Fourteen years ago, Amazon reimagined reading with the invention of Kindle. Kindle enabled customers to browse and download millions of books in seconds, which not only gave customers a convenient and delightful way to read—it also positively impacted the planet. In the last two years alone, Kindle readers in the U.S. saved an estimated 2.6 million metric tons of CO2e by choosing eBooks as an alternative to print. According to the US EPA conversions, this is approximately equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from over 550,000 passenger cars driven for a year. We’re proud of this, but we’re just getting started.
Last year, Amazon became the first consumer electronics manufacturer to commit to addressing the electricity used by our devices through renewable energy development, starting with our Echo devices. Today, we are thrilled to announce we are making investments in additional wind and solar farm capacity that, by 2025, will produce the clean energy equivalent to the use of all Fire TV and Ring devices worldwide. Combined with our Echo projects, we expect these will produce over 5 million megawatt-hours of clean energy per year—that’s enough to power more than 400,000 homes every year.
To accompany our investments in renewable energy, we also continue to make our devices more energy efficient. This year, we have been busy rolling out Low Power Mode to new devices, as well as older devices already in customers’ homes. Low Power Mode reduces devices' lifetime energy consumption by using less power during periods of inactivity. By the end of 2021, over 50% of all Echo and Fire TV devices in customers’ homes will have Low Power Mode. This feature is also included on the new Echo Show 15 and Fire TV Stick 4K Max.
Our work to introduce recycled materials and source sustainable packaging materials is part of our larger sustainability efforts. In packaging, we’re working to source 100% of the wood fibers from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources, and we’re already at 95% for the packaging on our newest Kindle Paperwhite. We’re also working hard to reduce waste—over the last 12 months we eliminated an estimated 29.8 million plastic bags from device and accessories packaging, shipped from our suppliers, compared to the same period in the prior year. All of these efforts support our goal of making packaging 100% recyclable by 2023.
We’re also working with our suppliers to ensure sustainability is a priority. This year, several of our supplier sites—which provide final assembly for some of our most popular Echo, Kindle, and Fire TV devices—achieved UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill Silver or Platinum certification. This means our suppliers handle waste in environmentally responsible ways, diverting more than 90% of their facility’s waste from landfill through methods other than waste to energy. We encourage all of our suppliers to look for opportunities to minimize waste to landfill throughout their operations.
With all of these efforts, we are on track to cut the carbon intensity, defined as the average lifecycle carbon emissions per device unit, of Amazon Devices in half by 2025.
Building a healthier, more sustainable home
We believe that to create a sustainable future, our vision must be broader than individual features or devices. Our aim is to create experiences that use AI to help customers live more sustainably without even having to think about it. Amazon Smart Thermostat is a new smart, ENERGY STAR-certified thermostat that works with Alexa to give customers a simple way to keep their home comfortable and energy-efficient for only $59.99—and it’s a great example of this vision. We worked with the experts at Resideo, who make Honeywell Home thermostats, to bring their 130 years of experience to the Amazon Smart Thermostat, allowing it to work reliably with most existing 24V HVAC systems. Customers can control the Amazon Smart Thermostat using a compatible Alexa-enabled device, or even have Alexa do the programming for them with Hunches. When Alexa has a hunch that you’re away from home or have gone to bed for the night, the temperature will adjust to help you save energy. Plus, we’re making it easier for customers to find rebates from their local energy provider right on Amazon.com—and with rebates, eligible customers can get Amazon Smart Thermostat for an average of $10 or less.
All new Climate Pledge Friendly Products
Last year, Amazon introduced the Climate Pledge Friendly program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. The Climate Pledge Friendly badge highlights products that are certified by one or more trusted third-party sustainability certifications or our own Compact by Design certification to help preserve the natural world. Echo and Fire TV devices were among the first to receive the Climate Pledge Friendly badge and, in just one year, we launched a number of new devices that received the designation, including Amazon Smart Thermostat, Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, Fire TV Stick 4K Max, Echo Buds, Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, Echo Show 15, Fire HD 10, Fire HD 10 Kids Pro, the all-new Kindle Paperwhite, among others. To find more information, visit here.
I am incredibly proud of the progress we’re making and excited about what a more sustainable future holds for us and our customers. But there’s much more left to do. It will take a lot of hard work, but we are committed and prepared to protect the planet on behalf of our customers, employees, and communities.