Amazon emissions increased 18% due to online shopping during COVID-19

Deepak Gupta August 3, 2022
Updated 2022/08/03 at 7:07 PM

With the pandemic sweeping the world and keeping it at home, people have adapted their consumption habits and shopping has started to be done mostly from home. In the case of Amazon, this change resulted in an 18% increase in its carbon dioxide emissions.

Amazon started revealing its carbon footprint data in 2019.

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Amazon's carbon dioxide emissions rose 18% last year as a result of growing demand for online shopping driven by the pandemic. The not-so-satisfactory novelty was given in the annual report of the company's sustainability.

In the document, which was issued this week, Amazon revealed that its activities resulted in the equivalent of 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2021. Therefore, an increase of 18% compared to 2020, and an increase of almost 40% when compared to 2019 figures – the year in which the company started revealing data on its carbon footprint.

The justification for the increase in carbon dioxide emissions lies in the mass turnout to the online ordering regime, both on Amazon and other e-commerce companies. This is because users have chosen to protect themselves and make online purchases.

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Although the pandemic lasted roughly two years, according to CNBC, Amazon decided to expand its logistics network, increasing the number of delivery vans, planes and trucks, and opening new warehouses, in order to respond to the pandemic. demand. In fact, according to the company, in 2021, the size of its service network has doubled.

According to an Amazon spokesperson, the company follows Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to determine its scope 3 emissions, which are those generated by a company's supply chain.

Amazon under scrutiny

While it is working towards transparency in its emissions, Amazon's climate track record, according to CNBC, has come under scrutiny.

One report by Reveal of the Center for Investigative Reporting earlier this year, revealed that, unlike big retailers like Target and Walmart, Amazon only counts the carbon emissions generated by its branded products, not including those resulting from items it buys from manufacturers and sells directly to the customer.

On this, the same spokesperson explained that Amazon sellers “control their own carbon emissions count”.

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