What Are Online Retailers Doing About Carbon Capture?

What Are Online Retailers Doing About Carbon Capture? - Carbon Herald

The push for sustainability by the growing awareness of consumers and investors is driving major companies from the e-commerce space to step up to the urgent challenge of climate change. They are pledging to become net zero and turning to green initiatives like carbon capture in order to achieve their goals. 

Amazon is one of the companies with the most ambitious targets and measurable actions. In 2019, it founded The Climate Pledge – Amazon’s climate change commitment to be net zero by 2040 or 10 years earlier than the Paris Agreement requires. 

The project started with a $2 billion investment from the company in low-carbon projects dedicated to carbon dioxide removal and decarbonizing the economy. Others have also joined the initiative – a total of 105 companies so far, from across 25 industries and 16 countries. They have all committed to take measures to reduce emissions and report regularly on their progress.

Stripe, Shopify and Salesforce are among the tech giants from the ecommerce space that believe innovation can secure a sustainable future for all. Last year, Stripe Inc. looked at 24 applications for carbon removal projects and chose to fund four of them. Last month, the company announced it will invest $8 million in six more CO2 removal initiatives. 

Some of the projects that Stripe has committed to are Climeworks – the Swiss direct air capture leader, Seachange – a new carbon capture technology that sucks CO2 out of the oceans and turns it into seashells and Heirloom – deploying enhanced weathering to reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere. 

Shopify – the online storefront has pledged $5 million annually to carbon removal technologies. Two-thirds of Shopify’s contracted CO2 removal are natural carbon solutions that capture carbon dioxide, for example, and store it in vegetation. 

Salesforce has joined the Science Based Targets in 2018 – an initiative aiming to help businesses pursue more ambitious climate change solutions. Salesforce works with 250 of its top suppliers that represent 60% of the company’s Scope 3 emissions, to make them set science-based targets by 2024. 

Why Do Carbon Capture Commitments Matter?

Commitments from companies like Stripe, Shopify and Salesforce are highly important for the net zero economy transition as neither of them is a heavy industry company required by law to limit emissions. Despite the fact that they don’t have to, they provide a high level of transparency in their carbon reporting, encouraging other companies to follow. 

Fashion retailers like Inditex have intensified their carbon removal commitments as well. The company has said it will reduce its GHGs by 30% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It plans to fulfill those pledges by turning its stores into more eco-friendly by using 20% less electricity and 40% less water than conventional stores. 

Other apparel companies like Levi Strauss & Co, H&M Group, Nike Inc, PVH Corp, Ralph Lauren Corporation, and VF Corporation have signed an open letter to President Biden supporting the government’s commitment to climate change actions. The firms also insisted on the country to commit to a 50% science-based CO2 reduction by 2030.

Online retail corporate forces seem to be joining together or investing heavily in decarbonization projects. Some of them have announced their pledges to be carbon neutral by 2050 with less details about an actionable plan on how to get there. Other companies like Stripe and Amazon have already spent a load of money investing in carbon capture technology with the potential to drive substantial CO2 reductions. 

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