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Prof. Aseem Prakash in Forbes, "Who Is A Climate Leader? Amazon’s 2022 Sustainability Report"

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on July 24, 2023 - 2:24pm

Prof. Aseem Prakash and colleague Prof. Nives Dolšak write in Forbes that Amazon's 2022 Sustainability Report may not show Amazon to be the climate leader they wish to be.

Many of Amazon’s climate-focused achievements are impressive: 90% of the electricity it consumes comes from renewables, it uses 9,000 electric delivery vehicles and 15,000 hydrogen-powered forklifts in its North American fulfillment centers, and the carbon intensity of its operations decreased by 7% in 2022.

Should then Amazon be considered a climate leader? This begs the broader question: what is the measure of corporate climate leadership?

The professors argue that there is one scope of climate mitigation which Amazon, and others, must take more control,

There is a standardized metric to measure corporate carbon footprints by looking at different types of emissions. The Greenhouse Gas Protocol places firms’ carbon emissions in three categories: Scope 1 emissions are the ones that firms produce in their own operations, Scope 2 emissions are created when firms buy electricity, steam, heat, and cooling from outside vendors, and Scope 3 emissions are generated by companies’ supply chains and by consumers using their products.

Scope 3 is tricky because firms exercise the least control over these emissions. However, we cannot ignore them because for some firms, Scope 3 emissions are substantial. For example, they account for 77% of Amazon’s carbon footprint....

For more and suggestions on how Amazon should report climate mitigation, please link here.