Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, has reported a decline in its carbon emissions for the first time since it began disclosing its emissions in 2019. The company aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 and has made significant progress towards this goal. In its latest Sustainability Report, Amazon revealed that it had managed to reduce its emissions by 0.4% from the previous year, amounting to 71.27 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Additionally, the company’s carbon intensity, which measures emissions per dollar of sales, dropped by 7% and has decreased by 24% since 2019.
This reduction in emissions is particularly impressive considering that Amazon’s net sales grew by 9% during the same period. The company attributed its positive climate achievements to improving efficiency across its business and increasing investments in renewable energy. While its Scope 1 emissions (direct operations) increased by 11%, its Scope 2 emissions (purchased electricity) decreased by 29%. Amazon is also focusing on decarbonizing its delivery and logistics operations by introducing electric heavy goods vehicles in the UK and Germany. The company has plans to electrify its entire delivery fleet and has already purchased 100,000 Rivian electric delivery vans that will be deployed by 2030. Furthermore, Amazon is utilizing green hydrogen to power its forklifts in fulfillment centers in North America.
As the largest contributor to its carbon footprint, accounting for 77% of emissions, Amazon saw a 0.7% decrease in its value chain or Scope 3 emissions. Although the company does not have direct control over these emissions, it is working closely with suppliers to encourage them to decarbonize their own businesses. Amazon is providing its suppliers with the necessary tools and products to track and reduce their emissions. The company has implemented Supply Chain Standards that require suppliers to share their carbon data and set their own carbon reduction goals.
Investing in renewable energy is a key strategy for Amazon to achieve its sustainability goals. The company’s Sustainability Report highlights the importance of shifting to renewable energy sources in order to reduce emissions. Amazon has invested in 401 renewable energy projects, representing over 20 GW of clean energy capacity. This is enough to power the equivalent of 5.3 million U.S. homes each year. The company has also signed agreements with Indian authorities to trade renewable energy in the country. In 2022, 90% of the electricity consumed by Amazon came from renewable sources, up from 85% in 2021. The company aims to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025 and has been the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy for the past three years.
To further support its renewable energy efforts, Amazon has invested in companies that produce green hydrogen, a form of renewable energy that can be stored for future use. The company believes that pairing renewable energy with energy storage is crucial for its sustainability goals. Through its partnership with Global Optimism, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019. The initiative aims to bring together leading companies to accelerate climate action. The Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion venture investment program, supports sustainable technologies and services that will help Amazon achieve its net zero emissions target by 2040. The fund has made investments in 20 companies to date.
Overall, Amazon’s latest Sustainability Report demonstrates the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon emissions and achieving its net zero goal by 2040. By focusing on improving efficiency, investing in renewable energy, and collaborating with suppliers and other companies through The Climate Pledge, Amazon is making significant progress towards a more sustainable future.