Amazon aims to make half of its shipments carbon neutral by 2030

Perhaps hoping to distract from Greenpeace’s latest report on its “dirty cloud,” Amazon this morning announced a new environmental commitment, focused on reducing its carbon footprint. The company says it aims to reach 50 percent of all Amazon shipments with net zero carbon by 2030.

The company is calling this program “Shipment Zero.” Details on this long-term project weren’t yet available, but Amazon says it plans to share its company-wide carbon footprint “along with related goals and programs,” at a later date. That seems to indicate Amazon will offer an update on the progress of its other sustainability goals, as well.

It’s important for Amazon to be transparent on these plans, as the size of its business means its impact to the environment, energy consumption and, ultimately climate change, is significant.

The company today runs programs including Frustration-Free Packaging and Ship in Own Container, and has a network of solar and wind farms, solar on its fulfillment center rooftops and investments in the circular economy the company noted in the announcement. It said it employs more than 200 scientists, engineers and product designers who are dedicated to developing new ways to leverage Amazon’s scale for the “good of the customers and the planet.”

For example, Amazon has been able to pressure suppliers to reduce their environmental impact with the frustration-free packaging and ship in own container programs.

But Amazon doesn’t have the cleanest environmental record, according to Greenpeace.

The organization dinged the internet giant only days ago for failing to deliver on its commitment to shifting to renewable energy. Its new report said Amazon’s data centers in Virginia are powered by only 12 percent renewable energy, compared with Facebook’s 37 percent and Microsoft’s 34 percent.

In-between the lines of this morning’s news, Amazon briefly addressed the Greenpeace report.

“Amazon has a long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100 percent renewable energy, and we are making solid progress,” its corporate blog post read.

Amazon did, however, offer a longer statement to Windpower Engineering shortly after the report’s publication, claiming Greenpeace’s data was inaccurate. In particular, it pointed out that the report had failed to highlight AWS and Amazon’s investment in solar projects in Virginia.

Amazon says it will offer more details on Shipment Zero and its other programs later this year.