Amazon lowers carbon intensity but not climate pollution

Shaun M Jooste


If you’re fond of using your Amazon Appstore, you may be devastated to know how much you’re indirectly contributing to climate pollution. It’s not your fault, though. As Amazon builds new warehouses and facilities worldwide, it continues to pump millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, despite its promise to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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Amazon released a new sustainability report that discussed the annual latest greenhouse gas emissions. The metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted in 2021 came to 71.54 million, which is massive. To paint a picture, you’d need 180 power plants powered by gas annually to meet the same amount. 

Amazon lowers carbon intensity but not climate pollution

Many sustainability companies have been keeping an eye on these figures, as Amazon made a statement in 2019 that it would strive for net-zero emissions by 2040. While we don’t have the exact roadmap for how it plans to do so, that leaves plenty of years for it to continue polluting the environment.

At the time that Amazon made the Climate Pledge, it tried to rope in other businesses to also lower their greenhouse gas emissions. It was like shifting the focus to others, hoping that we’d see that no one else is wanting to make any change. However, there’s a tiny silver lining somewhere within the Amazon pollution cloud.

Amazon lowers carbon intensity but not climate pollution

The carbon intensity has dropped by 1.9%. What this means is that, for every dollar you spend on an Amazon product, there are fewer emissions than before. It’s a small amount, and it doesn’t even begin to compare to the climate pollution still caused by Amazon facilities.

The moral of the story is, don’t make promises for things that you’re not sure you’ll be able to keep. Despite all its efforts, the emissions keep rising due to more facilities being built. Some officials in the company are blaming it on last year’s pandemic shopping.

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