In November of 2014, Amazon rolled out a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy for their AWS infrastructure around the world. Over the last 5 years, 6 solar farms in Virginia and 3 wind farms in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio have been constructed. The energy produced by these facilities is enough to offset the consumption of a city the size of Atlanta. In addition to these renewable products Amazon has rolled out a new sustainability initiative called “Shipment Zero”. Previous initiatives have been focused on the AWS side of the operation, “Shipment Zero” aims to deliver half of their packages by 2030 with net zero emissions by 2030. Amazon says that due to improvements in reusable packaging, electric vehicles, renewable energy and biofuels it “can now see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers.”
Sustainability initiatives like this are not uncommon for large corporations. Companies like Colgate-Palmolive and Microsoft have rolled out broad energy reduction initiatives. Microsoft, for example, has committed to a 75% reduction in emissions, and dedicated $50M over 5 years to building AI and cloud-based tools for sustainability professionals.
Amazon expects to publish a report later this year based on a company wide initiative developed over the last two years to account for its carbon footprint, based on a model developed by a team of sustainability scientist. This project will help Amazon identify other opportunities to reduce its CO2 emissions and costs.