bol.com & sustainability

The will to improve comes naturally to us at bol.com. Where we pioneered in 1999 by opening Europe's first online bookshop, we now want to inspire in making e-commerce more sustainable. Bol.com is one of the largest online retail platforms in Belgium and the Netherlands, with a range of 41 million articles, a network of 13 million customers, 2,600 colleagues and 50,000 local entrepreneurs who sell via our platform. We are at the heart of society and have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to it.
Joost Morel
+31 (0)61 85 49 521

Our ambition?
We want to do better every day: from packing and delivering as economically as possible to using 100 percent wind and solar energy in all our buildings. With our sustainable assortment, we want to help customers make a conscious choice and we reduce our CO2 emissions per package as much as possible. By 2022, bol.com will be climate neutral according to the Climate Neutral Certification standard. Together with the international consultancy Climate Neutral Group, bol.com has mapped the CO2 emissions of its processes – from the moment that articles arrive at bol.com in a fulfilment center to the delivery to the customer’s doorstep, and everything in between – and set reduction targets according to the rules and guidelines of the Paris Agreement. The remaining emissions are compensated by bol.com. For the 50,000 sales partners who sell via the platform, bol.com also compensates the operational emissions.

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Logistics & the environment

Together with the delivery companies, we deliver the items that our customers order as efficiently and sustainably as possible. We do this by, for example, using customised packaging machines; omitting the filling material or even the entire cardboard bol.com box when the original packaging of an item is sturdy enough; using electric transport and delivery on foot or by bicycle.

With this, we want to inspire fellow entrepreneurs in e-commerce on the one hand and our sales partners on the other, with whom we exchange knowledge about sustainable packaging and smart logistics. We also offer logistics services to our sales partners, such as ‘Logistics via bol.com’ and ‘Shipping via bol.com’, to make their processes more sustainable. They can make use of our sustainable packaging innovations, efficient deliveries and the bol.com fulfilment center in Waalwijk, which runs entirely on green energy generated by 13,000 solar panels on the roof and the wind turbines next to the building.

In recent years, bol.com has taken more measures to further reduce its own emissions. For example:

Buildings
All our buildings in the Netherlands and Belgium have been powered entirely by wind and solar energy since 2020. An important part of this step is the installation of over 13,000 solar panels by Eneco on the roof of the extension of the bol.com fulfilment center in Waalwijk. The first part of the bol.com fulfilment center already ran entirely on green electricity from wind turbines, which are located right next to the building.

Packaging
Bol.com uses 25 packing machines to pack customer orders as customised as possible. They scan the dimensions of one or more articles together, cut the cardboard to size and fold the box exactly around it. In this way, the air in the boxes is limited, less cardboard is needed and more packages can be loaded in a truck. There are 19 mono-packing machines for single item orders and 6 multi-packing machines for multi-item orders.

The multi-packing machine, which bol.com has been using since 2021, is the first machine worldwide which can pack multiple articles of various sizes in one custom-made box. What is special is that this machine is suitable for almost the entire bol.com range of tens of millions of articles.

We send millions of parcels without a box: if the original packaging of an article is sturdy enough, we do not add an extra bol.com box, thus saving cardboard and space in delivery vans.

All our cardboard boxes will be climate-neutral certified by the Climate Neutral Standard from 2022. This means that the energy of production by Janssen Packaging’s packaging supplier, the impact of materials such as cardboard, glue and plastic, and the distribution are included in the calculation. In the coming years, the emissions from the packaging will be further reduced and, in the meantime, the residual emissions are already being compensated.

Because we pack so well to size, we send 75 per cent of packages without padding. And when padding is necessary to protect an item, it is made from 100 per cent recycled material.

Delivery
We are working with delivery companies to make our deliveries more sustainable. For example, 17 percent of our packages are delivered by bicycle or on foot and customers can pick up their package at one of the thousands of bol.com pick-up points at shops such as Albert Heijn and Delhaize in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The upcoming cooperation with bicycle courier Cycloon, in which bol.com acquires a majority stake in Cycloon, ensures that we can deliver more parcels by bicycle.

Read more about Logistics & the environment (dutch website)
100% green energy
to power all our buildings in the Netherlands and Belgium
millions of parcels
vwere sent without a cardboard box
Shop & assortment

Within our wide range, it is important that customers can make well-informed choices. This includes information about the origin of products, the production process and the environmental impact.

We want to optimally support customers in making sustainable choices when shopping. That is why we label sustainable items using independent sustainability labels. The sustainability labels on the sustainable items give you more insight into why the item is a sustainable choice. For example, an item that is fair trade or organic, or made by social entrepreneurs.

Read more about Shop & product range (dutch website)
millions of items
have a sustainability label