SEATTLE: March 02, 2017. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faces Trump budget cuts under its new climate change-denying head, Amazon has announced it is installing solar panels on 15 fulfillment and sort centers in the U.S. this year, and on 50 centers globally by 2020.
The company said projects to be completed by the end of 2017 will generate up to 80 percent of a single fulfillment facility's annual energy needs in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Nevada and Delaware.
"We are putting our scale and inventive culture to work on sustainability—this is good for the environment, our business and our customers," said Dave Clark, senior vice president of Worldwide Operations. "By diversifying our energy portfolio, we can keep business costs low and pass along further savings to customers. It's a win-win."
With construction projects that will generate a total of 3.6 million MW of renewable energy, Amazon was the leading corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the U.S. last year, according to the 2017 State of Green Business report.
In a related move, the company has expanded its 'Career Choice' program to include funding for employees to earn North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.
According to the annual National Solar Jobs Census, one in 50 new jobs created in 2016 was in the solar industry across the U.S., which is a 25 percent increase from the previous year.
"The NABCEP professional accreditation is a spring board for fulfillment center associates to enter a rapidly growing and in-demand workforce outside of Amazon as PV installers," said Kara Hurst, director of Amazon's Worldwide Sustainability. "It would be great one day soon to see former associates developing solar systems on the rooftops of our fulfillment centers," she added.