Green Last Mile (E-Pack)

With Green Last Mile (e-Pack), VIL and partner VITO want to help web shops, logistics service providers and consumers to make sustainable choices. To this end, VIL will develop a uniform calculation method and tool that can be used by webshops and logistics service providers to provide consumers with clarity on the impact of their logistical choices for packaging and shipping.


status: Closed | theme: Green Supply Chains | type: Regional

Sustainability and e-commerce are two themes that dominate current events. The rise of online shopping has been accelerated by the corona crisis. Not only are more and more Belgians buying online, the number of parcels per Belgian is rising, and the online offer is becoming wider. This is causing an increasing debate about the sustainability of e-commerce.

On the one hand, there are discussions about the waste caused by packaging, the inconvenience of delivery trucks crossing cities, the sense and nonsense of same-day or next-day delivery and the impact of free returns. On the other hand, there are also studies that show that in a one-to-one comparison and in the right circumstances, e-commerce can be more sustainable than offline shopping.

These circumstances are situated in a number of areas: there is the chosen delivery method, the type of packaging that the webshop uses, the choice of vehicle type, the efficiency of the route and also consumer-specific issues such as the place of residence (rural vs. urban) and how the consumer travels to a pick-up point (on foot or by car). Green Last Mile aims to provide concrete answers to the social debate on the sustainability of e-commerce.


  • If consumers always go for the most sustainable delivery option, the sustainability cost drops by 21%.
  • To provide insight into the sustainability of different delivery options, it is important to calculate this in a uniform, scientifically based way.
  • At the request of VIL and Comeos, VUB Mobilise developed a calculation method to display the most sustainable delivery option per purchase at the zip code level. This new tool, called Smartdrop, is now being rolled out as a continuation of this project by Comeos at five retailers: AVA, Decathlon, Dreamland, Fnac/Vanden Borre and Ici Paris XL.
  • In order to effectively convince consumers to choose the most sustainable option, it is important that retailers clearly communicate this option in their webshops and also actively communicate about it through various channels.
  • E-commerce packaging also has a significant impact on sustainability, especially the fill rate of packages and the materials used. To this end, VIL has worked out advice together with VITO to make packaging as sustainable as possible.

Practical details

Start: January 2022
End: September 2023

Participating companies

19 companies: APCOA Parking, BD Logistics, Bleckmann, bpost, Cargo Velo, De Gele Flamingo, DHL Parcel, Foodbelgium, GLS, Mondial Relay, Petrol Cave, PostNL, Proximus, RAAF, Runners Lab, Telenet, Torfs and Urbike.

Projectpartner: VITO





Would you like to know more?

Contact Geert Verbelen (


20/10/2023 – VIL persbericht – Consument kan maatschappelijke kost van online pakjes met 21 % doen dalen

24/03/2022 – VIL persbericht – VIL wil e-commerce duurzamer maken


VIL stands for strong logistics in Flanders


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