Making Progress Every Day: Amazon’s Commitment to Sustainability – France

By Kara Hurst, Vice President, Worldwide Sustainability

Every day, at Amazon, a question arises: “How can we improve this product, service or experience for our customers? “. We are constantly seeking to question ourselves and to always better respond to our customers, support our employees and accelerate the pace of our innovations.

This state of mind is an integral part of our corporate culture. This is why, every day, we act in this same spirit of perseverance to progress in our commitments to sustainable development.

Whatever the organization, committing to a sustainable development approach is not easy. And for a company the size of Amazon, that’s a huge challenge. But at Amazon, we like to take on big challenges, and above all to innovate and create. Even if we do not yet have all the answers, it seems obvious to us that we must act now.

Our 2021 Sustainability Report details our commitments to our customers, our people and the planet:

We have set up, within the framework of The Climate Pledge, a collective of several hundred partners who are committed to fighting the climate crisis and meeting the challenges linked to the decarbonisation of our economy.

The Climate Pledge is a commitment to achieve net zero CO emissions2 by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement target. In 2021, 253 companies joined Amazon as signatories to The Climate Pledge, an increase of more than 700% over the previous year. Today, The Climate Pledge has over 300 signatories in 51 sectors and 29 countries.

We have delivered several million parcels thanks to greener modes of transport.

In 2021, more than 100 million parcels were delivered to our customers across Europe by a fleet of more than 3,000 electric delivery vehicles and other greener modes of transport. In North America, more than 500,000 parcels were also delivered to our customers’ homes in electric vehicles. In July, Amazon also announced the launch of personalized delivery vehicles, ordered from Rivian, in ten cities in the United States, which will become several thousand vehicles in more than 100 cities by the end of 2022. .

We have provided customers with tools to help them be better informed.

With the Climate Pledge Friendly program, we help Amazon customers in the United States and Europe identify and purchase more eco-responsible products. Since the launch of Climate Pledge Friendly in 2020, the number of labeled products has grown from 75,000 to 250,000 SKUs at the end of 2021. In 2021, more than 370 million Climate Pledge Friendly items were shipped to Amazon customers and the program has incorporated more than 20 new third-party eco-friendly certifications.

Amazon has made significant progress in achieving our commitment to power our business 100% with renewable energy.

In 2021, we reached the threshold of 85% electricity from renewable energy across the company. With 274 renewable energy projects announced by the end of 2021, Amazon is the largest private buyer of renewable energy in the world and is on track to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, with five years of ahead of the original 2030 goal. Today, Amazon has 310 renewable energy projects in 19 countries.

We have invested in forward-thinking companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Through its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon has invested in 13 companies in 2021 to accelerate sustainability progress in transportation, aviation, freight, packaging, agriculture and technologies. To date, Amazon has invested in a total of 18 companies: Rivian, Redwood Materials, Turntide, CarbonCure, Pachama, Infinium, ZeroAvia, BETA Technologies, ION Energy, CMC, Resilient Power, Hippo Harvest, Amogy, Ambient Photonics, Brimstone, Verne and more recently Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire.

Amazon has set up several partnerships to decarbonize complex sectors.

Amazon also joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance in 2021, becoming one of its founding members, to drive investment and send a strong signal to the market in favor of sustainable aviation fuels. We also helped launch Cargo Owners for Zero Emission Vessels (coZEV), with the Aspen Institute. Through coZEV, Amazon supports initiatives to improve the availability of zero-emission fuels and technologies. The company also became a private founding member of the First Movers Coalition, a leader in decarbonizing the shipping industry.

We have provided support to the territories in which we operate.

Amazon has helped in 28 natural disasters and since 2017 has donated more than 18 million essential and emergency items. We also look to the future, through programs that promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and skills development. In 2021, 1.8 million students benefited from Amazon Future Engineer, our global program to train children in computer science for a future career.

In January 2021, Amazon launched the Amazon Housing Equity Fund, through which the company pledges to spend more than $2 billion to preserve and build more than 20,000 affordable homes in three territories in which people live. number of collaborators: the Puget Sound region in the State of Washington, the metropolis of Washington, DC and Arlington (Virginia), as well as Nashville (Tennessee).

Amazon has improved its packaging for safer and more eco-responsible deliveries.

Frustration-Free Unboxing is Amazon’s flagship program designed to provide packaging that is more durable, easy to open, fully recyclable, and can be shipped without additional protective packaging. By the end of 2021, more than 2 million products met the criteria for the Frustration-Free Unbox program.

Our collective efforts have saved 30,000 tons of plastic across North America in 2021. In Europe, we have moved from single-use plastic delivery bags to recycled paper bags and cardboard envelopes for orders shipped from fulfillment centers. In Australia, we have replaced all plastic air cushions with 100% recyclable paper materials to protect items during transit.

Amazon has reduced food waste and increased food donations to people in need.

Amazon is committed to reducing food waste by 50% across its operations in the United States and Europe by 2030. To achieve this, we are optimizing our food inventory management systems to immediately limit waste and to focus on ways to prevent these foodstuffs from going to the trash.

In 2021, Amazon donated more than 38,000 tons of food, or more than 70 million meals, in the United States through Feeding America and also donated more than 4,000 tons of food in Europe, or the equivalent of 10 million meals. In order to avoid landfilling, food that cannot be donated is composted or methanized.

AWS has improved the energy performance and water consumption of its data centers.

Amazon Web Services prioritizes performance and continuous innovation across its infrastructure to ensure the sustainability of its business, for customers and for the planet. In 2021, AWS Graviton3 processors became the latest generation of AWS-designed Graviton processors, delivering instances using up to 60% less power compared to non-Graviton Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) EC2 instances. for identical performance.

AWS has also implemented strategies such as evaporative cooling, onsite water treatment, and the use of recycled water systems for cooling. For example, a solution can redistribute up to 96% of the water used for cooling AWS data centers to local farmers for the irrigation of corn, soybean and wheat fields.

We have reduced the company’s overall carbon intensity in a context of rapid growth.

Despite scaling our business with unprecedented speed to meet the needs of our customers during the pandemic, we saw a 1.9% decline in our carbon intensity in 2021.

As Amazon invests in new products and services, the company will need to continue to measure the speed of reducing its carbon intensity, so that it can both meet the needs of its customers and meet its goal of net zero emissions. CO2. And thanks to our strong culture of innovation and the tenacity of our team of scientists and sustainability experts, we are committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

And tomorrow ?

Running a business sustainably is no longer a choice, it’s an imperative. Real progress in the fight against climate change requires unprecedented measures, across all sectors and societies. We are aware of this and know that the operation of our activities has consequences far beyond the company itself.

There is no time to lose: this is why we invest in projects that aim to protect the environment for the populations of the territories where the company is present, today and tomorrow.

To know more about Amazon’s commitment to development sustainable, read our 2021 Sustainability Report in entirety.

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