Amazon Aims To Have The First Certified Zero Carbon Grocery Store

One small step towards mitigating the effects of climate change can make all the difference in the world — and companies are starting to take notice. Amazon is one of those companies stepping up to reduce their carbon footprint, starting with making one of its Amazon Fresh stores the world's first grocery store to be zero carbon-certified.

The company announced in a blog post on Thursday that it is seeking to meet its Climate Pledge commitments by getting its newest Amazon Fresh store in Seattle the Zero Carbon certificate from the International Future Living Institute (ILFI). The company said this store has already received more than a dozen upgrades that are expected to save 185 tons of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere every year compared to the average grocery store. This is in an effort to become a net-zero carbon business by 2040 — just 10 years ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement.

"We are constantly thinking about what we can do to make the customer shopping experience easier, more seamless, and more sustainable," Stephenie Landry, vice president of Amazon Grocery, said. "We know many customers are prioritizing sustainability in what products they buy and where they choose to shop. With our newest Amazon Fresh store, we are taking the next step on our path to becoming a net-zero carbon business by 2040, and we welcome customers to experience this firsthand while shopping with us in this store."

Amazon Fresh's green upgrades

One of the upgrades the Seattle-Aurora-based Amazon Fresh store received includes a CO2-based refrigeration system, which the company claims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 metric tons a year compared to a conventional refrigeration system. That's because the refrigerators rely on a CO2 refrigerant instead of an artificial refrigerant, but it still keeps the store warmer. Another nice upgrade is low-carbon concrete flooring, which reduces embodied carbon by almost 40% compared to standard flooring because it uses recycled steel.

On the electrical front, Amazon is electrifying the store with 100% renewable electricity sourced from its renewable energy projects, which helps the company with reaching total energy efficiency at all Amazon facilities by 2025. It has already installed fully electric kitchens and electric vehicle charging stations outside the store to allow customers to charge their cars for free while they shop.

All of these upgrades and more meet the sustainability requirements IFLI set up for businesses to receive Zero Carbon certification. In order to receive the certification, a business needs to be energy efficient, demonstrate a reduction of embodied carbon in construction materials, and prove all carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing and construction have been neutralized. To ensure that the business meets all those standards, IFLI has to review 12 months of performance data.