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Amazon's Carbon Footprint Grew by 18% in 2021

The online retail giant aims to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

Corinne Reichert Senior Writer
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
Expertise News, mobile, broadband, 5G, home tech, streaming services, entertainment, AI, policy, business, politics Credentials
  • I've been covering technology and mobile for 12 years, first as a telecommunications reporter and assistant editor at ZDNet in Australia, then as CNET's West Coast head of breaking news, and now in the Thought Leadership team.
Corinne Reichert
Amazon logo on a phone screen.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon's carbon dioxide equivalent emissions grew by 18% last year, according to its annual sustainability report, published Monday. Attributing its failure to cut emissions to having to grow "at an unprecedented pace" to meet customer needs during the COVID pandemic, Amazon said it emitted 71.54 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent during 2021.

The online retail giant noted that its "carbon intensity" -- the amount of carbon generated per dollar of merchandise sales -- decreased by 1.9%, saying this decrease could eventually lead to a smaller carbon footprint.

"The path to net zero carbon has many obstacles, but we thrive on big challenges," Amazon said in its report.

Amazon plans to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.