Environment Sustainable Operations
Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint
Carbon footprint

Carbon Footprint

Amazon’s corporate carbon footprint quantifies the total greenhouse gas emissions attributed to our direct and indirect operational activities. We measure our total impact on the climate, map the largest activities contributing to this impact and use this information to develop meaningful carbon reduction goals, including our overall goal to reach net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040.

Driving Carbon Out of Our Business

Our carbon footprint includes emissions from Amazon-operated and third-party freight, electricity use, Amazon branded products, capital goods, business travel, packaging, customer trips to Amazon’s stores and other purchased goods and services. The system boundary of our carbon footprint meets widely adopted international standards, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and ISO 14064. Our carbon footprint is externally assured by Apex.

Through our commitment to The Climate Pledge, Amazon is investing in a range of large-scale solutions to decarbonise our business, some with immediate carbon savings and others with longer-term payoffs. We have already seen an improvement in the carbon intensity of our business in 2019 as a result of operational efficiencies such as energy efficiency technologies in fulfilment centres and alternative vehicle pilots.

Carbon intensity is the metric we use to benchmark our performance year over year, as it provides a relative comparison between annual performance metrics regardless of other changes to our business. While Amazon’s net sales increased 22% in 2019 (excluding changes in foreign exchange rates), our total carbon footprint increased 15% during the same period. While still early days, our 2019 carbon intensity metric is 122.8 grams of CO2e per GMS, down 5% year over year from 128.9 grams of CO2e per dollar in 2018.

Like many companies in high growth mode, we look at the absolute tons of carbon in our footprint, but also at how we are improving our carbon intensity. Our first year-over-year comparison shows progress as we continue to make investments in innovation, technologies and products that will decarbonise our operations over future years.

These investments include renewable energy projects such as our new solar farm in Virginia and our order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, which will be on the road delivering parcels to customers starting in 2021. It will take several years for the carbon reduction benefits of these investments to be fully reflected in our carbon footprint. Over time, both our carbon intensity and our absolute carbon footprint will drop as we continue to make progress towards net zero carbon. With the launch of the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, we look forward to making additional major investments in the coming years that will result in long-term payoffs.

What We Measure
Five models work together to provide a detailed view of our footprint.
  • An illustration of a telescope symbolizing the financial model in Amazon's carbon footprint formula.
    A nimble, top down financial model that helps us see the big picture and prioritise where we should dive deep.
  • An illustration of an electric delivery vehicle symbolizing the transportation model in Amazon's carbon footprint formula.
    We track the emissions resulting from shipping products to and from warehouses and to our customers’ homes and other pickup points.
  • An illustration of an light bulb symbolizing the electricity model in Amazon's carbon footprint formula.
    We account for the impacts of the energy consumed by our offices, data centers and warehouses, as well as the benefits of the renewable energy we generate around the globe.
  • An illustration of an unfolded cardboard package symbolizing the packaging model in Amazon's carbon footprint formula.
    We look carefully at the materials and processes behind all the boxes, mailers and other packing items Amazon adds to the products we sell.
  • An illustration of an Amazon Kindle device symbolizing the devices model in Amazon's carbon footprint formula.
    We have a detailed view of our devices' manufacturing, use and end-of-life phases.

Amazon's Enterprise-Wide Carbon Footprint for the 2019 Fiscal Year

CategoryMMT CO2e
Emissions from Direct Operations (Scope 1)5.76
Fossil fuels5.57
Emissions from Purchased Electricity (Scope 2)5.50
Emissions from Indirect Sources (Scope 3)39.91
Corporate purchases and Amazon-branded product emissions (e.g. operating expenses, business travel and Amazon-branded product manufacturing, use phase and end-of-life)15.41
Capital goods (e.g. building construction, servers and other hardware, equipment, vehicles)8.01
Other indirect emissions (e.g. third-party transportation, packaging, upstream energy related)12.44
Lifecycle emissions from customer trips to Amazon's physical stores4.05
Amazon's Total Footprint51.17

Our carbon intensity metric, measured as grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per dollar of Gross Merchandise Sales (GMS), is equal to 122.8 CO2e per dollar (USD).

Methodology and Verification
Find out more about how we calculate and verify our carbon footprint.
  • Carbon Methodology
    Find out more about the science and technology behind our carbon footprint.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verification Statement
    Read the greenhouse gas emissions verification statement from Apex.
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