Sustainability in returns : Analysis into the e-commerce market and proposal of a framework to improve environmental performance

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Hållbar utveckling, miljövetenskap och teknik

Författare: Lucas Cornelis Veldkamp; [2020]

Nyckelord: ;

Sammanfattning: The e-commerce sector has seen exponential growth in the recent years, and will continue this trend in the years to come. Not only has the overall volume of sales (in SEK) increased, certain sectors have seen an increase in the return rates. This combi- nation leads to a significant increase in both the environmental and financial impact of these returns, as they have become a substantial part of day to day operations for these businesses. The industry in the Nordics has been analyzed in order to set up a framework that can tackle the environmental impact of the returns in the e-commerce sector. The analysis has been based on semi-structured interviews with selected merchants in the industry, and the data of the interviews has been supplemented with quantitative data from a survey. The analysis has led to certain common pain points in the industry. These form the backbone of the framework, which will be thoroughly discussed and analyzed in the discussion. Important points of the framework, and therefor the discussion, are related to general consumer behavior. This has lead to a discussion which entails the general aspect of consumer behavior, rather than a discussion purely limited to the returning aspect. After the discussion it has been concluded that there is most definitely place for improvement and that the framework can assist in this aspect, albeit in a limited manner. It can also be said that purely looking at reducing the environmental impact of returns has limitations, and that a more useful approach would be to investigate both the sector and the consumer behavior as a whole. It is necessary to reduce the environmental impact of the sector, and as the majority of impacts in the sector come from production or waste management, the real changes should occur there, and not necessarily in the returning phase. Finally, the role of Klarna is raised and how the company is in an influential position to address the issues in the sector.

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