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Amazon deliver seven years early

In a week when Google revealed their data centres have pushed their emissions through the roof – a 48% rise over the last five years – Amazon have announced that last year all of the electricity they used, including data centres, was matched with 100% renewable energy

Five years ago, Amazon announced that they had an ambition to achieve this, but the deadline they gave themselves was 2030, a target they have beaten by seven years.

Amazon Chief Sustainability Officer Kara Hurst said: ‘Reaching our renewable energy goal is an incredible achievement, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to get here, seven years early. We also know that this is just a moment in time, and our work to decarbonise our operations will not always be the same each year—we’ll continue to make progress, while also constantly evolving on our path to 2040.

‘Our teams will remain ambitious, and continue to do what is right for our business, our customers, and the planet. That’s why we’ll continue investing in solar and wind projects, while also supporting other forms of carbon-free energy, like nuclear, battery storage, and emerging technologies that can help power our operations for decades to come.’

Amazon’s investment in reaching these targets has been prodigious. The company have over 24,000 electric vehicles in their global fleet, which between them delivered 680 million packages last year.

The company have also made huge investment in renewable energy sources, with 500 solar and wind projects around the world. In the UK they have 26 onsite solar projects and five wind farms.  In fact, Amazon have been the world’ largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy for the last four years.

300 of their fulfilment centres (such as that in Tilbury, Essex, pictured above) and other corporate buildings around the world are equipped with on-site solar, which will help the company towards avoiding an estimated 27.8 million tons of carbon per year, once all projects become operational.

Work has also been undertaken to restructure the delivery network, from fulfilment centres, intermediate sort centres to last mile delivery hubs. Such restructuring in the USA alone has reduced vehicle emissions to the tune of nearly 16 million miles travelled. In the UK, they are expanding their network of micromobility hubs, allowing last mile deliveries to be made on foot or using electric cargo bikes.

Kyle Harrison, head of sustainability research at Bloomberg NEF said: ‘By achieving its 100% renewable energy goal, Amazon has made it possible for hundreds of new solar and wind projects to be constructed, bringing new sources of clean energy to grids and communities around the world. Addressing climate change while balancing society’s skyrocketing energy demands is a massive challenge, and Amazon’s commitment to clean power demonstrates how a single company can help accelerate the transition to the low-carbon economy on a global scale.’

Paul Day
Paul is the editor of Public Sector News.

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