Supply Chain News

Amazon and 100-Percent Renewable Energy: Will It Really Happen?

Amazon, led by CEO Jeff Bezos, is the latest tech giant to publicly commit to powering its cloud computing division with 100 percent renewable energy.

With one quiet web update this week, Amazon becomes the latest tech giant with a less-than-stellar sustainability track record to hail a major potential shift in strategy.

Just a few months after the company hired its first corporate sustainability chief, Amazon cloud computing division Amazon Web Services has declared “a long-term commitment to achieve 100-percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.”

An Amazon spokesperson declined to elaborate on when and how the company might go about building out a clean energy portfolio, referring all questions about the company’s sustainability strategy to a corporate web page.

No information currently available addresses whether Amazon might be considering similar initiatives for its primary e-commerce business, which includes large warehouses and expansive transportation networks.

Still, shifting Amazon Web Services’ massive network of data centers serving corporate clients like Airbnb and Unilever to renewable energy would in and of itself be a noteworthy change.

The catch, as groups including Greenpeace have already pointed out: It’s anyone’s guess when and how Amazon might actually go about following through on the energy commitment.

Much like the hire back in August of the company’s first sustainability officer, industry veteran Kara Hurst, Amazon made no initial formal announcement about the new renewable energy commitment. Instead, the Amazon Web Services web page was updated sometime in the past week (likely in the last day or so) to include the line about a long-term effort to transition to 100 percent renewables.

“Apple, Facebook and Google, three of Amazon’s peers and rivals, all have laid out road maps that explain how they intend to achieve their goals of procuring 100 percent renewable energy,” wrote David Pomerantz, who oversees energy advocacy and communication for Greenpeace, in a blog post on Wednesday. “Amazon has not offered that kind of road map yet, and it has some work to do to catch up.”

Indeed, Amazon was called out in a Greenpeace report earlier this year on efforts to curb emission from data centers - an industry that Stanford University notes consumes about 1.5 percent of global electricity -  when it got three failing grades and one “D” for its clean energy efforts (or lack thereof).

That’s in contrast to fellow big-name tech companies like Apple Inc., which is now the biggest private owner of solar facilities in the country. Google’s “Google Green” initiative publicly lists clean energy investments the company has made that total hundreds of millions of dollars.

Other relative newcomers to Silicon Valley’s cloud computing craze, like SalesForce and Box, have also made 100 percent renewable energy pledges.

When it comes to Amazon making good on its new energy commitment, Greenpeace suggests: greater transparency when it comes to Amazon’s existing energy and greenhouse gas footprint; a focus on coal-powered data centers in Virginia and a concrete list of “guiding principles” outlining how the company defines renewable energy.

“The thing they can do right now is release their footprint data,” Pomerantz said. “All their competitors do that.”

Beyond Data Centers
The varying clean energy approaches of large technology firms underscore global efforts across business sectors to reevaluate the viability of switching to renewable sources.

As prices for solar, wind and other renewables continue to fall, large companies in industries like retail - such as IKEA - are experimenting with new power sources, such as rooftop solar. Projected ongoing increases in the price of fossil fuels add additional economic incentive to the mix.

Data centers are a natural place for technology firms to start attempting to inject more sustainable elements into their business models, Pomerantz said.

While much work remains to be done to ensure that lofty 100-percent renewable energy goals are actually met, companies like Amazon with a complex supply chain perfectly illustrate other gaping opportunities for improvement.

“The next big step once these tech companies seize the opportunity on data centers would be working back through their manufacturing supply chains,” Pomerantz said.

Apple, in another example of increasing clean energy commitments under current CEO Tim Cook, has already floated the potential to cut down on carbon emissions linked to the production of its hardware products.

While Google, Facebook, Box and Salesforce are all predominately software companies, Amazon’s e-commerce operation and perponderance of logistics needs make it a prime suspect for future sustainability advocacy efforts (not to mention advocacy around labor issues or other contentious facets of its goods delivery business).

For now, all eyes are on household names in the tech sector to follow through on early efforts to make the offline components of their online businesses more sustainable.

Source: GreenBiz

Related: Apple Focusing on Greening Its Supply Chain

Download the Paper:  Building the Green Supply Chain

Article Topics
Best Practices   Supply Chain   Sustainability   Green   All topics


Comments
Be the first to post a comment.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login.

 
Latest Supply Chain News
DHL Launches Global Trade Barometer, a New and Unique Leading AI Indicator for World Trade
DHL Global Trade Barometer derives predictions for global trade by evaluating large amounts of logistics data with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

Maersk IBM Form Joint Venture Applying Blockchain to Improve Global Trade & Digitize Supply Chain
A.P. Moller - Maersk and IBM have announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology.

Designing a Logistics Distribution Model for the Future
Certified Retail Solutions specializes in delivering high-quality systems and services to help retailers manage their national technology deployment and on-site maintenance needs.

One Network Enterprises New One Blockchain Solution
New blockchain solution enables customers to build blockchain enabled multi-party apps and transact with trading partners over the blockchain.


 

24|7 Pro Team

The 24|7 Team is your direct pipeline to solutions for your business challenges. It's your opportunity to have supply chain and logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information.

The 24|7 Team will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

1
  Choose a topic for your RFP

Transportation RFP/RFI

The Transportation RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your transportation challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific transportation challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect software or system can be an indomitable challenge. Using this transportation/TMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list.

Warehouse/DC Management RFP/RFI

The Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) RFP is your direct pipeline to solutions for your WMS challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific WMS challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request.

Choosing the perfect WMS solution can be an indomitable challenge. Using this WMS RFP will simplify the task of creating a database of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your WMS Request for Proposal list.

Supply Chain RFP/RFI

The Supply Chain RFP is your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific challenges and needs, and receive free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information. It simplifies finding a pool of likely partners, building your knowledge base, and preparing your Request for Proposal list. The companies in the Logistics Planner have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up, and your request is totally confidential.

Software/Technology RFP/RFI

The Software/Technology is your direct pipeline to solutions for your logistics information technology challenges. It's your opportunity to have logistics experts look at your specific technology challenges and needs, and give you free, no-obligation advice, solutions, and information specific to your request. Whether it's WMS, TMS, Mobile or Cloud, our pros can help.

The companies listed below have agreed to respond to your request for in-depth information and follow-up. Your request is totally confidential.

Executive Education RFI

The Logistics and Supply Chain Education RFI can help you identify the schools, coursework, continuing education, distance learning and certification opportunities available from leading logistics educational institutions.

Upgrade and improve your logistics and supply chain skillsets. Whatever route you choose—advanced degree, executive education, certification or distance learning—the time and money you invest in your education today can pay off in continued career success tomorrow. Contact leading universities and professional institutions for the information you need to prepare for the future.

Third Party Logistics RFP/RFI

This 3PL Request for Proposal (RFP)/Request for Information (RFI) can help you find the 3PL and 4PL providers that can meet your specific 3PL service challenges and needs. The 3PL companies below will provide free, no-obligation third-party logistics advice, solutions, and information.

Ask your 3PL questions, you'll get answers. Simply complete the information, and detail your 3PL challenges. Then, check off the third-party logistics companies that you want to review your request.

1. Choose an RFI topic.
2. Enter your contact information and challenge.
3. Select companies and optional categories.
4. Submit.


2

Your Information



Your Challenge, Problem or Request *

3

Select Transportation Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Kuebix
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • One Network
  • Pitt Ohio
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SEKO Logistics
  • SMC3


Select Relevent Categories

  • Air Freight
  • Intermodal
  • Motor Freight
  • Ocean Freight
  • Rail Freight
  • TMS

Select Warehouse/DC Management Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Swisslog
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Auto ID & Data Capture
  • Automation
  • Conveyors & Sortation
  • Lift Trucks
  • Packaging & Labeling
  • Pallets & Containers
  • Shelving & Racking
  • WMS

Select Supply Chain Companies

  • Select All

  • 3Gtms
  • 3PL Central
  • Amber Road
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • APICS
  • BluJay Solutions
  • CSX Trans. Intermodal
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Purolator
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Westfalia Technologies
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • Global Trade
  • Inventory Management
  • Risk Management
  • Sustainability

Select Software/Technology Companies

  • Select All

  • 3GTMS
  • 3PL Central
  • Apex Supply Chain Tech.
  • BluJay Solutions
  • Honeywell Intelligrated
  • Frontier Business
  • Kuebix
  • Logility
  • One Network
  • Quintiq
  • SMC3
  • Swisslog Logistics
  • Synchrono
  • TAKE Supply Chain
  • Zebra Technologies


Select Relevent Categories

  • ERP
  • Sales & Operations
  • Sourcing/Procurement
  • Optimization
  • Transportation Mgmt
  • Warehouse Mgmt

Select Executive Education Choices

  • Select All

  • Graduate Courses
  • Online/Distance
  • Executive Education
  • Certifications
  • Undergraduate
  • Seminars
  • Associations
  • Conferences
  • Tradeshows


Select Third Party Logistics Companies

  • Select All

  • 3PL Central
  • Landstar
  • Legacy Supply Chain Svs.
  • Purolator
  • SEKO Logistics
  • Westfalia Technologies


4
 

24|7 Company Profiles