion caused by home deliveries on our roads, therefore, improving London’s air quality. In the future, we would like to roll out lockers across our estate, so they are within 10 minutes walking distance of every Londoner.

Portrait of a woman

How employers can help make shopping more sustainable

We have a new Sustainable Shopping toolkit. Employers can use this to help employees choose greener delivery options for their online shopping. 

Employers can help reduce congestion and improve air quality in London by promoting sustainable online shopping choices to their employees, such as:

  • Limiting the number of returns they make 
  • Using click and collect points to avoid missing deliveries
  • Ordering next-day deliveries only if really needed

Visiting shops 

If you’re shopping or returning items in person, walk, cycle or use public transport to complete your journey.  

Our network serves many popular shopping areas. Check your journey and keep informed through our free app TfL Go.  

If shopping in the West End, our West End walking map will help you to check which attractions and areas that are near each other.

Get involved and help others become more sustainable shoppers

Share your sustainability tips in the comments below. ♻️

Share your thoughts