The Government has become dependent on ever-increasing business rates, claims the home delivery expert ParcelHero. Its new study, ‘Which is Greenest? Home deliveries or traditional shopping?’ reveals that Britain has the highest business rates in Europe, higher than those of France and Germany combined.
But ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, says a new Government committee’s proposed solution, the introduction of green taxes on home deliveries to subsidise a cut in soaring business rates, is based on ‘fake news’.
Says David: ‘Our new study reveals the whole premise of the argument that home deliveries are bad for the environment, and should be hit by a so-called green tax, is highly debatable. In fact, there is strong evidence that, far from being less green, home deliveries are significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional visits to the High Street.’
The Government’s new Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee report high streets and town centres in 2030, proposes an online sales tax and ‘green taxes’ on deliveries and packaging. It says the money raised from such a tax could then be spent on a future high street fund and a reduction in business rates. Currently half of all business rate income goes directly to local authorities, and half to central government, to be redistributed to councils through revenue support grants.
Explains David: ‘Our findings strongly disagree with the claim that a ‘green’ tax on deliveries is a fair way to subsidise a cut in rates. In fact, a number of major studies in recent years have found home deliveries create far less CO2 emissions and congestion than shoppers traveling to town centres by car.’
David says: ‘The definitive 2009 academic report ‘Carbon Auditing the “Last Mile”’ concluded that successful first-time home deliveries of non-food products generate significantly less grammes of CO2 per kilometre than a dedicated car shopping trip. The paper found that a typical urban shop by car generates 1,069 grammes of CO2 per km per item, and a dedicated car trip for a specific item 4,274 grammes of CO2 per km.
‘In contrast a successful first-time final mile home delivery creates just 181 grammes of CO2 per km per parcel. Astonishingly, the research found that a customer shopping by car would have to buy 24 non-food items to reduce their equivalent emissions to those of a home delivery.’
Adds David: ‘In fact, the paper also revealed that home deliveries even generate significantly less CO2 than shopping by bus.’
David acknowledges: ‘It’s true that since 2009, we have all become more aware that CO2 is not the only key measure of pollution that impacts on urban areas. We now know earlier diesel engines produced higher levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and diesel particulates. That’s why our study found the latest Euro 6 diesel delivery vans have now cut NOx by 55% and slashed emissions of Sulphur oxide, Carbon monoxide, Hydrocarbon and diesel particulates. In contrast the NOx limit for petrol engines in cars has not been altered from Euro 5 standards’
Even so, many home delivery companies are already starting the move to ditch diesel entirely in order to retain their green crown. David says: ‘ We are already seeing the mass introduction of vehicles such as Banbury-based Arrival’s electric vans. Most leading UK couriers are currently trialling electric vehicles in urban areas, whilst some are also operating hydrogen powered vans. A number of major retailers are even trialling Biogas powered vehicles: a renewable resource derived from food waste. B&Q, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos are among many already using the fuel.’
Concludes David: ‘The Government surely cannot believe shoppers are this ‘green’ about green issues. Consumers will rightly see a new green tax on home deliveries as an unconvincing excuse to fund business rate reductions by making shoppers pay taxes twice.’
To discover more details about the latest research into home deliveries’ carbon footprint, and the potential impact of a new green tax on home deliveries, read the full ParcelHero study at: http://www.parcelhero.com/research/green-tax-home-delivery