Amazon hits renewable energy target early

The second FC, also located at Horsley Park, is an adaptation of an existing building. Photo: Amazon Australia.

Amazon announced that 100 percent of the electricity used in its global operations will come from renewable sources by 2023, seven years ahead of schedule.

This includes all electricity used in data centers, corporate buildings and fulfillment centers.

The company has set a 100 percent renewable energy target for 2030 as part of its broader Climate Pledge – a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Amazon is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world, having invested in more than 500 solar and wind projects, including seven renewable energy projects in Australia.

“Hitting our renewable energy goal is an incredible accomplishment, and we’re proud of the work we’ve done to get there seven years early,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon’s vice president of Worldwide Sustainability.

“We know this is just a blip and that our actions to decarbonize our operations will not be the same every year. We will continue to make progress while constantly evolving on the path to 2040.

“Our teams will remain ambitious and continue to do what is right for our business, our customers and the planet. That’s why we will continue to invest in solar and wind projects, while supporting other forms of carbon-free energy that can help power our operations for decades to come.”

Amazon has already enabled seven renewable energy projects in Australia. This includes four utility-scale projects – an operational solar farm in Wandoan, Queensland, operational solar farms in Suntop and Gunnedah, New South Wales, and a wind farm in Hawkesdale, Victoria – as well as three rooftop solar projects at Amazon facilities in Melbourne and Sydney.

Once operational, these projects are expected to generate more than 1,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean energy annually, enough to power more than 175,000 Australian homes.

Additionally, Amazon has invested A$467 million in wind and solar farms in Australia between 2020 and 2022.

Amazon continues to innovate in other areas of sustainability, such as packaging. The company aims to reduce waste and single-use plastic in customer deliveries through initiatives like its “Ships in Product Packing” program, which eliminates unnecessary packaging.

Since 2021, in Australia, Amazon has more than tripled the number of orders for customers who did not receive additional packaging.

When additional Amazon packaging is required to ship a product, Amazon creates paper packaging and prioritizes recyclable materials. All Amazon boxes shipped from its Australian fulfillment center network are kerbside recyclable, and all single-use plastic air cushions have been replaced with recyclable paper material.

Since 2015, Amazon has reduced the average weight of a shipment’s packaging by 43% worldwide and avoided the use of more than 3 million tons of packaging, including almost half a million tons in 2023.