Private report shows how Amazon drastically undercounts its carbon footprint

Read the full story at Reveal.

Over the past two decades, under pressure from investors and activists, thousands of companies have agreed to disclose their carbon footprints to a nonprofit organization named CDP (originally known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). 

Amazon had been shamed with an F grade for failing to disclose until this past year, when it submitted to CDP’s questionnaire for the first time. But unlike the majority of companies pressured by investors to disclose, Amazon asked that its report not be shared publicly. 

Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting obtained Amazon’s report, and the detailed accounting within illuminates how such a massive company manages to boast such a small carbon footprint. 

The report also highlights the pitfalls of relying on self-disclosures and voluntary commitments from companies that have a vested interest in underestimating their own accountability. Amazon has positioned itself as a climate change leader, promoting a “Climate Pledge” to zero out emissions by 2040. But by not counting all of its emissions, it isn’t on the hook for cutting them. 

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