The Vietnam E-commerce Index 2023 report highlights that the online retail sector has two main stages that negatively affect the environment, including delivery related to the carbon emissions of vehicles, and the packaging of goods that use nylon bags, bubble wrap, and plastic items.
Thus, experts are advocating for a change in the e-commerce industry towards rapid development coupled with sustainable green technology, aiming to mitigate emissions.
Numerous creative solutions have been implemented in the past to facilitate the greening of e-commerce, aligning with the goals of net zero and plastic waste reduction.
Nguyen Thanh Hung, representing the Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM), said that policies on digital economy and e-commerce still focus on solutions for swift development. Thus, it is necessary to have those to develop the digital economy and e-commerce in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
The development of e-commerce will yield useful tools to contribute to environmental protection, through the online trading of products and services linked with waste collection and recycling, he said, emphasizing the need to further promote the adoption of the circular economy within production and optimize logistics activities.
Enterprises and organizations can contribute by trading carbon credits on both national and global levels, he added.
According to the Vietnam Logistics Report, logistics constitute a large proportion of the total cost at retail enterprises, ranging from 10%-20%. Withing these logistics costs, transportation makes up the biggest proportion, with 60%-80%. Therefore, optimizing transportation costs not only aids businesses in cost reduction, but also plays a pivotal role in significantly curbing emissions.
Lai Viet Anh, Deputy Director of the Department of E-commerce and Digital Economy under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, affirmed that as green consumption becomes a trend, e-commerce must also undergo transformation. Users tend to stop purchasing products and using services that have adverse impact on the environment and society.
In fact, the amount of waste when shopping online is seven times higher compared to in-store shopping. Statistics from Shorr Packaging Corp show that about 86% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from retailers who provide sustainable packaging, and 77% expect more brands to provide 100% sustainable packaging in the future, Anh cited.
To ease the environmental impact of e-commerce, she suggested the sales stage should use eco-friendly means of delivery, build smart logistics, and optimize delivery. In addition, the packaging stage should promote the use of recycled packaging and reduce the amount of packaging at all phases.