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Amazon seeks zero carbon certification for same-day facility

supply chain
Amazon is making a Sacramento supply chain hub zero-carbon.

Amazon intends to achieve a historic first with a same-day fulfillment center in Sacramento, Calif.

The e-tail giant is working to make the facility, known as SCA5, the world’s first-ever Zero Carbon Certified fulfillment center or logistics facility by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). In addition to being outfitted with technology that helps it reduce carbon emissions and operate more efficiently, the site is located closer to customers’ homes in the Sacramento area to enable packages’ arrival within hours of purchase.

SCA5 is the first fulfillment center or logistics site in the world to pursue this certification. The ILFI program requires a building to achieve energy and embodied carbon reduction targets, be powered by 100% renewable energy, and offset 100% of emissions associated with construction. Amazon expects SCA5 to receive ILFI certification in 2023, after one full year of being fully operational.

As part of the process of building this new site, Amazon has made the building all-electric, eliminated fossil fuel combustion from normal operations, and decreased the embodied carbon emitted throughout the building materials supply chain. To preserve energy use, the company added insulation to the roof and walls to help reduce heating and cooling energy use.

Amazon has also installed a white roof, which reflects sunlight and reduces heat absorption, reducing the amount of energy used in the cooling system. The company also used high-efficiency motors, low-friction belts, and low-friction rollers to reduce energy use from material handling equipment.

The site will be powered by 100% renewable energy, and is solar-ready and designed to have a rooftop solar array that can generate as much as 80% of the facility’s annual energy needs, with the balance to be supported by other Amazon renewable energy projects.

Sustainability-related improvements made at SCA5 are also being implemented at various other sites across Amazon’s operations, including low-carbon concrete, all-electric HVAC, rooftop solar installations, energy efficiency upgrades—such as LED lighting and occupancy sensors—and high-efficiency material handling equipment.

Amazon is also seeking ILFI zero carbon certification for an Amazon Fresh grocery store in the Seattle area and has achieved the recognition for its Climate Pledge Arena, also in Seattle.

“This new facility represents a leap forward in sustainable construction for our global operations, which we intend to use as a model for future buildings across Amazon, as we continue working toward meeting our Climate Pledge commitment to be net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, VP of worldwide sustainability at Amazon. “This facility is great for our customers—letting us deliver packages within just a few hours—and also great for the community and our planet because it was built to reduce its environmental impact. To reach Zero Carbon Certification and minimize our impact, the facility was built using more sustainable building materials like lower carbon concrete, fully electrified HVAC system, and high-efficiency material handling equipment. It is powered with 100% renewable energy, and uses smart irrigation systems that sense moisture and rain to reduce water usage.”

Amazon’s SCA5 shows that we can make progress much faster and in more transformational ways to reduce carbon emissions from buildings,” said Lindsay Baker, CEO of the International Living Future Institute. “As the first fulfillment center to submit for Zero Carbon Certification, this project is an important model for efforts to eliminate supply chain carbon pollution.”

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