Amazon expects that 50% of all its shipments will be net zero carbon by 2030; the commitment, dubbed “Shipment Zero,” was announced this week in a blog post by Dave Clark, the company’s SVP of worldwide operations. While the goal will not be easy to achieve, Clark wrote that with improvements in electric vehicles, aviation biofuels, reusable packaging and renewable energy, the company can “see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers.”
This commitment is just the latest in a history of sustainability efforts by the company, Clark pointed out. These include the much-publicized Frustration Free Packaging, a move to support recycling infrastructure with a $10 million investment in Closed Loop Fund and work with the Recycling Partnership, a shift away from bulky cardboard to more lightweight mailers, and a number of renewable energy iniatives.
In operations alone, the company has more than 200 scientists, engineers and product designers working to invent “new ways to leverage our scale for the good of customers and the planet,” Clark wrote.
Still, a net zero carbon commitment for its customer shipments may be the most difficult goal on its sustainability journey thus far, Supply Chain Dive writes. While Amazon is bringing more of its freight and logistics management in-house – giving the company more control over delivery emissions – it still relies on UPS and the USPS for the vast majority of the last miles to the consumer.
Amazon’s announcement comes a week after Greenpeace called the company out for appearing to have “turned its back on its 100 percent renewable commitment.” In a report titled Clicking Green Virginia, Greenpeace says that, despite Virginia’s slow transition to renewable energy, Amazon Web Services has increased its “already massive operations” in the state by 59% since 2017, without adding any additional renewable energy supply.