A project by Clean Mobility Collective and STAND.Earth

Welcome to the Amazon: Deliver Change campaign!

  • May 22, 2023

A delivery parcel from Amazon is a familiar item: We know the white envelope parcels, covered in the blue Prime logo – and we know the cardboard box parcels held together with black tape bearing Amazon icons.

And as those parcels make their ways to our doorsteps, they are carried by Amazon delivery vehicles that are spewing exhaust down our streets. 

The “last-mile” of delivery (from warehouse or fulfillment center to doorstep) accounts for up to half of all global delivery carbon emissions, and we’ve released a new report that finds that e-commerce and the associated emissions from last-mile delivery will continue to grow exponentially. New research predicts that global parcel numbers will increase from over 315 billion parcels in 2022 to up to 800 billion parcels per year in 2030.

And, even without accounting for this exponential growth, Amazon and global e-commerce companies are on track to emit the annual carbon equivalent of up to 44 coal plants, requiring over one billion trees to be planted every year — and allowed to grow for 10 years — to sequester the emissions of a single year of last-mile parcel deliveries.

In addition to CO2, delivery-vehicle emissions include pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide – all which undermine public health. A 2021 Harvard University study finds that one in five deaths globally can be linked to air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels. And these health impacts are not shared equally, with many communities of color and lower-income communities at greater risk of respiratory affiliations and other impacts due to increased exposure to transportation pollution.

Yet, despite Amazon’s professed commitment to sustainability and efforts to combat climate change, less than 7% of Amazon deliveries in Europe and less than 1% of Amazon deliveries in the U.S. were made using electric delivery vehicles or other zero-emission modes. All of Amazon’s existing zero-emission vehicle pledges are not even enough to account for their projected increase in annual deliveries by 2030.

Amazon has the resources to go further and go faster with its zero-emission pledges. Amazon made US $514 billion in 2022. Each year, Amazon’s Prime Day sales increase, reaching US $12 billion in sales in 2022. Amazon also saw record-breaking sales for the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend in 2022, with Amazon announcing that it’d had the “biggest holiday shopping weekend ever.” 

Amazon massively profits off of the number of parcels it delivers. And now it’s time for Amazon to deliver change, and make sure that the parcel delivery isn’t threatening the climate or public health. From around the globe, we are coming together to challenge Amazon to live up to its branding of being a sustainability leader by committing to zero-emission, last-mile deliveries by 2030. Join us.