New Amazon Fresh Aims to Be 1st Net-Zero Carbon Grocery Store

Seattle location pursuing certification from International Future Living Institute
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
New Amazon Fresh Aims to be 1st Net-Zero Carbon Grocery Store
Amazon Fresh Seattle has added doors to most refrigeration cases to reduce energy consumption.

Amazon Fresh’s newest store in Seattle may not be its first location in the area, but it is the world’s first supermarket to pursue the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Zero Carbon certification.

Opening March 17, the 35,000-square-foot store at 13201 Aurora Avenue N will provide a more sustainable shopping environment with more than a dozen store design upgrades that Amazon expects will save nearly 185 tons of carbon dioxide each year and help it achieve its Climate Pledge commitments.

Some of the store features include:

  • Free electric vehicle-charging stations for customers.
  • Low-carbon concrete flooring to reduce emissions.
  • Electric kitchens and hot water heaters to remove the need for fossil fuel combustion within the store.
  • Added doors to most refrigeration cases to reduce energy consumption.
  • A central carbon dioxide-based refrigeration system that reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 38 metric tons per year.

Amazon is also electrifying the store using 100% renewable electricity sourced from its renewable energy projects, which helps the company continue its progress to power Amazon operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

“Amazon’s pursuit of Zero Carbon certification for its latest Amazon Fresh location shows an important commitment to verifiable carbon reductions,” said Lindsay Baker, CEO of Seattle-based ILFI. “As the world’s first grocer seeking Zero Carbon certification, this approach represents an important benchmark for the grocery sector and the retailers overall.”

Seattle-based ILFI is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing sustainable building practices. ILFI-certified buildings must be energy efficient, have all electricity provided by renewable energy, demonstrate a reduction in the embodied carbon of building materials, and prove that all carbon emissions associated with the manufacturing and construction process have been neutralized. To receive certification, ILFI will review 12 consecutive months of performance data to ensure the new Amazon Fresh store meets this standard.

“We are constantly thinking about what we can do to make the customer shopping experience easier, more seamless and more sustainable,” said Stephenie Landry, VP of Amazon Grocery. “We know many customers are prioritizing sustainability in what products they buy and where they choose to shop. With our newest Amazon Fresh store, we are taking the next step on our path to becoming a net-zero carbon business by 2040, and we welcome customers to experience this firsthand while shopping with us in this store.”

Some of the planet-friendly upgrades used in the Seattle store will be adopted at all Amazon Fresh grocery stores moving forward, such as the lower-carbon concrete flooring. Amazon will be able to measure the real-time impact of these upgrades via a system built by Amazon Web Services’ Professional Services Sustainability Practice.

Meanwhile, the newest Amazon Fresh store also features Just Walk Out technology and Alexa shopping list integration to improve customers’ shopping experience. Customers will also be able to shop from a selection of newly launched Fresh Brand Plant-Based Products, as well as Climate Pledge-friendly products such as Seventh Generation, Annie’s, Mrs. Meyer’s and Clif.

The Seattle location is the 26th Amazon Fresh grocery store in the United States and the fourth location to open in the greater Seattle area.

As part of Amazon’s commitment to sustainability and local communities, the new Seattle store is providing a donation to Tilth Alliance, a local nonprofit building community with farmers, gardeners and families in Washington state to create a sustainable, healthy and equitable food future.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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