A Study of Companies' Business Responses to Apparel E-commerce's Environmental Impact

Date
2016-11-09
Authors
Bertram, Rose
Chi, Ting
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Abstract

E-commerce is an innovation in the retail industry that has grown exponentially since it first began, and continues to expand its influence and capabilities globally. The effects of e-commerce on the environment are complicated and can be difficult to measure, because it reduces emissions in some areas yet increases emissions in other areas. Although the environmental effects of e-commerce have drawn attention in recent years, our understanding on this issue is still limited. Using a content analysis based qualitative method, this research analyzed prior studies regarding e-commerce with a focus on the main elements of the supply chain where e-tailing and traditional retailing differ. These four areas analyzed are packaging, transportation, returns, and disposal. The exemplary companies' business responses to apparel e-commerce's environmental impact in these four areas were discussed. The findings imply that there are ways that companies can continue to improve their sustainability.

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