To determine the carbon footprint to deliver an Amazon food order that was recently placed.
Results of Initial Research
In the initial hour of research, we first looked for calculators that would make the calculations easier, but none encompassed the total greenhouse emissions. At that point research pivoted to locate the emissions of different aspects of the journey from farm to home. The average delivery emissions were located, then research focused on the grocery list. The emissions were located for bread, beef, and lamb. Time did not allow to finish the calculations for the rest of the list.
Amazon stated that their "scientists developed a model to compare the carbon intensity of ordering Whole Foods Market groceries online versus driving to your nearest Whole Foods Market store. The studyfound that, averaged across all basket sizes, online grocery deliveries generate 43% lower carbon emissions per item compared to shopping in stores. Smaller basket sizes generate even greater carbon savings.”
The EPA also studied grocery delivery and came up with multiple scenarios. If all customers would select that they did not want them immediately then it would reduce the carbon footprint. If the majority of customers pick a delivery time, then this could actually increase the carbon footprint because fewer orders could be grouped together.
Transportation and logistics associated with the last mile are a pretty small overall contribution to the total environmental impact of food. The last mile is a phrase used for getting the food from the store to the home.
Keeping this in mind, and not knowing the details of the delivery, this research will have to use averages on the actual delivery. In a sustainability study it was discovered that a food delivery would lead
to emissions of 181 g CO2 per delivery, on average.
The next step in figuring out the carbon footprint is to figure out the carbon foot print of each item.