TfL is encouraging shoppers and retailers around London to adopt greener initiatives to reduce emissions, including using click and collect, green delivery slots and grouping deliveries

Commencing Black Friday weekend and the season for Christmas shopping season, TfL has promoted ways of shopping more sustainably from both businesses and consumers, using public transportation and other means to reduce emissions.

By making deliveries and transport more sustainable, TfL states it has never been easier to adopt new ways to help reduce the impact of festive deliveries on London’s air quality and congestion.

Central to London’s economy are lorries and vans, as around half of the value of household expenditure in London relies on road freight. As a major source of Nitrogen dioxide emissions, road freight is worsened during busy delivery periods, as seen with festive periods like Christmas.

90% of all goods are transported by road in London

TfL is also encouraging shoppers to shop from small to medium businesses on the TfL retail estate, which stretches all across London, in stations, former railway arches and some high streets. This initiative invites consumers to find gift options closer to home.

Around 93% of TfL’s tenants are small to medium businesses who have struggled throughout the pandemic, so this initiative helps businesses get back on their feet also.

The options TfL recommend include:

  • Walking, cycling or using public transport to travel to and from shops: TfL services will run throughout the festive season – excluding Christmas Day – and off-peak fares in Zones 2-6 start from £1.50.
  • Using click and collect facility near home when ordering online: Customers can get their parcels delivered to a local store, click-and-collect centre or use parcel lockers. This requires fewer van drop-offs than home deliveries do.
  • Stopping failed deliveries by ensuring deliveries are arranged for when people are at home, or nominating an alternative address for drop off where items could be delivered: Failed deliveries can increase the carbon footprint of online orders by up to 75% because of the additional trips that need to be made for re-delivery or collection.
  • Choosing standard delivery rather than next day delivery: It is easier for companies to plan and group deliveries, helping to minimise the number of trips and reduce road congestion
  • Using green slots at supermarkets outside peak hours or where they are making a delivery nearby: Many supermarkets offer green slots for festive food deliveries, which tells consumers when a ‘green van’ is already delivering in their area; this reduces emissions by having less drivers out making unnecessarily longer, further journeys.
  • Cycling home using Santander Cycles: Shoppers around London are able to use Santander Cycles, as they are offering a 25% discount off annual memberships for Black Friday, which people can access by entering the code ‘CYCLEBF21’ online or via the Santander Cycles app.
  • Ordering from businesses online which are offering zero emission delivery options

Alex Williams, TfL’s Director of City Planning said: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of personal deliveries across the capital which is affecting air quality in the capital and the health of many Londoners.

“Black Friday weekend is one of the busiest shopping events of the year and is highly anticipated for London’s shoppers and retailers.

“We’re encouraging Londoners to choose greener ways of getting their deliveries such as using click and collect or getting to the shops by public transport, helping to reduce the congestion on the capital’s roads and improving air quality.”

Additionally, TfL are partnering with InPost to install parcel lockers across London, mostly being located within TfL’s car parks close to Tube and rail stations. This helps to provide the local community and those using public transport with more convenient, cleaner and greener alternatives to collection and also when returning parcels.

Jason Tavaria, CEO at InPost UK added: “InPost is building a network of over 1,000 locker locations in the capital, setting the standard for greener, more environmentally friendly parcel options in the UK’s largest parcel market.

“Our partnership with TfL sits at the heart of this, providing Londoners with more convenient and environmentally friendly ways to send and receive parcels. Together, we are proving just how vital click & collect services are to building a sustainable transport network fit for a greener, post-pandemic future.

“Not only do parcel lockers play a fundamental role in easing the burden on an already-strained logistics network, but will significantly lower emissions, reduce local noise and air pollution, as well as congestion on our roads.

“We’re proud to be partnered with TfL, helping Londoners directly contribute towards London’s target to become a zero-carbon city by 2030.”

Though this public proposal is being promoted around London, it may be useful knowledge for other shoppers around the UK and in other big cities during the Christmas period looking to reduce their emissions as well.


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