Suburban Mall Shopping Creates Four Fold Increase in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

superstores climate change image

Image: Beauvais Consultants

A study from France completed in December 2008 clearly shows the environmental impact that shopping at Hypermarkets in the suburbs can have, especially in regards to driving. The study has been condensed into a 14 page PDF. But as the reports authors say, The result of this lengthy evaluation may be summarised in one sentence:

carbon dioxide emissions are four times stronger when shopping in a suburban hyper-market than when shopping in a local supermarket.

In the non-food sales sector, the targeted surveys indicated that 42% of customers travelled by car when out to make a purchase in the city centre, but this proportion rose to 95% in the ‘burbs.

The study by Beauvais Consultants found that carbon dioxide emissions attributable to final transport for purchasing amounted to 1.1 kg (2.4 lb) of CO2 for 100€ worth of purchases, when the shopping was undertaken at a supermarket in a high density zone. By contrast, Hypermarket purchases in low density zones accounted for 4.7 kg (10.4 lb).

The action indicated by this study point to shopping locally, instead of driving to the megamart in the suburbs, as the greenest option. Not that wasn’t common sense to begin with. But now research backs up your hunch.

::Setting Up Superstores an Climate Change (PDF), via Sustainable Cities

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