nline shoppers should change their habits to improve sustainability as the e-commerce boom is set to become unmanageable in London, a new report has warned.
The think tank on Tuesday urged Sadiq Khan to work with delivery companies to install up to 10,000 parcel pick-up points or lockers across London and encourage customers not to opt for home delivery.
One recommendation in the report is to introduce an online sales tax for home delivery to encourage businesses and customers to get the most out of pick-up or drop-off locations.
Vehicles carrying freight account for 25 per cent of London’s CO2 emissions from transport, despite accounting for only 15 per cent of the kilometers traveled, but the Center for London has warned that this could increase as the number of packages delivered in London is expected to double in 2030.
Nicolas Bosetti, Head of Data and Insights at the Center for London, said: “Londoners like the convenience of doorstep deliveries, but the way we currently move most of our goods is associated with high costs for our health, climate and for the companies and workers who need to use our roads to get around.
“Many delivery companies already have plans to make their journeys more sustainable, but we need to encourage them to deliver to and from fewer places and support more of them to switch to cleaner vehicles. This means making room for pick-up points, consolidation centers and charging points for electric cars. “
The report has recommended that 90 per cent of London’s residents should be within 250 meters of a universal pick-up or drop-off point by 2025, as they would allow businesses to deliver more packages at once to fewer locations, reducing traffic and thus emissions.
As more people across the UK have turned to home deliveries since the start of the pandemic, the number of delivery vehicles on the roads has also increased.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, registrations of new diesel vans increased by 82 percent nationwide, while registrations of new petrol cars doubled.
Kate Langford, program director for the non-profit organization Impact on Urban Health’s “Effects of Air Pollution” program, said the growing number of polluting vehicles and travel in London was “particularly worrying”.
Ms Langford said: “We have an urgent need to design systems that control the increase in deliveries and online shopping and reduce car traffic on the roads. Residents need to be involved in the design of these new systems to ensure they protect people’s health and work for all. ”
Earlier this year, Sadiq Khan addressed the issue of increasing delivery to the home at a meeting of the London Assembly following the publication of a report on the potential of electric cargo bikes.
Khan said: “Transport for London is working with the freight industry to reduce the negative effects of freight traffic. As part of my Civic Innovation Fund, TfL’s FreightLab project is testing approaches to implementing green last mile delivery concepts, including cargo bikes. TfL has also worked on several Business Improvement Districts to fund trials of cargo bike schemes. “
The mayor of London told parishioners that a cargo delivery scheme in Hammersmith registered 125 companies and made over 3,600 deliveries, which is estimated to have saved around 788 kg of CO2 emissions.