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Sustainable Buildings
Illustration of an Amazon building featuring a green roof, district energy heating system symbolizing sustainable offices.
Illustration of an Amazon building featuring a green roof, district energy heating system symbolizing sustainable offices.

Sustainable Buildings

Amazon is working to reduce the carbon emissions associated with our buildings and facilities across the globe. We are transitioning our buildings to be net zero carbon, powered by renewable energy, and highly energy efficient, with demonstrated reductions in embodied carbon—the emissions associated with a building’s construction materials. We are also working to improve the resource efficiency of our buildings beyond energy, with a focus on water and waste reduction strategies across our facilities.
Global Corporate Offices
Our global corporate offices are often located in vibrant communities and urban hubs. When designing our offices, we strive to integrate seamlessly with these communities while creating easy outdoor access for our employees and visitors.
  • Office Features and Amenities
    Many of our buildings offer public plazas and open green spaces for communal and public use. Even more feature green roofs and other green infrastructure that provide outdoor amenity space while supporting ecological functions like stormwater management. Our buildings' interiors integrate biophilic design concepts, such as green walls and locally-sourced woods, in addition to energy-efficient lighting, composting and recycling, and amenity spaces for employee wellness. Many Amazon buildings also offer plug-in electric vehicle charging stations for employees and visitors.
  • Sustainability in Action at Our Seattle Campus
    Our flagship Seattle campus features some of our most innovative sustainable design practices. A subterranean district energy system heats many of our buildings in the Denny Triangle neighborhood using waste heat generated from a neighboring data center. Above ground, employees and visitors can enjoy The Spheres, an indoor plant conservatory featuring 40,000 plants from the cloud forest regions of more than 30 countries, along with a 4,000 square foot green wall.
  • Renewable Energy at HQ2 in Arlington
    Our second U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, known as “HQ2,” will use 100% renewable energy to power the 4-million-square-foot campus, which is scheduled to be completed by 2022. We are constructing a new solar farm in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to power HQ2 and other Amazon-owned operations in the area, including Whole Foods Market stores and nearby fulfillment centers. A portion of the renewable energy generated from this solar farm will be allocated to Arlington County, a move that also helps advance the county’s renewable energy goals. The location for the HQ2 campus was strategically determined to provide walkable access to public transportation, bike storage, and local amenities such as shops, restaurants, and childcare.
  • International Offices
    We aim to take best practices from across our global locations and embed them at our offices all over the world. Our corporate offices in Munich, Germany, have been certified Gold for environmental design by the German Sustainable Building Council based on their energy-efficient interiors and use of sustainable building materials. In Luxembourg, efficient chillers and an advanced building management system cut energy costs, while rooftop beehives supply honey, and food is served in compostable and biodegradable containers.
Orange pipes in Amazon's Doppler office building used in Amazon's district energy heating and cooling system.
Green Building Standards
We are committed to holding our buildings to the highest standards of sustainable design, and we pursue third-party building certification when doing so accelerates our impact. Amazon has nearly 30 LEED certified buildings in the U.S.—the majority of which have Gold and Platinum level certification—and more than 20 BREEAM certified buildings across Europe. We also engage with industry-leading programs that support the transition to net zero carbon in the built environment, such as the Carbon Leadership Forum.
Operations Facilities
With more than 175 facilities covering 150 million square feet of space across the world, Amazon fulfillment centers, sortation centers, and delivery stations account for a major part of our embodied carbon.
  • On-Site Solar
    Many of our facilities throughout the U.S., Europe, and India are powered by on-site solar, where a rooftop installation can power up to 80% of a facility’s energy use. In 2019, we achieved a goal to install solar technology on 50 rooftops worldwide by 2020, a year ahead of schedule. We now have more than 60 rooftop solar installations on operations facilities around the world and we continue to scale this program.
  • Minimizing Energy Use at Operations Facilities
    We are expanding our use of building control system technology and real-time data analytics to optimize our heating and cooling systems for occupant comfort while operating as efficiently as possible. We use highly-efficient motors and advanced controls in our conveyor systems to move packages efficiently throughout our facilities, and we are testing new technologies to further reduce the energy use of material handling equipment. Through building retrofits and energy studies, we are continuously improving and learning to optimize the efficiency of our operations, uncover savings opportunities, and help drive carbon out of our fulfillment operations.
  • Net Zero Carbon Buildings
    In 2020, Amazon began an in-depth study of our operations buildings in order to transition these facilities to net zero carbon. The study examines the energy intensity of these buildings and identifies ways to meet zero carbon through energy efficiency enhancements, new technology pilots, and significant reductions in embodied carbon. This year, Amazon will update its design templates and criteria to capture these changes, and apply net zero strategies across all global regions.
AWS has implemented multiple initiatives to improve our water use efficiency and reduce the use of potable (drinking) water for cooling data centers. AWS develops our water use strategy by evaluating climate patterns for each AWS Region (a physical location around the world where we cluster data centers), local water management and availability, and the opportunity to conserve drinking water sources. Taking a holistic approach, we assess both the water and energy usage of each potential cooling solution to select the most efficient method.
Whole Foods storefront at night
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market has several all-electric stores in California and dozens of buildings certified by LEED and Green Globes across North America. Every store provides a high-quality indoor experience for employees and customers, with ample daylight and amenity space. Stores in the San Francisco Bay Area have piloted a technology that combines advanced cloud computing, predictive analytics, and a thermal energy storage retrofit to modulate their refrigeration systems during peak energy.

Whole Foods Market is a founding partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill program, which helps food retailers transition to alternative refrigerants, reduce refrigerant charge sizes, eliminate leaks, and adopt green refrigeration technologies. Whole Foods Market has piloted various technologies to reduce carbon emissions from the use of refrigerants. For example, multiple stores across the U.S. and Canada use natural refrigerants, which contain zero ozone depletion potential and very low global warming potential.
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