How Amazon Is Building a Sustainable Business
Summary: Amazon’s latest reports focus on efforts to decarbonize business by investing in projects in the field of renewable energy and clean tech innovations. Scroll down to read more about the 10 concrete steps taken by the company to drive this mission to showcase sustainability examples.
Amazon’s sustainability efforts focus on reducing carbon emissions by 2040 by investing in projects in the field of clean tech innovations, renewable energy, social welfare and empowerment. The company is constantly working to find new ways to reduce its impact on the environment.
- Amazon sustainability is undoubtedly on an escalated path to powering business operations by 2025 with the use of 100% renewable energy, with increased renewable energy from 42% in 2019 to 65% in 2020. It now leads about 232 solar and wind projects with 10 Gigawatts of electricity production enough to power 2.5 million US homes as of June 2021.
2. Amazon co-founded the Climate Pledge which currently has more than 100 signatories and has invested in seven visionary companies to support technologies that reduce carbon emissions by 2040 for achieving long-term sustainability goals.
3. The company has eliminated over 1.5 million tonnes of packaging since 2015 and takes continued efforts to reduce packaging weight by 38%.
4. Algorithms have been introduced to reduce packaging, and since 2018, Amazon sustainability measures have decreased packaging size for 7% of shipments in North America, thereby minimizing the amount of paper used and saving 60K tons of cardboard packaging yearly. Introducing the curbside recyclable paper padded mailer was a great way to reduce the carbon footprint. By using this mailer, Amazon reduced the amount of plastic that is produced. This mailer is made from recycled paper, so it is an environmentally friendly option.
A new recyclable package is also introduced to keep grocery items frozen during delivery for Amazon Fresh customers. The package uses recycled paper, which eliminates plastic or bubble wrap. While plastic is still in use, steps are being taken to use more recyclable materials from 25-50%, contributing to avoiding 30,000 tons of plastic by 2021.
5. Amazon transforms its transportation network and operations to reduce its carbon footprint through innovative measures and plans to make net zero carbon for about 50% of its shipments by 2030. Amazon ordered 100,000 custom electric delivery vehicles from Rivian for the same in 2019. It is also done by zero-emission electric vehicles and micro-mobility technologies for shorter transportation. Over 400 cargo bikes are allotted for Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods deliveries to customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY.
With over 3000 CNG vehicles on the road as of the year 2021, battery-driven electric trucks that use alternative fuel sources, are gaining popularity in transportation. They are easily powered by gallons of renewable natural gas from waste stocks procured by Amazon, significantly reducing carbon emissions and particular pollutants. It has also invested in sustainable aviation fuel, reducing carbon emissions by a maximum of 20% compared to standard fuel.
6. Amazon with around 274 renewable energy projects announced and 85% renewable energy (electricity) is the global corporate purchaser of renewable sources of energy
7. Amazon Studios powers its production sets with Moxion Power’s batteries and avoids noise-polluting generators commonly used in the industry to decarbonize their business making it one of the first entertainment companies to initiate sustainability. The Moxion Power batteries don’t create air pollution and can be used indoors as it doesn’t emit any fumes and operate without noise. They also do not need cool-down or warm-up energy burning and, as a result, reduce the diesel fuel used. The data also showed that almost 50% of the carbon emissions from movie production come from the fuel used to power these generators and for transportation purposes.
Amazon has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. It has also invested in Moxion Power as part of this initiative to help meet that goal.
8. Amazon has initiated a $1 billion sustainability bond that funds ongoing sustainability-related projects that favor the planet as well as its consumers alike. The sustainability bond can advance projects in the field of clean transportation, affordable housing, sustainable buildings, socio-economic growth, and empowerment that Amazon has invested in over all these years.
9. AWS Clean Energy Accelerator is Amazon Web Service’s launch to prioritize the growth of clean tech innovation and to support upcoming startups to accelerate their clean tech impact, access the required resources, and extend their reach.
10. The company offers competitive wages and benefits to employees and supports diversity. Taking steps for inclusion with 45.5% female representation on the board of directors. Amazon has also made an effort to provide over $18 on average standard wage per hour for fulfillment and transportation jobs in the US. More than 300 million has been invested in safety and improvements. Adding on are the multiple business activities and relationships done to empower the workforce by embedding human rights.
Building a Sustainable Business
From reducing packaging to improving the supply chain and switching to sustainable fuel for aviation, Amazon is committed to a greener future for businesses, communities, and the earth. By introducing recyclable materials and electric vehicles for transportation, Amazon is on a greater trajectory to achieving sustainability goals.
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- Amazon is the world’s biggest corporate consumer of renewable sources of energy, moving from 42-65% renewable energy use across the business in 2020 from 2019.
- Amazon’s sustainability efforts focus on reducing carbon emissions by 2040 by investing in projects in the field of clean energy, clean tech innovations, social welfare and empowerment.