Inside Amazon’s Sustainability Report: Climate Action & Net Zero

Find out how Amazon addresses climate risk, builds resilience, and works towards net zero. Explore their sustainability report and progress today.
Published:
Inside Amazon’s Sustainability Report: Climate Action & Net Zero
Find out how Amazon addresses climate risk, builds resilience, and works towards net zero. Explore their sustainability report and progress today.
Published:
Inside Amazon’s Sustainability Report: Climate Action & Net Zero
Find out how Amazon addresses climate risk, builds resilience, and works towards net zero. Explore their sustainability report and progress today.
Published:
Last updated:

Amazon sustainability goals

Amazon is committed to achieving net zero across its business by 2040 and delivering 50% of its shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030.

Key milestones include:

  • Co-founding The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net-zero carbon across their business by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
  • Setting a goal to deliver 50% of Amazon shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030.
  • Working towards powering their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of their original target of 2030.
  • Joining the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and working towards setting science-based targets for emissions reduction.

Read more in the Amazon sustainability report

Illustration titled 'Carbon Footprint Goals' featuring a footprint with the text 'CO2' on it."

What are the Key Components of Amazon’s strategy to Achieve its Net Zero Targets by 2040?

Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Amazon is making strides in incorporating sustainability and energy efficiency. They have implemented various measures to reduce waste, improve packaging, and promote energy-efficient practices. Some of their progress includes:

  • Launching the Shipment Zero initiative to make 50% of Amazon shipments net-zero carbon by 2030.
  • Eliminating over 1.5 million tons of packaging since 2015 and reducing per-shipment packaging weight by 38% since 2015.
  • Shipping over 370 million Climate Pledge Friendly units to Amazon customers in 2021.

Investments in renewable energy and climate action

Amazon is actively contributing to the global efforts towards decarbonisation and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

The company has set ambitious goals to transition to 100% clean energy consumption across its business. This will help reduce its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

"Illustration titled 'Amazon's Renewable Energy Projects and Initiatives' featuring three people working on renewable energy projects on a globe."

Some of their investments in climate action initiatives include:

  • Announcing 274 renewable energy projects by the end of 2021, making Amazon the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.
  • Partnered with electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers to reduce Amazon’s carbon footprint and help accelerate the adoption of electric delivery vans and cars.
  • Investing over $300 million in safety, capital improvements, and new technology in 2021.
  • Creating a $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund to support the development of sustainable technologies and services.

Collaboration and carbon pricing

Amazon recognises the importance of collaboration and carbon pricing in accelerating the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

They have taken several steps towards fostering partnerships and advocating for carbon pricing policies:

  • Attracting over 300 companies to join Amazon in signing The Climate Pledge, demonstrating a collective commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
  • Advocating for carbon pricing policies to drive innovation and investments in companies developing clean energy and carbon capture technologies.

Amazon has made significant progress in reducing its climate impact by investing in renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions, promoting sustainability, and fostering collaboration. They continue to push the boundaries of innovation and work towards decarbonisation, ultimately contributing to the global fight against climate change.

Shipment Zero and carbon reduction

Reducing its carbon impact is a crucial aspect of Amazon’s strategy. The company has implemented various initiatives to minimise its carbon footprint, including transportation and logistics.

  • Amazon plans to make 50% of its shipments net-zero carbon by 2030 under its Shipment Zero initiative.
  • More than 100 million packages were delivered to customers’ doorsteps using zero-emission vehicles in 2021.
  • The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon, has been signed by over 300 companies, all committed to carbon savings by 2040.

Waste reduction

Amazon is focused on reducing waste across its operations, from packaging to food waste. The company has implemented various initiatives to minimise waste and promote sustainability.

  • Since 2015, Amazon has eliminated over 1.5 million tons of packaging and reduced per-shipment packaging weight by 38%.
  • The company aims to reduce food waste by 50% across its U.S. and Europe operations by 2030.

Sustainability

Amazon is committed to promoting sustainable practices in its popular products. The company has launched programs to encourage the use of environmentally friendly products by both customers and suppliers.

  • In 2021, more than 370 million Climate Pledge Friendly units were shipped to Amazon customers.
  • The company has welcomed 20 new third-party sustainability certifications to the Climate Pledge Friendly program.
  • Over 300 companies have joined Amazon in signing The Climate Pledge, committing to net-zero carbon by 2040.
  • The company includes EWG VERIFIED products in its range to offer more sustainable options to customers as part of its commitment to combating climate change.

By following these key components, Amazon aims to achieve net zero by 2040, demonstrating its bold commitment to tackling the climate crisis and promoting a sustainable future.

Amazon’s renewable energy projects and initiatives

Transitioning to clean energy

Transitioning to renewable energy is one of the most effective ways to lower emissions.

  • Amazon procures new renewable energy through utility-scale wind and solar power contracts, on-site rooftop solar installations, and green tariffs with local utilities.
  • These projects supply renewable energy for various Amazon facilities, including corporate offices, fulfilment centres, enterprise data centres, physical stores, and more.

Nature-based solutions

  • Amazon created the Right Now Climate Fund, a $100 million fund for nature-based solutions to restore and conserve forests, wetlands, and grasslands worldwide.
  • Amazon uses nature-based solutions to mitigate carbon emissions outside its value chain and supplement its carbon-reduction efforts across its operations.
  • Nature-based solutions also have benefits such as biodiversity conservation and improved ecosystem services.

Additional strategies

  • Amazon is committed to eliminating single-use plastics in its operations by June 2022 and has already eliminated plastic straws, stirrers, and cutlery from its offices.
  • The company also works to reduce waste and increase recycling rates by implementing circular economy principles and investing in innovative recycling technologies such as robotics.
  • Amazon is committed to carbon neutrality in its operations and shipping by 2040 and has pledged to reach net zero emissions by 2040.
  • Amazon is investing in carbon offsets and capture to reduce its carbon footprint. The company is committed to investing in projects that remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in durable ways.

By implementing these renewable energy initiatives, Amazon is taking significant steps towards its net zero goals and committing to worldwide sustainability and environmental responsibility.

How does Amazon plan to reduce its scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions?

Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions are categories defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to differentiate the sources of greenhouse gas emissions from a company.

Image explaining the terminology for scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. Icons show factories, energy and trains with pollution trails. Text says “Scope 1: Emissions from resources the company owns and operates directly. Scope 2: Emissions that are indirectly caused from the energy purchased from utility providers. Scope 3: Emissions that a company is indirectly responsible for through their supply chain”
  • Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from owned or controlled sources, such as company vehicles or factories.
  • Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the company.
  • Scope 3 emissions are all other indirect emissions in a company’s value chain. This includes upstream and downstream emissions, such as business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, or product usage.

Amazon has ambitious targets to address all three scopes

ScopeDescriptionGoal
Scope 1Emissions from the company’s operationsReduce emissions to net zero by 2040
Scope 2Emissions from purchased energyPower operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025
Scope 3Indirect emissions from the value chainDeliver 50% of shipments with net-zero carbon by 2030. Reduce food waste by 50% across U.S. and Europe operations by 2030

Supply chain emissions

Amazon aims to work with industry partners and suppliers to understand their environmental footprints and set climate goals. Suppliers can also track their progress through the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative.

In 2021, Amazon launched the Zero Waste to Landfill program for suppliers.

  • Ten supplier sites responsible for the final assembly of the Echo, Kindle, and Fire TV devices achieved UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill Silver or Platinum certification.
  • This certification indicates that waste has been handled in environmentally responsible ways, diverting more than 90% of a facility’s waste from landfill through methods other than waste to energy.

Amazon also encourages their Amazon-branded suppliers to evaluate their practices using the Higg Index. The tool helps manufacturers measure the social and environmental performance of their facilities.

"Illustration titled 'How is Amazon Engaging its Network to Reduce Supply Chain Emissions?' featuring a scale balancing forest and industry."

Industry initiatives and collaborations

Amazon participates in various initiatives and partnerships, including

  • Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels Network (coZEV)
  • First Movers Coalition
  • Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance Aviators Group (SABA)
  • Clean Energy Demand Initiative.

Stakeholder engagement

Quarterly business reviews

Amazon holds quarterly business reviews with its leadership teams to track its progress on decarbonisation.

Amazon believes that companies, including itself, can drastically reduce their emissions while investing outside their operations in initiatives that significantly contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement.

Amazon works with suppliers, stakeholders, employees, industry partners, and NGOs to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance sustainability.

  • Authority Engagement. Amazon collaborates with local, state, national, and international authorities to further its sustainability objectives.
  • Verification. Amazon-branded products are verified as carbon neutral by ClimatePartner, which involves continuous carbon footprint calculation and reduction and offsetting of remaining emissions.

investments in clean technology

The Climate Pledge Fund is a $2 billion venture investment program supporting the development of sustainable technologies and services. Amazon has invested in 13 companies across multiple industry sectors since launching this fund in 2020.

Cleantech investments include companies developing sustainable transportation networks, energy storage, and carbon removal technologies.

  • Amogy is a system to convert green ammonia to power that will be emission-free at the point of use.
  • Infinium is a renewable electro-fuel solution provider. Infinium converts captured carbon dioxide and hydrogen feedstocks into low-carbon fuels.
  • BETA Technologies develop electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for sustainable transportation.

Amazon also joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance in 2021 and became one of the group’s founding members to drive investment and send market signals supporting sustainable aviation fuel.

How is Amazon addressing climate risk and building resilience?

Amazon identified the following climate-related risks based on TCFD risk types and classifications.

Physical risks are classified as either:

  1. Acute (extreme weather events)
  2. Chronic (changing weather patterns and rising mean temperature and sea levels)

Transition risks are classified as one or more of the following:

  1. Policy and Legal
  2. Technology
  3. Market
  4. Reputation

What government policies or regulations influence Amazon’s approach to net zero?

Government regulations and policies significantly shape Amazon’s approach to its net zero goals. This is particularly evident in four areas:

  1. Renewable Energy: Influenced by policies promoting renewable energy use, Amazon aims for 100% renewable energy by 2025, supported by 274 renewable projects. The company benefits from government incentives like tax credits and subsidies.
  2. Carbon Reduction: Climate policies mandating reduced greenhouse gas emissions guide Amazon’s carbon reduction strategy. Per the Paris Agreement, the company aims for net-zero carbon by 2040.
  3. Waste Reduction: Amazon’s commitment to reduce food waste by 50% and eliminate packaging waste is driven by government regulations on waste management and recycling.
  4. Sustainability: Policies promoting sustainable product design and manufacturing shape Amazon’s sustainability efforts, evident in the shipment of over 370 million Climate Pledge Friendly units in 2021.

Milestones and achievements

Amazon’s broad commitment to net-zero emissions is evident in the company’s progress so far. Its strategy revolves around increasing renewable energy usage, optimising material and packaging processes, and creating a collective impact with other companies.

"Illustration titled 'Milestones and Achievements' featuring a woman observing a graph of sustainability milestones."

Here are some key milestones and plans:

Clean energy

  • Became the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in 2020.
  • Reached 85% renewable energy across its business by 2021.
  • Announced 274 renewable projects as of the end of 2021.
  • Delivered over 100 million packages using zero-emission vehicles in 2021.
  • Contributed to creating the Lowering Emissions by Accelerating Forest Finance (LEAF) Coalition, mobilising $1 billion to protect tropical rainforests.

Material and packaging

  • Eliminated over 1.5 million tons of packaging since 2015.
  • Reduced per-shipment packaging weight by 38% since 2015.

Collective impact

  • Garnered the commitment of over 300 companies to join The Climate Pledge.
  • Shipped over 370 million Climate Pledge Friendly units to customers in 2021.
  • Invested $2 billion through The Climate Pledge Fund to support the development of sustainable technologies.

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Author

Rob Boyle
Rob built Emission Index to collect and share data, trends and opportunities to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and expedite the energy transition.

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