How clean energy and recycled water are powering operations in India
At Amazon fulfillment centers across India, we are making operations more efficient through enhancements including solar arrays, advanced building energy management systems, water conservation methods, and electric delivery vehicles. These upgrades play an important part in Amazon’s goal to reach net zero carbon across the globe by 2040.
Our operations team in India began installing solar arrays on buildings in 2017. As of 2020, eight fulfillment centers and two sortation centers together produce a total of 10 megawatts of solar energy to power operations in the buildings. Spanning facilities in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mumbai, these solar arrays support the annual energy needs related to fulfilling orders, reducing dependence on conventional sources of energy.
Our sortation center in Delhi—where associates sort customer orders by final destination and consolidate them onto trucks for faster delivery—was awarded a Gold rating by the Indian Green Building Council for its exemplary performance on energy and resource efficiency. Constructed with locally-sourced materials and outfitted with high-efficiency plumbing and electrical equipment, the facility uses about 30% less energy and water than a typical building of its size.
Across facilities in India, an advanced energy management system provides building operators with a dashboard that enables them to optimize energy use and identify opportunities for further savings. Sensors ensure lighting and climate controls are only used when buildings are occupied.
Many of our fulfillment centers have the ability to collect and recycle water on site. We do this with rainwater collection tanks or recharge wells, which send water back into aquifers, and in-house sewage treatment plants, making it possible to reuse water for flushing and gardening.
After successful pilots across Indian cities in 2019, Amazon India is adding 10,000 electric delivery vehicles to our existing fleet by 2025. These vehicles are in addition to Amazon’s order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles through The Climate Pledge. The roll-out will include 3-wheeler and 4-wheeler electric vehicles designed and manufactured in India. In addition to electric vehicles, we utilize commercial compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles for deliveries across India, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 91 metric tons each month.
In 2020, we announced the expansion of packaging-free shipping to 14 cities across India. Customer orders within this program are shipped in their original packaging without secondary or additional packaging. The program is available depending on the location of the customer, distance the order has to travel, and category of product ordered. The program is set to expand to more regions, with a wider selection of products and a larger customer base.
We are also eliminating single-use plastics used for packaging from fulfillment centers in 2020. Additionally, all plastic dunnage across the fulfillment network has been replaced with 100% recyclable paper cushions.
Engaging with communities
Amazon is working to expand clean energy in India beyond our fulfillment centers, donating solar energy systems to 19 government schools and one mini planetarium in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. This infrastructure supports the needs of children in schools and other members of the local communities in 24 villages, benefiting more than 2,500 people across the Haryana and Maharashtra provinces.
In addition, we partnered with local organizations and engaged Amazon volunteers to construct a sewage treatment plant in Bangalore to support the cleanup of Mahadevpura Lake. We are also planting more than 10,000 saplings around our Indian fulfillment centers as part of our reforestation efforts.