Amazon says carbon emissions rose 18% in 2021 as Covid drove upsurge

Amazon vans line up at a distribution heart to select up packages for supply on Amazon Prime Day in Orlando, Florida.

Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty Photos

Amazon’s carbon emissions jumped 18% final yr, as the corporate reckoned with a pandemic-driven surge in e-commerce and grew its enterprise to satisfy that further demand.

In its annual sustainability report issued Monday, Amazon mentioned its actions emitted the equal of 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. That is up 18% from 2020, and a rise of practically 40% from 2019, the yr Amazon first started disclosing its carbon footprint.

Amazon lowered its carbon depth, which measures emissions per greenback of gross sales, by 1.9% in 2021, in contrast with a 16% decline in 2020.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to an enormous inflow of orders at Amazon and different e-commerce firms. Many shoppers, flush with stimulus test cash, opted to do their buying on-line to keep away from risking publicity to the virus.

That wave of demand pushed Amazon to broaden its logistics community of supply vans, planes and vans. It additionally quickly opened new warehouses to course of the stream of orders. In the course of the yr ended 2021, Amazon doubled the scale of the success community it had constructed over the earlier 25 years, the corporate mentioned.

The corporate additionally added extra information facilities to assist Amazon Net Companies, because the pandemic sped up firms’ shift to the cloud.

Amazon unveiled its “Local weather Pledge” in 2019. As a part of the plan, the e-commerce large has dedicated to be carbon impartial by 2040, and it bought 100,000 electrical supply vans from Rivian Automotive that it expects to have on the street within the U.S. by 2030. It additionally launched a $2 billion enterprise capital fund to put money into new local weather applied sciences, partly in order that they could be used to additional its sustainability targets.

Amazon’s local weather report and the methods it measures its personal environmental report have confronted scrutiny, nonetheless. A report earlier this yr by Reveal from the Middle for Investigative Reporting discovered the corporate, in distinction to main retailers equivalent to Goal and Walmart, solely counts product carbon emissions from using Amazon-branded items, and never these it buys from producers and sells on to the shopper.

An Amazon spokesperson did not immediately handle the discrepancy in reporting, however mentioned the corporate follows steering from the Greenhouse Gasoline Protocol Company Accounting and Reporting Customary in figuring out its Scope 3 emissions, or emissions generated from an organization’s provide chain.

The spokesperson added that Amazon third-party sellers “management their very own carbon emissions accounting.”

WATCH: Watch the primary take a look at Amazon and Rivian’s electrical supply vans

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