E-Commerce and the Environment

NEWARK, Jan. 14--The impact of e-business on the environment is the focus of a study led by Reggie Caudill, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering and executive director of the Multi-lifecycle Engineering Research Center (MERC). In collaboration with Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies, AT&T, IBM and Unisys, the Multi-life Center is exploring the environmental impact of e-commerce and e-supply chains on electronics products, with desktop personal computers as a case study. A new environmental performance metric, developed in collaboration with Bell Laboratories, was used to identify the most environmentally appropriate business strategy.

Preliminary results indicate that when products are bought and sold on the web and shipped directly to consumers (B2C), there will likely be a negative impact on the environment, due to energy expended and emissions created by shipping small packages overnight by air or truck. But if customer and product information is used to integrate B2C and other environmental factors, e-commerce can have a positive environmental impact, attributable to reduced over-production and reduced inventory.


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
Public Relations 
(973) 596-3433