In its latest Sustainability Report, released on July 19, 2023, revealed updates to its Supply Chain Standards, imposing new requirements for suppliers to report their carbon emissions data and establish emissions reduction goals. This move is part of Amazon's ongoing efforts to achieve its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
Acknowledging that Scope 3 emissions, which account for more than three-quarters of Amazon's emissions footprint, Amazon has now set its sights on emissions that occur outside of its direct control. Amazon aims to reduce its overall carbon footprint across its entire business, including its vast global supply chain. The company's 2022 report revealed a 0.4% decline in total carbon footprint and a 0.7% decrease in Scope 3 emissions despite a 9% revenue growth during the same period.
In a summary, Kara Hurst, Vice President and Head of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, described the plan to impose the new data collection and reporting burden on its supply chain partners to achieve the necessary reductions in carbon emissions:
“Reaching net-zero carbon by 2040 requires Amazon to reduce its carbon footprint across our entire business, including our vast global supply chain. Like many companies our size, this is challenging, as these are activities that take place outside our direct operational control.
“We know that to decrease our carbon footprint, we must work with our supply chain partners to help them decarbonize their own operations. Beginning in 2024, we’re updating our Supply Chain Standards to require suppliers to share their carbon emissions data with us and set carbon goals. We’ll use our scale, investment, and innovation to provide tools and resources to help them reach their goals—whether that’s transitioning to renewable energy or accessing more sustainable materials.”
Amazon aims to have a significant impact on reducing carbon emissions in diverse areas such as building materials, transportation, technical equipment, products, and packaging.
In the full report, Amazon says it will use its substantial “size and scale” to exhibit influence beyond its direct control:
“We will use our size and scale to benefit businesses that are committed to decarbonizing by providing products and tools to both track emissions and help decrease them. And we will continue to look for suppliers that help us achieve our decarbonization vision as we select partners for business opportunities.”
“To reduce indirect emissions, it’s important to be able to measure them accurately,” the report says:
“We support and fund industry partnerships to gather more accurate data, including the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3), which helps measure embodied carbon in buildings, and the Smart Freight Centre’s Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework, a globally recognized methodology for measuring freight transportation emissions.”
Amazon seeks to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 and achieve an 8 GW increase in renewable energy capacity in 2022, setting an industry record. Additionally, Amazon is continuing to expand its fleet of electric delivery vehicles, reaching 9,000 in 2022, with a goal of reaching 100,000 by 2030.