Amazon Debuts Facility on Track to be World’s First ILFI Zero Carbon Certified Fulfillment Center
One of Amazon’s newest Same-Day sites in Sacramento, California, known as SCA5, will make history as the world’s first-ever Zero Carbon Certified fulfillment center or logistics facility by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). The location is not only equipped with innovative technology that helps reduce CO2 emissions and operate more efficiently, but also closer to the homes of customers in the Sacramento area. This means that packages will arrive at the door within hours of clicking ‘buy’.
Inside Amazon’s newest Same-Day site in Sacramento, California.
Although not widely known, buildings are responsible for almost 40% of the country’s CO2 emissions, and they consume more energy than both the industrial and transportation sectors. While not visible to Amazon’s customers, the design and operation of buildings such as SCA5 represent a significant and growing opportunity to combat climate change – creating more sustainable and thriving communities, while also stimulating economic growth.
“This new facility represents a leap forward in sustainable construction for our global operations, which we plan to use as a model for future buildings in Amazon as we continue to work towards meeting our Climate Pledge commitment to become carbon neutral. in all of our operations by 2040,” said Kara Hurst, Amazon vice president of global sustainability. “This facility is great for our customers – we can deliver packages in just a few hours – and also great for the community and our planet because it’s built to reduce environmental impact. To achieve Zero Carbon certification and To minimize our impact, the facility is built using more sustainable building materials such as low carbon concrete, a fully electrified HVAC system and highly efficient material handling equipment.It is powered by 100% renewable energy and uses smart irrigation systems that detect moisture and rain to reduce water consumption.”
SCA5 is the first fulfillment center or logistics site in the world to be pursued ILFI Zero Carbon Certification. The ILFI program is the first global Zero Carbon certified third-party standard. This requires a building to meet energy and carbon reduction targets, be powered by 100% renewable energy, and offset 100% of the emissions associated with construction. As with the standard process, Amazon expects SCA5 to receive ILFI certification in 2023, after being fully operational for a full year.
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As part of the process of building this new Same-Day site, Amazon has been able to significantly reduce its environmental impact by making the building all-electric, reducing the site’s energy consumption; eliminating the burning of fossil fuels from normal operations; and reducing the embodied carbon emitted throughout the building materials supply chain. To save energy consumption, the company added insulation to the roof and walls to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling. It also installed a white roof, which reflects sunlight and reduces heat absorption, reducing the amount of energy used in the cooling system. Amazon also used high-efficiency motors, low-friction tires, and low-friction rollers to reduce the energy consumption of material handling equipment. The site will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The building is solar ready and is designed to have a solar panel on the roof that can generate up to 80% of the facility’s annual energy needs, with the balance to be supported by Amazon’s off-site renewable energy projects.
“Amazon’s SCA5 shows 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 Zero Carbon certification, this project is an important model for efforts to eliminate carbon pollution in the supply chain.”
Amazon has already started applying key lessons from this project to future projects. Ultimately, Amazon will need all of its buildings to strive to reduce their respective emissions as we work toward meeting the commitments set forth in The climate promise. Sustainability-related improvements made at SCA5 are also being implemented at several other locations within Amazon’s business, including low-carbon concrete, all-electric HVAC, rooftop solar, energy efficiency upgrades such as LED lighting and occupancy sensors, and high efficiency material handling equipment. In the past 12 months, Amazon opened a Amazon Fresh store seeking ILFI certification. Amazon also supported the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle seeking ILFI certification.
SCA5’s innovation in the use of sustainable building materials and operations is another important step in Amazon’s progress to be carbon neutral by 2040. The company also placed its largest-ever order for electric vans. It is the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and has gathered more than 375 companies worldwide to sign The Climate Pledge.