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Amazon says carbon emissions increased 18% in 2021

Amazon vans line up at a fulfillment center to pick up packages for delivery on Amazon Prime Day in Orlando, Florida.

Paul Hennessey | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Amazon’s carbon emissions jumped 18% last year as the company relied on a pandemic-driven surge in e-commerce and expanded its business to meet that demand.

In its annual sustainability report released on Monday, Amazon said its operations emitted the equivalent of 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. This represents an 18% increase from 2020 and a nearly 40% increase from 2019, the year Amazon began disclosing its carbon footprint.

Amazon reduced its carbon intensity, which measures emissions per dollar of sales, by 1.9% in 2021, compared with a 16% drop in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a massive influx of orders at Amazon and other e-commerce companies. Many consumers, overwhelmed by stimulus checks, have opted to shop online to avoid risking exposure to the virus.

The surge in demand has prompted Amazon to expand its logistics network of delivery vans, planes and trucks. He quickly launched new warehouses to handle the flow of orders. Between 2020 and the end of 2021, Amazon doubled the size of the distribution network it had built over the previous 25 years, the company said.

The company has also added more data centers to support Amazon Web Services as Covid-19 has accelerated businesses’ move to the cloud.

Amazon unveiled its “climate pledge” in 2019. As part of the plan, Amazon pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040 and purchased 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian Automotive which it plans to have on the road in the United States by 2030. He has also launched a $2 billion venture capital fund to invest in new climate technologies, in part so they can be used to advance the goals of Amazon sustainability.

Amazon’s climate record and how it measures its own environmental record has come under scrutiny. A report released earlier this year by the Center for Investigative Reporting’s Reveal found that the company, unlike major retailers such as Target and Walmart, only counts product carbon emissions from the use of Amazon-branded products. , not those it buys from manufacturers and sells directly to the customer.

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reporting discrepancies highlighted in Reveal’s investigation.

LOOK: Watch the first look at electric delivery vans from Amazon and Rivian


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