German and Swedish shops share most sustainability info
Just about 30 percent of European online retailers offer information on sustainability, human rights and animal welfare. German, French and Swedish shops offer the most insight into their activities. International sellers and marketplaces also score higher than national retailers.
The Centre for Market Insights in Amsterdam examined over 800 leading online retailers in 27 EU-countries in 2021 and 2022. The researchers looked at the websites of around 30 shops per country. Sellers that provided information on Corporate Social Responsibility, such as sustainability and labor conditions, were questioned further on their activities.
Only 36% of shops share social conditions
The majority of European online stores do not offer information on societal or environmental conditions: only 36 percent of retailers suffice. Retailers communicate the most on sustainability (82 percent), followed by human rights (62 percent) and working conditions (49 percent). Topics like anti-corruption (5 percent), circularity (11 percent) and animal welfare (30 percent) are rarely disclosed.
Sellers from Germany (70 percent), Sweden (60 percent) and France (57 percent) offer the most information. Stores in Lithuania and Malta (10 percent) as well as Latvia and Cyprus (7 percent) are at the bottom of the list.
90% sells at least one sustainable product
Although the majority has at least one environmentally conscious product (92 percent), only 1 percent has a fully sustainable product range. Most stores also have a sustainable product filter on their website, namely 81 percent.
Only 4% of shops disclose Co2-emissions for delivery options.
Only a mere 4 percent of European shops disclose Co2-emissions for different delivery options. This is surprising, since Dutch ecommerce advocate Thuiswinkel found this pushes more customers to choose the green option.
“Shops have a long way to go”
There is still a lot of work to do, researchers Jesse Weltevreden and Sjoukje Goldman write. The majority of shops do not communicate on sustainability and social responsibility. However, over 50 percent of customers prefer the environmentally friendly option when shopping, their previous research concluded.
Over 50% of customers prefer the environmentally friendly option.
“In the field of sustainable packaging and logistics, shops have a long way to go. For the environment even more can be gained from the product range. If more than 1 percent transfers to a fully or partly green assortment, we can really make a difference.”