Assessing the Environmental Potential of Collaborative Consumption: Peer-to-Peer Product Sharing in Hammarby Sjöstad, Sweden.
Collaborative consumption—through sharing services—has been promoted as an important step in transforming current consumption patterns toward more sustainable practices. Whilst there are high expectations for sharing services, there are few studies on the potential environmental benefits and impacts of sharing services. This study aims to analyze the potential environmental impacts of a peer-to-peer (P2P) product sharing platform and potential integration with a package drop-off/pick-up service in the urban district of Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm, Sweden. A life cycle approach is adopted, taking into account product lifetime and use, the potential replacement of conventional products and services, impacts from digital infrastructure and their impacts on the environment. The results indicate that there is significant potential for these sharing services to reduce environmental impacts associated with production and consumption; primarily through avoiding production and reducing the production impacts of new product purchases. The results also illustrate potential synergies to integrate with the package drop-off/pick up service; where the impacts from shared products are further reduced by reducing transportation impacts through improved logistics. However, the results are dependent upon, and sensitive to, a number of methodological choices and assumptions; highlighting the need for greater knowledge on the use environmental assessments of sharing services.