How Amazon’s employees help drive sustainability

At Amazon locations around the world, employees bring their energy and focus to initiatives that amplify and deliver on our company’s ambitious sustainability goals. Our employees find opportunities to lead and collaborate on such projects via Amazon Sustainability Ambassadors—a voluntary employee programme that helps expand efforts by our global teams who work directly on managing our environmental and social impacts.

The programme started in 2017 with chapters in corporate offices and fulfilment centres in the U.S. and Europe. Today, more than 3000 Amazonians worldwide have signed up to participate as Sustainability Ambassadors, and the programme continues to expand, with over 105 teams across North America, Europe and Asia.

Ambassadors engage fellow Amazonians in sustainability awareness efforts and promote environmental education via on-site events, but they also lead projects and pilot initiatives that tangibly reduce our environmental impact. These initiatives include: expanding recycling to include new items or locations; setting up carpool programmes; adding motion sensors to light switches to reduce electricity use; conducting energy audits with local utilities; switching to more sustainable products in common areas such as pantries and bathrooms; and campaigns aimed at reducing the use of disposable plastic bottles and containers.

Sustainability Ambassadors also have a unique chance to launch ideas with data-driven analysis and action using Amazon technology. For example, after auditing lunchtime waste at two Seattle campus cafés, one ambassador developed a proposal to improve waste sorting using AWS DeepLens, a deep learning-enabled video camera. A team of Amazon employees built a dataset and model that used DeepLens’ object detection capabilities to identify the waste items being discarded and use built-in audio to tell people which bin to use for a given item.

The combination of ground-level action with scalable ideas and advanced technology makes Sustainability Ambassadors potent partners in realising Amazon’s larger sustainability goals.

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