Consumers using the internet to buy their shopping are helping to combat carbon emissions and material waste, according to a new report.
IMRG, a global industry body for online sales is launching a new campaign to promote the environmentally-friendly benefits of the internet on the 24th day of the seventh month (24/7) - self-designated online shopping day.
Analysts believe that internet shopping reduces the amount of energy being wasted and makes the buying and distribution of products more efficient, as well as easing road congestion.
One-fifth of all road traffic in the UK is estimated to relate to shopping trips, and IMRG suggests that increasing levels of online shopping coupled with more efficient van transport could reduce vehicle mileage by up to 70 per cent.
James Roper, the firm's chief executive officer, said: "A growing body of research from around the world is proving that internet shopping can be green, and that its overall effect is green.
"The go green, go online campaign, which we launch today, aims to serve as a lightning-conductor for interest in this subject, to focus research, and raise awareness of the huge potential that the internet-enabled marketplace presents for further increasing efficiency and reducing waste."
Other aspects of online shopping that IMRG believes could help combat environmental pressures include more efficient packaging and less printed materials, which includes the trend of dematerialisation or digitisation of products such as music and films.
"Given the daily news about global warming, it is imperative that everyone does all they can to help protect the planet. We can all reduce the environmental impacts of our shopping and simultaneously reduce the cost of inputs and waste disposal, simply by shopping online," Mr Roper concluded.