The News: An Amazon Same-Day fulfillment site located in Sacramento, CA is pursuing zero carbon certification by the International Living Future Institute (IFLI), which would be the world’s first fulfillment center with this certification. Read the full announcement on Amazon’s Sustainability blog.
Amazon’s Sacramento-based Same-Day Fulfillment Facility Pursues IFLI Zero Carbon Certification
Analyst Take: News of Amazon’s Sacramento-based Same-Day fulfillment facility pursuing IFLI Zero Carbon certification is exciting. Amazon has been a leader in sustainability and renewable energy initiatives for some time now, but the fact that Amazon’s California fulfillment facility is pursuing IFLI Zero Carbon Certification solidifies the ecommerce giant’s commitment to being a zero carbon company.
Amazon’s Same-Day Fulfillment Sites are a Strategic Move by Amazon
Amazon’s Same-Day fulfillment sites are strategic: they are intentionally located closer to customers’ homes, which means the ecommerce giant can fulfill orders within a few hours of purchase. Doing that, and in a sustainable way, is no small challenge, but it’s exactly what Amazon’s goal here is. In the case of the new Sacramento-based facility (SCA5), it is 100% powered by renewable energy. The fulfillment center has been built using sustainable building materials, is designed with sustainability in mind every step of the way, and powered by technology that allows it to both operate more efficiently and reduce carbon emissions in the process. SCA5 is all-electric, solar-ready facility, featuring a fully electrified HVAC system, a white roof that reflects sunlight and reduces heat absorption with a solar array that can generate up to 80% of the energy the building will need on an annual basis, smart irrigation systems, and high-efficiency material handling equipment. Here’s a bird’s eye view of the new facility —
Why does this focus on building sustainability matter? Commercial buildings account for about 40% of greenhouse emissions, resource consumption and global energy use. That’s why Amazon’s focus on its fulfillment centers is significant. Fulfillment is, of course, a huge part of Amazon’s business.
Amazon anticipates its Sacramento Same-Day fulfillment center will receive IFLI certification in 2023, a year after becoming operational. Once achieved, this model would then be replicated at other Amazon fulfillment centers around the globe, which would be a big win, both for the tech behemoth and the environment as a whole.
What Is IFLI Zero Carbon Certification?
The IFLI is a world-renowned authority on third-party environmental certifications, and the zero carbon certification is one of the highest honors it can bestow on a company for its emissions-reductions achievements. In its pursuit of IFLI Zero Carbon Certification for its California fulfillment facility Amazon must demonstrate the company meets the following requirements:
- Meet embodied carbon-reduction targets
- Be powered by 100% renewable energy
- Offset all the carbon emissions produced during construction
Amazon’s new Sacramento fulfillment center is breaking new ground. It is the first fulfillment center to submit for Zero Carbon Certification from the IFLI and will no doubt be a model for others to come.
Why Does Green Energy Matter for Amazon?
Amazon has been a leader in green energy for some time now. The company partnered with Global Optimism in 2019 to found The Climate Pledge, a call to action for organizations around the world to take action on climate change, pledging to work together to reach net zero carbon by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Equally as important, organizations who sign The Climate Pledge agree to aid in the development of and investment in low carbon products and services — working together to effect significant climate change.
Following Climate Week NYC 2022, I covered the addition of 40 new signers to The Climate Pledge, bringing the total of participants to 375 companies from 53 industries and 34 countries around the world. It’s exciting to see interest in participation in this global effort continue to grow and Amazon and Global Optimism’s efforts on this front are laudable.
Beyond the company’s efforts on initiatives like The Climate Pledge, Amazon has also emerged as the largest buyer of renewable energy, now owning over 15 projects producing at least 10 gigawatts of power. Some of these will eventually cover the energy deficit from solar panels installed on building rooftops. These efforts are significant. Amazon’s massive logistics operations, fulfillment operations, cloud data centers, and beyond are big consumers of energy. By focusing its efforts on green energy, Amazon clearly seeks to mitigate and offset energy needs without compromising growth.
In addition to its Sacramento Same-Day fulfillment center, Amazon has an newly opened Amazon Fresh store seeking IFLI certification, and the company has also helped support Seattle’s Climate Pledge arena in seeking IFLA zero carbon certification.
This Will be a Significant Milestone for Amazon
Achieving the IFLI zero-carbon certification will be a significant milestone for Amazon. For starters, this will be the first fulfillment center or logistics site in the world to pursue IFLI zero carbon certification. Moreover, it will affirm the company’s leadership in and commitment to sustainability and hopefully inspire other organizations to do better — that’s a win all the way around. It will also be a real-world model for Amazon’s commercial construction efforts moving forward, as well as for other organizations looking to design, develop, and build commercial buildings that are zero carbon certification worthy.
Want to Know How Sustainability Officers Around the World View Their Efforts Thus Far?
If you’re interested in sustainability and how corporate sustainability leaders around the world feel about the progress their companies are making toward their sustainability goals, check out the Environmental Sustainability Index report that we recently developed in partnership with Honeywell. The Index was developed to track sentiment, adoption, and the intent of companies in reducing their impact on the climate change and there’s a ton of information in there that might help inform your own sustainability strategies and measure progress.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of Futurum Research as a whole.
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.