Amazon’s carbon emissions increased by 19% last year, even though the Covid19 pandemic caused a sharp drop in global emissions levels.
In its annual sustainability report released on Wednesday, Amazon stated that its activities emitted the equivalent of 60.64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020. This is more than the 51.17 million metric tons reported in 2019. An increase of 15% year on year.
Covid19 forced many people to stay indoors to avoid exposure to the virus. Last year, this change in activities brought about a decline in global greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers found in December last year that global carbon emissions fell by about 7% year-on-year in 2020, the biggest drop on record.
Amazon stated that its emissions will increase in 2020 due to the pandemic that fuels the growth of its business. The company is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the pandemic, as shoppers depend on online retailers for everything from face masks and hand sanitizers to groceries and office supplies. Amazon’s revenue last year reached a record $ 386 billion.
Amazon stated that although absolute emissions have increased, its carbon intensity (measured as emissions per dollar of sales) has decreased by 16% in 2020, which is in line with internal targets.
“This annual carbon intensity comparison reflects our initial progress in decarbonizing our business as we continue to grow as a company,” Amazon said in the report. “Almost half of our improvement in carbon intensity is the result of our investment in renewable energy and improved operational efficiency.”
Amazon announced its “climate pledge” in 2019. As part of this plan, Amazon committed to being carbon neutral by 2040. In June of last year, Amazon declared that it expects to operate entirely on clean energy by 2025, which is better than achieve the goals you initially set in your climate commitments.
Part of Amazon’s climate goals includes the integration of electric vehicles in its distribution network. It ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian and said it will be on the road in 2030.