A Roadmap to Sustainable Transport: Amazon Case Study

Cade MacQuarrie

Sustainable Logistics

I am studying the relationship between aspects of Amazon and their willingness and ability to undertake a large scale transition for sustainability, as evidenced by their recent purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles and their improvements in delivery efficiency through optimizing fulfillment center locations and offering alternative delivery methods.

Specifically, I will research the business goals, the methods of Amazon’s strategy for this transition, delivery logistics, and business partnerships that allowed Amazon to take on this project. I think this research is important because companies like Amazon have large environmental impacts and their transitions to more sustainable business will have a noticeable impact on the overall carbon footprint of the transportation sector. Also, large scale commitments to sustainability by corporations help to foster a culture that values and incentivizes the adoption of sustainable practices. 

I will conduct background research on Amazon’s current strategy for implementing its “Shipment Zero” strategy for sustainable transportation, as well as its stated goals for increasing customer shipment speed.  I will compare their stated goals with other companies in the online retail sector and will examine whether best practices have been determined with any consensus.  I will conduct interviews with Amazon employees that are involved in Amazon’s sustainability department and collect data on Amazon’s carbon footprint and the impact that its fleet has on it.

The combination of information from interviews and footprint data will allow me to develop an understanding of the aspects of Amazon and its sustainability strategy that indicate its ability to take on large projects in the name of sustainable business. Using this information, I will then create a roadmap for sustainable transportation for businesses that are similar to Amazon in terms of their transportation footprint, such as FedEx or Walmart.