Sustainability efforts by Amazon, why they are important?

Amazon Sustainability Hub

Sustainability efforts by Amazon, why they are important?

Sustainability brands are doing a good job contributing to the environmental movement. And whether you like Jeff Bezos or not, Amazon is now one of the biggest sustainability brands. People at Amazon are doing great efforts and making big investments to serve the cause. And they have created a dedicated website to report their activities, progress, and results. They called this website Amazon Sustainability Hub.

They are doing their best regardless of COVID-19 and other challenges. In fact, they added new 175,000 jobs to meet the demand for essential products and increased pay rates. Also, they have offered extra time-off with full pay to employees who got infected with the virus. I know this is beyond our topic, but it is worth mentioning!

In this blog post, I summarize what Amazon suitability efforts are. And show you the most important actions that Amazon has taken to help the environment.

But to begin, I have to mention that it all started with, wait for it … The Climate Pledge!

Sustainability and The Climate Pledge

The climate pledge is a commitment that Amazon co-founded in 2019. And it binds the companies that sign it to agree on some terms. One of them is to monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions regularly. And another one is to find and implement strategies to reduce carbon emissions. And then fully eliminate them.

Amazon has made commitments to reach net-zero carbon footprint by 2040. And based on Amazon, they will achieve this 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

They are also committed to making 50% of Amazon shipments net zero carbon by 2030. And power their operations by 100% renewable energy by 2025. Amazon also has purchased 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. And generously keeps funding technologies and services that help reduce emissions. As well as reforestation projects and climate solutions.

Global Companies has joined the Climate Pledge in 2020. They are namely Verizon, Infosys, and Reckitt Benckiser the owner of brands like Dettol and Vanish.

Amazon keeps mentioning the term carbon footprint, but exactly does Amazon mean with it?

What about Carbon Footprint?

The carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emission that business operation activities create. Within Amazon system, they measure emissions from many sources. Examples of these sources are transportation, electricity use, and packaging.

Their goal as per the climate pledge is to reach net zero carbon by 2040. And the total Amazon carbon footprint in 2019 was 51.17 Million Metric Tons of CO2. This includes emissions from fossil fuels and other sources.

They try to remove carbon out of Amazon by making investments in technologies and products. Those products and technologies should help them achieve their goal. This includes renewable energy sources and their recent order of 100,000 electric vehicles. This order should help the great initiative that Amazon is going to implement in delivery starting from 2021.

What is Shipment Zero?

Shipment Zero is an ambitious goal that Amazon declared to reach net zero carbon shipments. But if we talk about shipments, this involves many components that are normally not that easy to control. Like the fulfillment centers, the packaging materials, and the transportation involved in the shipping process.

However, Amazon’s goal is to be able to deliver 50% of shipments with net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The scope of shipment zero includes electricity emissions, transportation emissions. And emissions from manufacturing and moving the packaging materials. And they plan to make any fulfillment center that has shipment-zero order to be powered by 100% renewable energy.

Also orders under this program will be packaged in special certified packaging made by the product supplier. Or packaged by Amazon in carbon-neutral packaging. And in terms of transportation, they intend to use eco-friendly methods. An example is the electric 100,000 vehicles that they ordered, and that we keep repeating here :). As well as electric bikes.

What else did they change?

Amazon made an initiative to redesign the packaging of products to make them recyclable. And to reduce their sizes as much as possible in order to reduce waste.

On their website, they say that they were able to reduce packaging weight by 33%. Also, they eliminated 880,000 tons of material used in packaging. And this is through a program they call Frustration-Free Packaging Program.

In this program, they encourage manufacturers to package their products, so that they are easy to open. And the packages should be ready to ship without having to be packaged again in an Amazon package. This should help reducing waste. And also make sure that the packages themselves are recyclable.

They also help reducing food waste by donating extra and surplus food to food banks and charities. And they help third-party sellers to do so as well.

They shifted towards sustainable practices in creating their own private label products. Examples of the product categories involved in this move are household goods, food & grocery. This is besides Amazon devices.

Adding to that, they are also encouraging customers to Reduce, Reuse & Recycles. And this is by helping them to recycle electronics and find recycling centers. And offer them discounts on products that were opened, used, or refurbished. This helps because it avoids buying new items and leaving used items as waste. They motivate customers as well to shop for eco-friendly products.

How you also can help sustainability?

Now, after you have read all about the most important actions Amazon is making to help environmental sustainability. And that people there want to make sure future generations get a better environment than what were are currently damaging. What can you do to help?

Of course, you can’t invest billions like Amazon. But you can choose what products to use and from whom to order. If you really want to help, you need to make eco-conscious decisions before ordering your next Amazon product. Make sure the products you order are eco-friendly. And that they are manufactured and packaged with sustainability in mind.

But don’t stop there!

You also need to help everybody you know with their decisions. And to encourage them to buy eco-friendly products as well. And if everyone tells three or five of his friends, we will easily build an eco-conscious community in no time. A community that really cares about environmental sustainability.

I hope you found this blog post valuable. And I appreciate your thoughts in the comments below.

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