- Amazon scrapped its Shipment Zero initiative, which was announced a few years ago.
- The company is rolling the goal into a broader Climate Pledge.
- Amazon deleted the original Shipment Zero blog post. We dug it up.
When it comes to hard choices over profit versus the environment, big corporations usually chose their bottom line. Amazon is no different.
The e-commerce giant recently backed out of a commitment to make all its shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030.
It is now rolling this goal into an existing broader “Climate Pledge” to reach net zero carbon across all its operations by 2040. That’s a decade later than than the 50% goal, which was called “Shipment Zero” at the time.
“As we examined our work toward The Climate Pledge, we realized that it no longer made sense to have a separate and more narrow Shipment Zero goal that applied to only one part of our business, so we’ve decided to eliminate it,” the company said in a statement.
Investigative reporter Will Evans squeezed this information from Amazon and he tweeted about it on Thursday. Last year, Evans uncovered a study that found the company drastically undercounts its carbon footprint. At the time, an Amazon spokesman reiterated the company’s commitment to cutting emissions, including ordering a fleet of electric delivery vans and buying renewable energy for its electricity needs.
Dropping the specific shipment pledge is noteworthy because Amazon’s e-commerce operation relies on huge fleets of vehicles and aircraft to deliver packages to consumers quickly. Most of this activity chews up vast quantities of fossil fuels and spews out greenhouse gases. However, fast delivery is a key selling point for shoppers, and the main reason millions of people subscribe to the company’s Prime program.
Amazon announced the Shipment Zero initiative in a blog a few years ago. The company has deleted the post. However, through the magic of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, large corporations cannot rewrite online history. Here’s a version of the blog.
Some choice phrases from the announcement, so you can see what Amazon is backing out of now:
“We can now see a path to net zero carbon delivery of shipments to customers, and we are setting an ambitious goal for ourselves to reach 50% of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030.”
“We believe that lower costs include lowering the costs to the environment we all live and work in every day. We’ll keep you posted as we work towards achieving Shipment Zero.”
“It won’t be easy to achieve this goal, but it’s worth being focused and stubborn on this vision and we’re committed to seeing it through.”