Publications

- February 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 2

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Logistics real estate and e-commerce create sustainability advantages

by Andrea Zander

Sustainability has long been a focus of the logistics real estate industry, primarily expressed through building design and energy efficiency. With the significant growth of e-commerce and its outsized contribution to logistics demand, it is prudent to evaluate sustainability with this new and growing use in mind, according to a report from Prologis.

E-commerce is improving the sustainability of retail, according to careful academic studies that measure end-to-end environmental impacts. The key to greater sustainability in retail is reducing the transportation impact — the largest source of emissions for the United States as a whole. Here, e-commerce is substantially more efficient. By consolidating goods transportation into trucks and vans making several deliveries on a circular route, rather than individual point-to-point trips by consumer vehicles, the carbon footprint of transportation falls by more than 50 percent as measured by kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent.

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