Amazon is dropping Shipment Zero, a key part of its climate pledge

  • Amazon has abandoned its Shipment Zero initiative, announced a few years ago.
  • The company integrates this objective into a broader climate commitment.
  • Amazon removed the original Shipment Zero blog post. We dug it up.

When it comes to tough choices between profit and the environment, large companies typically choose their bottom line. Amazon is no different.

The e-commerce giant recently backed away from its commitment to make all shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.

It now incorporates that target into an existing broader “Climate Pledge” to achieve net zero carbon across all of its operations by 2040. That’s a decade later than the 50% target, which was called “Shipment Zero” at the time.

“As we reviewed our work towards The Climate Pledge, we realized that it no longer made sense to have a separate, narrower zero-delivery target that only applied to part of our business, so we decided to eliminate it,” the company said in a statement.

Investigative journalist Will Evans got this information from Amazon and he tweeted about it THURSDAY. Last year, Evans uncovered a study that found the company significantly underestimates its carbon footprint. At the time, an Amazon spokesperson reiterated the company’s commitment to reducing emissions, including ordering a fleet of electric delivery vans and purchasing renewable energy for its electricity needs.

The move away from the specific shipping commitment is notable because Amazon’s e-commerce operation relies on huge fleets of vehicles and aircraft to quickly deliver packages to consumers. Most of this activity consumes large amounts of fossil fuels and releases greenhouse gases. However, fast delivery is a key selling point for shoppers and the main reason why millions of people sign up for the company’s Prime program.

Amazon announced the Shipment Zero initiative in a blog a few years ago. The company deleted the post. However, thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, big business can’t rewrite history online. Here is a version of the blog.

A few choice phrases from the ad, so you can see what Amazon is backing up to now:

“We can now see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers, and we are setting an ambitious goal to reach 50% of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030.”

“We believe cost reduction includes cost reduction for the environment we live and work in every day. We will keep you updated on our efforts to achieve Shipment Zero.”

“It will not be easy to achieve this goal, but it is worth being focused and stubborn on this vision and we are committed to achieving it.”


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