Online retailer Amazon says its carbon emissions increased by 18 percent in 2021


Amazon said its carbon footprint grew 18 percent in 2021 as the company’s rapid growth during the pandemic overwhelmed emerging efforts to reduce its contribution to emissions that are warming the planet.

The world’s largest online retailer emitted 71.54 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent last year, Amazon said in an updated edition of its sustainability report on Monday.

That’s about 40 percent more since the company first released the number, using data from 2019.

Amazon’s carbon intensity — a measure that divides its emissions by gross merchandise sales — fell 1.9 percent, an indication of the company’s success in delivering products and running its warehouses, data centers and offices more efficiently.

Amazon aims to become a “net zero” greenhouse gas emitter by 2040.

In addition to reducing emissions with electric vehicles and other operational initiatives, Amazon plans to purchase credits associated with projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere.

The net-zero promise poses a huge challenge for a company that wants to grow like a start-up, operating a cargo airline, a sprawling retail and logistics business, grocery stores, and data centers.

Amazon’s carbon footprint accounting includes emissions from its own offices and data centers, purchased electricity, tailpipe emissions from delivery partners, and the manufacture of Amazon-branded products, among others.

Unlike some retailers, the Seattle-based company doesn’t attempt to account for the emissions that go into manufacturing the products it sells, with the exception of private label merchandise.

“The challenges we collectively face on the journey to net-zero carbon are significant,” Amazon said in its report. “Many new technologies show promise in their ability to reduce carbon emissions, but may still require significant development.” Online retailer Amazon says its carbon emissions increased by 18 percent in 2021

Fry Electronics Team

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