Amazon to share its carbon footprint for 1st time as part of new ‘Shipment Zero’ sustainability initiative – GeekWire

An Amazon Wind Farm in Texas. (Amazon Photo / Jordan Stead)

Amazon has called its sustainability shot.

The tech giant aims to get half of its package deliveries to a standard of net zero carbon by 2030, Amazon said Monday. Because of improvements in areas like electric vehicles, aviation bio fuels, reusable packaging and renewable energy, the company says it “can now see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers.” Amazon did not give a timeline for achieving net zero carbon on all deliveries.

As part of the new intiative, known as Shipment Zero, Amazon said it will share its company-wide carbon footprint for the first time later this year. Over the last two years Amazon said it has developed a scientific model to map its carbon footprint to help teams across the globe figure out how they can save energy.

Environmental activists and Amazon employees alike have pushed for more aggressive sustainability measures and plans to address climate change. Amazon is working to reduce fossil fuel dependence and move to 100 percent renewable energy, though it hasn’t set a deadline to reach that goal as some tech companies have.

Amazon’s cross-town rival Microsoft has made some major sustainability commitments recently. In late 2017, it pledged $50 million over five years for an initiative to use artificial intelligence to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental issues.

Though not a new push, Microsoft was one of the first tech giants to implement an internal carbon tax, a fee based on projected carbon emissions from each part of the company — everything from carbon use in buildings to transportation. The tax produces about $30 million a year that goes into a common fund Microsoft uses to spend on more energy improvements.

Last week, Green Peace published a report claiming Amazon’s cloud arm, Amazon Web Services, has not followed through on commitments to make its network of data centers more environmentally friendly. Amazon pushed back on the report, saying AWS is committed to running its data centers on 100 percent renewable energy, hitting 50 percent renewable energy last year.

In the blog post for Shipment Zero, Amazon touted efforts like its network of solar and wind farms and the installation of solar panels on its fulfillment center rooftops, along with several other programs. Amazon said it has more than 200 scientists, engineers, and product designers in its operations teams working exclusively to take advantage of the company’s massive scale to make its projects more environmentally friendly.

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