The Future of Sustainability Depends On One Person

Jeff Bezos is not only the richest person in the world, but also the most important one when it comes to sustainability. Should you be excited or worried about it?

Jeff Bezos painted portrait _DDC0026. Credit: thierry ehrmann

Sustainability — We are committed to minimizing carbon emissions by optimizing our transportation network, improving product packaging, and enhancing energy efficiency in our operations, and we have a long-term goal to power our global infrastructure using 100% renewable energy. We recently launched Amazon Wind Farm Texas, our largest wind farm yet, which generates more than 1,000,000 megawatt hours of clean energy annually from over 100 turbines. We have plans to host solar energy systems at 50 fulfillment centers by 2020, and have launched 24 wind and solar projects across the U.S. with more than 29 additional projects to come. Together, Amazon’s renewable energy projects now produce enough clean energy to power over 330,000 homes annually.

In 2017 we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Frustration-Free Packaging, the first of a suite of sustainable packaging initiatives that have eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials over the past 10 years. In addition, in 2017 alone our programs significantly reduced packaging waste, eliminating the equivalent of 305 million shipping boxes. And across the world, Amazon is contracting with our service providers to launch our first low-pollution last-mile fleet. Already today, a portion of our European delivery fleet is comprised of low-pollution electric and natural gas vans and cars, and we have over 40 electric scooters and e-cargo bikes that complete local urban deliveries.

One thing that’s exciting about our current scale is that we can put our inventive culture to work on moving the needle on sustainability and social issues.

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Raz Godelnik

Assistant Prof. at Parsons School of Design. My book (2021): Rethinking Corporate Sustainability in the Era of Climate Crisis — A Strategic Design Approach