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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.

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.