Activists paint Bumbershoot festival sponsor Amazon as ‘Prime Polluter’ due to company’s backpedaling on climate commitments and failure to address ‘last-mile’ shipping pollution

September 3, 2023
Messages installed throughout Bumbershoot festival grounds, highlighting the company’s backtracking from commitment to zero-emission deliveries

SEATTLE (Traditional Puget Sound Salish and Duwamish Lands) — Bumbershoot sponsor Amazon quietly rolled back its Shipment Zero pledge this past May, signaling the company’s apparent softening on environmental sustainability — and in turn, environmental justice supporters hung posters and spray-painted dozens of “Amazon: Prime Polluter” messages on sidewalks throughout the festival grounds, while handing out literature to concert-goers.

After the messages were installed, Senior Campaigner Jim Ace said:

“Amazon’s fossil-fueled delivery trucks pollute our climate and our communities, but the company’s Shipment Zero program was meant to address this problem. If Andy Jassy would like to explain why he’s breaking promises Jeff Bezos made, we’ll be at the show.”

Amazon also failed to follow through with its promise to submit a detailed plan to reduce climate pollution through a United Nations-backed sustainability tracking program, called the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). As S&P Global reported, SBTi is a way for companies “to show customers and clients that their targets have teeth.” Amazon was booted off of the SBTi’s list of participants this summer because it failed to file its emission-reduction targets within two years of pledging to do so. Senior Campaigner Jim Ace continued:

“Much like the now-scrapped Shipment Zero pledge, this failure to uphold standards undermines trust with customers and investors who need to see the specifics of how the company will reach net-zero emissions. It’s time for Amazon to deliver change and clean air, not more dirty truck pollution.”

The action comes just weeks after Clean Mobility Collective (CMC) and Research Group (SRG) released a joint investigation that finds Amazon and other leading delivery companies continue to rely on fossil fuels to move their ever-growing e-commerce deliveries, are failing to deploy 100% zero-emission vehicles as promised, and avoid disclosing sufficient data related to last-mile emissions — threatening clean air progress worldwide and amplifying a wide range of health risks and disparities. The report, titled Cost of Convenience: Revealing the hidden climate and health impacts of the global ecommerce-driven parcel delivery industry through 2030, predicts global annual parcel volume could more than double by 2030 and, even without accounting for this exponential growth, Amazon and global e-commerce companies are on track to emit the annual carbon equivalent of up to 44 coal plants.

In July, installed a similar message on the pavement across from Amazon’s headquarters on Sixth Avenue, “ensuring the company’s decision-makers saw the message right outside their front door,” the group said in a statement after spray-painting CEO Andy Jassy’s name and “Amazon: Prime Polluter” across two lanes of the roadway.

Several other recent studies confirm the harmful health effects caused by fossil fuel-derived air pollution. A 2021 Harvard University study found that one in five deaths globally can be linked to air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels, and a Boston University-led study published earlier this month found that the pollutants nitrogen oxide, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone (O3) from oil and gas production contributed to 7,500 excess deaths, 410,000 asthma attacks, and 2,200 new cases of childhood asthma across the U.S. Regarding the urgent need to transition to clean transportation, an IPCC report published in March finds “rapid, deep and immediate” emissions reductions are critical “in this decade.”


Media Contact:

Shane Reese, Corporate Campaigns Media Director,, +1 919 339 3785 (U.S. Eastern Time)