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New Research on the Economic & Carbon Impact of Shopping Local

New Research on the Economic & Carbon Impact of Shopping Local
28 Nov 2021 by LOCO BC

LOCO and  Vancity teamed up to measure the impact of common purchases. We worked with Offsetters and Civic Economics for the carbon and economic analysis. We looked at the purchase of five products  - a loaf of bread, a caffe latte, blueberries, a dress, and a bicycle - from local businesses compared to imported products from non-local businesses. Here's what we found:

  • Locally grown or made product results in a greenhouse gas reduction benefit of between 5% and 66% compared to imported products. 
  • Local products produce a local economic benefit* between 2.0 and 7.1 TIMES that of imported products, an average of 4.1 times. 
  • Local products keep up to 92 cents of every dollar recirculating in the local economy.
  • Local businesses selling the products produce a local economic benefit between 1.8 and 4.3 TIMES that of their multinational brick and mortar competitors, an average of 3.1 TIMES.
  • A local retailer compared to a non-local retailer that is purely online has a benefit of 107 TIMES.

Although our analysis was set up to compare a local product from a local business compared to an imported product from a multinational business, we thought it would be useful where possible to analyze local products purchased from non-local businesses. Since the non-local bike store for our analysis was purely online, we also assessed the impact of purchasing an imported bike from a multinational brick and mortar store, although not many exist that sell higher-end bikes.

*Based on greater recirculation of revenues as profit to local owners, payroll to local employees, purchasing with local suppliers (goods and services), and philanthropy to local causes. 

Download the reportCheck out the infographics: