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Interrogating Amazon’s Sustainability Innovation

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Abstract

Enabled by an immense system of delivery trucks, warehouses, and data centers, Amazon has emerged as one of the world’s largest consumers of energy. Predictably, the firm’s environmental record has been the subject of some debate. This chapter seeks to re-establish the material connections between firms offering e-commerce and cloud computing services and the physical world by reconsidering the ecological impacts of these business practices. Looking at Amazon’s 2017 shareholders report and a number of additional studies of the CO2 emissions associated with e-commerce, I pay particular attention to Amazon’s logistics system. In doing so, this chapter contributes to the perennial debates over the relative ecological benefits of online shopping versus conventional retail shopping.

Keywords

  • Amazon
  • Ecommerce
  • Online
  • Logistics

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-49384-4_6
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Notes

  1. 1.

    The third function refers to the aesthetic and spiritual value of the natural environment.

  2. 2.

    In this context higher resource utilization refers to Amazon’s scalable infrastructure.

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Correspondence to Brett Caraway .

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Caraway, B. (2020). Interrogating Amazon’s Sustainability Innovation. In: Oakley, K., Banks, M. (eds) Cultural Industries and the Environmental Crisis. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49384-4_6

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