Despite a marked increase in package deliveries, Amazon reported a decrease in carbon emissions for the first time since the company started tracking its carbon footprint. Total carbon emissions from Amazon dropped by 16% in 2022, falling to approximately 60.64 million metric tons from 72.08 million metric tons in 2021.
This substantial decrease in carbon emissions is attributed to Amazon’s growing fleet of electric delivery vans and its significant investments in renewable energy. As part of its Climate Pledge, Amazon has set ambitious goals for the future. The company aspires to be carbon-neutral by 2040 and to power all its operations with renewable energy by 2025.
However, these steps have not been without criticism. Environmental activists and groups have called out Amazon for not moving quickly enough to reduce emissions. There has also been concern over the company’s lack of transparency about its true carbon emissions, including those from its cloud computing business.
Adding to these criticisms is the backlash Amazon faced for quietly dropping its Shipment Zero goal, which aimed to make 50% of its deliveries net-zero by 2030. Despite the controversy, Amazon has shown significant progress in its sustainability efforts. In 2022, 90% of the company’s electricity consumption was from renewable sources, with a goal to reach 100% by 2025.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, Amazon also saw a decrease in emissions from vendors and other supply chain components by 0.7% the same year. The company has been proactive in making strategic investments to increase sustainability. These include purchasing renewable energy for data centers, acquiring hydrogen-powered forklifts for warehouses, and using battery-electric generators for TV and movie sets.
Amazon’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint is evident in its actions, however, the company still faces pressure to increase transparency and accelerate efforts to reach its sustainability goals. The progress made in 2022 indicates a positive trend, but the challenges ahead require continued commitment and innovation from the company.