Amazon cancels pledge to make half its shipments carbon neutral

29 May 2023

Image: © Олександр Луценко/

The company announced this initiative in 2019 but claims it ‘no longer makes sense’ to have a climate goal that applies to only one part of its business.

Amazon has quietly removed its ‘Shipment Zero’ initiative, in which the company pledged to make half of its shipments carbon neutral by 2030.

This pledge was announced by Amazon in 2019 and was one of several goals the company listed to improve its sustainability efforts. Later that year, Amazon revealed ‘The Climate Pledge’, which was the broad goal of hitting net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040.

In a statement, Amazon said it “no longer makes sense” to have the Shipment Zero goal as it only applied to “one part of our business”.

“We set Shipment Zero as a goal before we announced our commitment to The Climate Pledge, which is a more comprehensive effort to drive innovation and decarbonisation efforts across our entire business,” Amazon said in a statement.

“We remain focused on The Climate Pledge and our goal to reach net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040.”

Amazon said its broader climate goals include using 100pc renewable energy in its operations, decarbonising its transportation network, using more sustainable building materials and reducing packaging waste.

Amazon’s shipping business is a significant part of the company, delivering its products worldwide. It is estimated that in 2021, Amazon shipped roughly 7.7bn packages globally.

Amazon’s climate woes

The tech giant has had a mixed relationship with climate goals in recent years. The same year that Amazon announced its Climate Pledge, the company saw thousands of employees in more than 25 cities walk out in protest at the company’s climate policies and practices.

In 2020, there were reports that Amazon owner Jeff Bezos issued warnings to at least two employees who have publicly criticised the company’s environmental policies.

Amazon has taken steps to improve its climate practices. In 2020, the company launched a $2bn fund to invest in technologies and services that would enable Amazon to meet its net-zero goal.

But the Covid-19 pandemic saw Amazon receive a significant surge in demand, as increasing numbers of people took to online shopping during lockdowns.

There was also a surge in demand for cloud services as digital transformation started to take hold in companies of all sizes.

As a result of Amazon’s reactionary expansion spree, the company’s carbon emissions grew by 18pc in 2021.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic