Amazon.com Inc.

RATING

SECTOR

Technology

WEBSITE

CONTACT

410 Terry Ave. North Seattle, WA 98109-5210

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • #1 in the U.S. by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
  • Safety Leadership Index (SLI)
  • NAACP Equity, Inclusion, and Empowerment Index, 2018 
  • Disability Equality Index Best Places to work fo Disability Inclusion, 2018-2020
  • 100% on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for LGBTQIA+ rights
  • Solar Energy Industries Association Solar Business Report: #1 for most corporate on-site solar installed in 2018 and #2 for total amount of solar installed to date, 2019

EMPLOYEES

876,800

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Kara Hartnett Hurst

AWARDS

  • PG&E Green Award in recognition of innovative green leadership through PG&E’s environmental energy saving programs in San Joaquin County, California, 2018

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Maribel Sabino

Amazon.com Inc.

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Amazon is a leading American multinational technology engaged in e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, and artificial intelligence.

Amazon seeks to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company guided by four principles: customer obsession, passion for the invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking.

In addition to serving their primary customer sets, consisting of consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, andontent creators, Amazon provides services, such as advertising to sellers, vendors, publishers and authors, through programs such as sponsored ads, display, and video advertising.

Company Sustainability Activity

Amazon is committed to building a sustainable business for their customers and the planet. In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge—a commitment to be net zero carbon across their business by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

As part of this pledge, Amazon has made ambitious commitments toward reaching this goal. These ambitious commitments include deploying technology and people to reach net zero carbon, making all Amazon shipments net zero carbon through Shipment Zero, powering their operations with 100% renewable energy, purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, investing $100 million in reforestation projects and climate mitigation solutions, and investing $2 billion to support the development of technologies and services that reduce carbon emissions and help preserve the natural world. 

To meet these goals, teams across Amazon are taking a broad, science-based approach to measuring, reducing, and eliminating carbon emissions in their operations.

As part of their commitment to The Climate Pledge, Amazon joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), reaffirming their commitment to reduce carbon emissions in line with the ongoing science-based approach to tackle climate change. 

Highlights

Net Zero Carbon by 2040

  • Deploying technology and people to reach net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040, one decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.

100% Renewable Energy by 2025

  • Powering operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Shipment Zero

  • Making all Amazon shipments net zero carbon through Shipment Zero, with 50% of all shipments net zero carbon by 2030.

100,000 Electric Delivery Vehicles

  • Purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles.

Climate Pledge Fund

  • Investing $2 billion to support the development of technologies and services that reduce carbon emissions and help preserve the natural world.

Right Now Climate Fund

    • Investing $100 million in reforestation projects and climate mitigation solutions.

Targets

Under The Climate Pledge, Amazon’s goals are: 

  1. To reach net zero carbon by 2040
  2. To deliver 50% of shipments with net zero carbon by 2030
  3. To power their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025

ENVIRONMENT

Carbon Footprint: reach net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040

  • Energy projects and investments: solar farm in Virginia and purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles

Renewable Energy: Amazon is committed to powering their operations with 100% renewable energy as part of their goal to reach net zero carbon by 2040

  • 100% renewable energy by 2025
  • Amazon’s U.S. is a solar farm in Pittsylvania County, Virginia is planned for completion by the first quarter of 2022. Amazon has contracted 82 megawatts (MW) of the new 120 MW solar farm, which is expected to generate 172,500 MWh of renewable energy annually.

Shipment Zero: Amazon’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with a goal of 

  • Delivering 50% of shipments with net zero carbon by 2030
  • Shipment Zero order will travel through fulfillment facilities powered by 100% clean energy from wind and solar projects dedicated to Amazon’s electricity needs and from the grid

Sustainable Transportation: committed to optimizing and transforming their transportation network through innovations in electrification, efficiency enhancements, and alternative delivery methods

  • Amazon plans to start using 100,000 electric vehicles to deliver packages to customers by 2021, with 10,000 new vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030
  • Amazon India is adding 10,000 electric delivery vehicles to its existing fleet by 2025, including 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler vehicles designed and manufactured in India

Sustainable Buildings: Amazon is working to reduce the carbon emissions associated with their buildings and facilities across the globe by transitioning buildings to be net zero carbon, powered by renewable energy, and highly energy efficient

  • 100% Renewable Energy at HQ2 in Arlington

Sustainable Products and Materials

  • 100% sustainable palm oil by the end of 2020
  • All cotton used in Amazon-owned Private Brand apparel products will be sourced sustainably by the end of 2022
  • Amazon will ensure that none of the man-made cellulosic fibers sourced for Amazon-owned Private Brand apparel products are derived from ancient and endangered forests, or from endangered species’ habitats or other controversial sources by 2022
  • Leather for Amazon-owned Private Brand apparel products will be sourced from tanneries that meet the Leather Working Group’s bronze level award or higher by 2023

PEOPLE

Human Rights

  • Launch a review of Amazon’s salient human rights risks by the end of 2020
  • Execute Amazon’s first human rights impact assessment by the end of 2020

Supply Chain Commitments

    • 100% of Amazon employees who drive trucks complete Truckers Against Trafficking training by the end of 2020
    • Launch supplier improvement program focused on responsible recruitment by the end of 2020
    • Launch empowerment programs to reach over 25,000 women in their supply chain by 2023
    • Launch in-depth research into fair wages within their Amazon-branded products supply chains in 2021
    • Collect environmental performance data from 200 suppliers by the end of 2021

Progress

ENVIRONMENTAL

Renewable Energy

  • In 2019, Amazon reached 42% renewable energy across their business
  • As of June 2020, Amazon has 91 solar and wind projects across the globe that have the capacity to generate over 2,900 megawatts (MW) and deliver more than 7.6 million megawatt hours (MWh) of energy annually
  • In March 2020, Amazon announced four new renewable energy projects—the first in Australia, second in Sweden, second in Spain, and 11th in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the U.S. Combined, these projects are expected to produce almost 300 MW of additional renewable capacity and approximately 840,000 MWh of energy annually
  • One of Amazon’s latest solar projects in the U.S. is a solar farm in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, which will power Amazon’s new Virginia headquarters and other Amazon-owned operations across the Commonwealth, including Whole Foods Markets and fulfillment centers. The project is planned for completion by the first quarter of 2022. Amazon has contracted 82 megawatts (MW) of the new 120 MW solar farm, which is expected to generate 172,500 MWh of renewable energy annually. 
  • Amazon’s largest wind project to date, Amazon Wind Farm Texas, is a 253 MW wind farm in Scurry County has more than 100 turbines, generating 1 million MWh of wind energy annually

Certificates

  • LEED Gold and Platinum
  • BREEAM
  • ISO 14064 International Standard for GHG Emissions
  • Green Globes Certification

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 2 

  • Amazon’s collaboration with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, provided access to more than 9 million school breakfasts for over 50,000 students in 450 schools across the U.S. by the end of 2019

SDG 3

  • Safety Leadership Index (SLI)
  • WorkingWell: Amazon developed WorkingWell, a program that uses academic research and certified athletic trainers to educate employees and leaders about health and wellness. WorkingWell is a training and conditioning program designed for new hires and tenured employees, which includes a new hire ramp-up schedule aimed at preventing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). It also includes a two-week classroom course about proper body movements, health, and wellness, as well as routine safety training engagements. 
  • Mind and Body Moments: Piloted in 2019, this new program employs 30-second, guided physical and mental exercises, offered directly at an employee’s workstation. The intent of these “moments” is to help reduce muscle fatigue and stress, thereby promoting wellness and mitigating injury risks. 
  • Safety Capital Investments: In 2020, Amazon has made a substantial investment in the safety of their people and facilities, with $296 million earmarked for safety-related programs in the U.S. alone. In 2019, Amazon invested $14 million to further improve the safety of employee parking lots at their facilities; $9 million to retrofit pallet racking with state-of-the art equipment; and $1.6 million on pedestrian safety controls in some of their specialized distribution centers.
  • Benefits: comprehensive healthcare coverage with affordable premiums (paycheck contributions) that extend to eligible family members, including medical, prescription drug, dental, and vision coverage; a 401(k) with a 50% match up to 4% of compensation; a Flexible Spending Account for health and dependent care; 24-hour a day free and confidential counseling services; and paid time off and holiday overtime pay.
  • Amazon is collaborating with Crossover Health to establish convenient health centers in the communities where their fulfillment centers and operations facilities are located, starting in Texas, with additional centers planned for other states in the months ahead

SDG 5

  • Gender Pay Gap: A review of the compensation awarded in 2019 at Amazon, including both base and stock, shows that women earned 99.3 cents for every dollar that men earned performing the same jobs, and minorities earned 99.1 cents for every dollar that white employees earned performing these same jobs.
  • Amazon collaborates with globally recognized programs like Better Work and Business for Social Responsibility’s HERproject, an initiative that brings together global brands, their suppliers, and local partners to create and implement workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion, and gender equality
  • As of June 2020, Amazon reached over 8,700 women with training on health and financial skills, building the capacity of workers and factory management to combat gender-based discrimination in the workplace
  • Amazon Women in Engineering
  • Launch empowerment programs to reach over 25,000 women in their supply chain by 2023

SDG 8

  • Amazon’s investments have led to the creation of over 2 million direct and indirect jobs in the U.S. alone.

SDG 10

  • Amazon has 12 affinity groups created and led by employees that lead in community-building, mentorship, and programs to build awareness around customer inclusion. The groups include the Amazon People with Disabilities, Amazon Women in Engineering, the Black Employees Network, and Glamazon (for LGBTQIA+ employees and their allies).
  • Amazon Future Engineer: a childhood to career program that will inspire and teach more than 10 million underprivileged and underrepresented students each year about computer science.
  • Amazon committed $50 million over five years to STEM programs for diverse communities
  • Amazon donated more than $27 million to organizations working to bring about social justice and improve the lives of Black and African Americans
  • Amazon provides gender transition benefits based on the Standards of Care published by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
  • Amazon has held gender identity conferences since 2018 to build community, educate to those outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, and provide professional development opportunities for those at Amazon while transitioning openly in the workplace

SDG 12

  • Amazon collaborates with leading apparel partners, including the Better Cotton Initiative, Textile Exchange, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and Leather Working Group
  • Amazon follows standards are derived from the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Core Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

SDG 13

  • The Climate Pledge: Amazon’s commitment to be net zero carbon across their business by 2040
    • Climate Pledge Fund: Investing $2 billion to support the development of technologies and services that decarbonize and help preserve the natural world
  • Right Now Climate Fund: $100 million fund to restore and conserve forests, wetlands, and grasslands around the world
  • 100% Renewable Energy by 2025

SDG 17

  • Amazon has partnered with the following companies to promote sustainability:
    • Advanced Energy Buyers Group, Advanced Energy Economy, American Council on Renewable Energy, Amader Kotha, Amfori, Better Buying, Better Cotton Initiative, Business for Social Responsibility, BSR HERproject, Carbon Leadership Forum, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Ceres Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, City Harvest In the UK, Closed Loop Fund, Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Feeding America, Global Optimism, Good 360,Green Chemistry and Commercial Council, In Kind Direct, Innatura, International Safe Transit Association, Leather Working Group, Nest, Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, RE-Source Platform, Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, Responsible Business Alliance, Responsible Labor Initiative, Responsible Minerals Initiative, SolarPower Europe, Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Tech Against Trafficking, Textile Exchange, The Recycling Partnership, Truckers Against Trafficking, and U.S. Partnership for Renewable Energy Finance

Amazon.com Inc. is dedicated to building a sustainable business for their customers and the planet. This is evident through their initiatives including The Climate Pledge, Shipment Zero initiative, and strive to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Amazon holds various listings, awards and certificates in sustainability, however these listings, awards and certification are insufficient. Amazon lacks clear KPIs and while they try to align with the Sustainable Development Goals, there are no clear target specific strategies to achieve these goals.

Despite Amazon’s commitment to building a sustainable business, they continue to engage in partnerships with multiple oil and gas companies. For these reasons, Amazon is rated a C on the Sustainability Index.

Analyst Outlook: Negative

In addition to partnering with oil and gas companies, Amazon is expanding their operations, having added 12 additional aircrafts to their fleet and on-the-ground operations. 

Key Points

  • Amazon does not report through the CDP, which in the past has given Amazon an F for non-participation.
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