Six episodes about the challenges and opportunities for a greener chain
What is more sustainable: buying headphones in a physical shop or ordering online? In bol.com’s new six-part ECO-merce podcast series, presenter Frank Kromer goes looking for the answer to this question. In each episode, he talks to independent experts, scientists and various players in e-commerce about a specific part of the chain: from manufacturing the items to delivering them to the customer. The podcast shows where the sector currently stands, where the challenges lie and what opportunities there are to make e-commerce a sustainable system. Starting today, a new episode will be available every week for the next six weeks via Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google podcasts and Deezer.
The Dutch are shopping more often and buying more online. And especially in the run-up to the December celebrations. But is it smart to buy online, what’s the impact on our climate? In the first episode of the ECO-merce podcast series, Kromer examines the current world of e-commerce and ongoing developments. In each episode, he examines one part of the chain in detail. He starts with the ordering and returns process, followed by delivery, packaging and warehousing. The podcast concludes by looking to the future: how can the sector improve? And what role do online shops and consumers play in this?
Jori Ebskamp, Sustainability Manager at bol.com: “With this new podcast, we want to present an honest picture of where we stand as a sector, what difficulties we encounter and where the opportunities lie for making e-commerce more sustainable. Listeners gain insight into the environmental impact of the various parts of the shopping process. If we, as bol.com, want to achieve our ambition of reducing our direct footprint to 0 grams of CO2 emissions per parcel we dispatch by 2025, we will have to continue exploring how we can do things better, from smarter packaging to greener delivery.”
Scientists and experts
In each episode, independent experts and scientists share their expertise and vision about how e-commerce can become more sustainable. Jesse Weltevreden, Professor of Digital Commerce, and Walther Ploos van Amstel, Professor of City Logistics talk about parcel delivery in city logistics and what can be done to make it more sustainable. Babette Porcelijn, author of the book ‘The Hidden Impact’, emphasises that sustainability is more than the logistic process. The impact an item has on the climate commences at the moment the raw materials are mined. How can we reduce our impact in the future? To help us get started, Jacqueline Cramer, Professor of Sustainable Innovation, talks about the ten guiding principles for building a circular economy.
The sector contributes too
The podcast includes contributions from various e-commerce players. Ellen de Lange, sustainability manager at Thuiswinkel.org, explains how webshops can influence consumer behaviour by offering more sustainable options. And Suzanne Debrichy, commercial manager for urban logistics at PostNL, talks about efficiency, CO2 emissions, and electric delivery vans at one of their sorting centres.
And, when it comes to sustainable packaging, Kromer talks to Vincent Weijers, Director of Logistics & Operations (COO) at bol.com. He takes the listener to the bol.com fulfilment centre in Waalwijk, where the packaging machines pack items to size so the parcels are as small as possible. But, how sustainable are these packaging materials anyway? That’s what Jasper Werten from Janssen Packaging tells us. And Marketing Director (CMO) Boukje Taphoorn explains how she intends to further increase sustainability at bol.com in the future.
The podcast is a bol.com initiative and is produced by Microphone Media. Click here to listen to the first episode (in Dutch).