Amazon’s carbon footprint soars 18 percent in 2021

The world’s largest online retailer faces colossal challenges to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2021, Amazon’s CO2 emissions increased by 18 percent due to an upsurge in shopping during the pandemic. As the e-commerce juggernaut looks to grow its business, so does its footprint.

Despite the electric vehicles it uses for some of its deliveries, a shift to renewable energy and automating processes, Amazon has increased its environmental impact since 2019 – when it started publishing official figures. In those two years, Amazon’s carbon footprint jumped 40 percent.

Yet Amazon wants to be carbon neutral by 2040. But compare that to Denmark, a country that has successfully met its long-term goals to become carbon neutral, and in 2016 reached its interim goal of using 30 per cent. hundred of energy from renewable sources, designated to 2020.

Amazon said the scale at which it moves items, products and builds computing capabilities means some of its activities are more carbon-intensive. Between 2020 and 2021, Amazon doubled the size of its network of administrative and logistical processes and expanded its transportation network.

If you compare the US company to an e-commerce giant like Farfetch, Amazon emerges as the monopolistic retail giant that buys from brands, stores goods and ships them to customers, often overwhelming the small street merchant. principal or shop owner.

Amazon’s CO2 production matches that of Bangladesh

In terms of numbers, Amazon’s carbon production reached 71.54 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the production of countries like Bangladesh. This is 30 percent more than the US government’s production of 47.50 million tons of CO2 in the same year. Note that Amazon’s actual footprint could be much higher, as its reporting does not include emissions produced by the manufacture of its third-party products.

The news isn’t all bad, however. Amazon said its carbon intensity decreased by 1.9 percent. This metric quantifies total C02 carbon emissions per dollar of gross merchandise sales (GMS).

In a statement, Amazon said, “This year-over-year carbon intensity comparison reflects our early progress in decarbonizing our operations as we also continue to grow as a business. Almost half of the improvement in our carbon intensity is the result of our investments in renewable energy and improvements in operational efficiency”.

This article originally appeared on It was translated and edited in French by Julia Garel.

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