Amazon Nixed ‘Green’ Delivery Proposal to Avoid Alienating Shoppers

An anonymous reader quotes Bloomberg: The team building Amazon’s Prime Now same-day delivery service knew that the quickest delivery options tended to be the worst for the planet. A guaranteed one-hour delivery window sometimes meant sending couriers in mostly empty vehicles darting to far-flung neighborhoods, all the while emitting roughly the same greenhouse gas emissions as a fully loaded truck or van. Someone on the team proposed showing customers a “Green” shopping delivery option, a slightly slower delivery speed designed to give Amazon more time to cluster orders together and send out densely packed vehicles, saving on fuel, driver salaries and carbon emissions.

The idea was one of at least two instances in recent years when Amazon teams debated telling customers more about the environmental impact of their shipping choices, according to two people familiar with the episodes. Neither was implemented, in part, because of the risk that shoppers would think twice before clicking “Buy Now,” the people say…

Amazon, which says its deliveries generally emit less carbon than physical shopping trips for the same set of items, is working behind the scenes to make its operations more efficient without customers knowing or having to change their behavior. The company says it expects to receive its first electric delivery truck from Rivian Inc. in 2021, and have 100,000 of them on the road by 2030. The company cites the purchase of electric vehicles, typically more expensive than conventional diesel- or gasoline-powered models, as a sign of its commitment to meet its zero-carbon goal, even if it adds costs. The order may help jumpstart production of fossil-fuel-free delivery vehicles, which has so far failed to keep up with demand.