More orders, more output: Amazon delivery truck at a distribution center in the US state of Florida
Photo: Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images
In 2019, Amazon made a climate pledge.
The world's largest internet retailer pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040, ten years ahead of the targets set by the Paris Agreement.
There was talk of a cross-industry community of companies and organizations with which to overcome the climate crisis, and the group also ordered 100,000 electric trucks from Rivan.
However, in everyday business fueled by the corona pandemic, Amazon has taken steps backwards on the way to these goals.
This emerges from the company's sustainability report published on Monday.
According to this, not only did sales and profits increase in 2021, but also the emission of climate-damaging gases – by a whopping 18 percent compared to 2020.
Amazon: CO2 intensity has fallen overall
The group specifically reports emissions of 71.54 million tons of CO2 equivalent.
According to the broadcaster CNBC, this corresponds to an amount that 180 gas-fired power plants can emit annually.
In relation to 2019, the increase is almost 40 percent.
The background is the tremendous growth of Amazon in recent years.
The logistics network with delivery vans, planes and trucks was expanded, and new warehouses and distribution centers were opened.
All of this is fundamentally bad for the climate.
In its sustainability report, however, Amazon tries to present the situation differently.
The company refers to all kinds of efforts from certifications to green investments.
As CO2 emissions are still increasing in absolute terms, the company writes: "The focus should not only be on a company's carbon footprint in the form of absolute carbon emissions, but also on whether it is reducing its carbon intensity." This is around 1 .9 percent down.
In other words, the emissions it emits for every dollar of goods sold went down a bit.
This number, but also the information on Amazon's total CO2 emissions, should be evaluated with caution.
According to CNBC, a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting earlier this year found that the company only counts emissions from products sold under the Amazon brand, unlike other large retailers like Walmart.
Goods that it buys from manufacturers and resells directly to customers are not taken into account.
According to the broadcaster, Amazon announced that the company follows the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard when recording its emissions in the supply chain.
The company did not respond to the specific allegations.