Online retail giant Amazon last year reported a sharp rise in planet-warming carbon emissions, blaming the surge in online sales during the pandemic.
The world’s largest online retailer said its carbon footprint increased by 18% in 2021, concurrent with the company’s tremendous growth during the pandemic.
Jeff Bezos’ multi-trillion dollar company has grown exponentially in recent years, becoming the world’s largest online retailer by revenue and market cap. Amazon, along with many other online retailers, has seen a significant increase in sales since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic as digital channels have become the most popular shopping alternative for consumers worldwide. In 2021, Global E-Commerce Market has been rated $13 trillion.
Amazon’s rapid expansion hasn’t come without environmental costs. This is what this year’s sustainability report shows Net zero by 2040the company still has a long way to go.
According to its latest sustainability report, Amazon emitted nearly 72 million tons of carbon dioxide last year, a 40% increase in just three years.
From manufacturing electronic devices to storing, processing and shipping millions of orders worldwide, Amazon’s business releases thousands of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and creates mountains of packaging waste.
While progress is slow, Amazon has also taken steps in the right direction. According to the report, the retail giant achieved 85% renewable energy across its operations and is now “on track to reach 100% by 2025 — five years ahead of the original target.”
It seems that Amazon’s efforts to make its operations more efficient are also paying off. The sustainability report shows that its carbon intensity – a measure that quantifies total carbon emissions per dollar of gross merchandise sales – has fallen by nearly 2%.
Part of this is due to the company’s efforts to: a more sustainable transport infrastructure — with plans to go carbon-free at least half of their deliveries by 2030 — as well as build greener buildings. Amazon is also trying to reduce carbon emissions from packaging, but activists say that’s just the case ‘The tip of the eisberg’. In addition to these commitments, the company invests in carbon removal projects.
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