Amazon and Ikea are two of the largest retailers in America. However, their shipping practices are still very dirty. A new report allows shoppers to see the amount of pollution that the largest retail companies in America create while shipping goods into the country. The report shows that the 15 companies included in the report produced almost the same amount of climate pollution in 2019 as 1.5 million homes in America.
Although experts know for some time that shipping by sea is responsible for three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the individual retailers who are responsible have been able to avoid scrutiny up until now. Consumers now have more power to demand climate change action, as the companies’ carbon footprints are being revealed.
Madeline Rose, the primary author of today’s report by Stand.earth and Pacific Environment, stated that there hadn’t been any investigation into the pillar of companies’ emission portfolios. “Quite honestly, the climate emergency is on our doorstep. We feel that there should be disruption to the data system, and there should be more transparency.”
“With the climate crisis on our doorsteps, we feel that there should be disruption to the data system.”
The Journal of Commerce is a public database that allows companies to track their emissions. It contains the names of the largest US importers, ranked by volume. The University Maritime Advisory Services, which has access other maritime import databases in the US, was then asked to cross-reference public data with their proprietary information. They then matched individual shipments of retailers to specific vessels. They were able estimate fuel consumption and emissions based on the voyages of the ships. They are probably low because they were unable to verify every cargo voyage made by franchises or shell companies that have different names from their parent companies.
“Because they have so little data, they can only capture about 20% of the market, then they extrapolate upwards from there,” Dan Rutherford, who directs the aviation and marine programs at the International Council on Clean Transportation and was not involved in the research, said. “I believe that’s right, since the data isn’t available. It does however point out the need for better rules and greater transparency.