Stefano Perego on Amazon Safety, Innovation, Speed & Sustainability

Category: Amazon News
Stefano Perego on Amazon Safety, Innovation, Speed, Sustainability

Yesterday, Amazon’s Stefano Perego, VP of Global Operations Services, delivered his keynote speech at ShopTalk in Barcelona, outlining Amazon’s new innovations in robotics, improvements to speed and regionalization for customers, new technological safety solutions, and recent sustainability announcements to fight climate change. Here is what he had to say:

Stefano Perego, Vice President of Customer Fulfilment & Global Ops services for North America and Europe

I am in Operations at Amazon and I’m proud of my team of over 750,000 employees for improving safety, enhancing sustainability, driving innovation, lowering cost to serve and offering faster delivery speeds.

In my keynote address at retail industry event Shoptalk Europe in Barcelona on 9 May I outlined why safety, innovation, speed, and sustainability are my team’s top priorities.

1) Safety

We’re proud to give our employees a safe workplace, and we’re constantly asking them how else we can improve to make their jobs even safer.

Since 2019, we’ve invested more than $1 billion into safety-related projects, initiatives, technologies, and improvements, and we’ll spend another $550M in 2023 to advance safety even further. Between 2019 and 2022 we saw a nearly 24% drop in our recordable injury rates across our network globally.

I love how at Amazon   we are committed to develop new technologies that improve safety for our employees across our business, such as “Cardinal”, a robotic workstation that we are field testing which can sort heavy packages of up to 50lbs (23kg), and our first Autonomous Mobile Robots called “Proteus,” which autonomously navigate through our facilities using our advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology.

2) Innovation

We strive for innovation not just to be leaders in the industry but because we want to bring real value to our employees, customers, and partners.

Today, we have more than 750,000 mobile robots at over 300 facilities across our global network and about 75% of Amazon customer orders are handled in part by robotics. We are not developing technology for technology’s sake — every move we make is to improve the experience for our employees and our customers. This includes the strides we have made in artificial intelligence, computer vision, and machine learning. Robotics helps provide the best customer experience, paving the way for broad selection, low prices, fast and convenient delivery.

In 2022, we launched the Mechatronics and Robotics Apprenticeship Program to re-train people in high-demand fields like robotics and software engineering. Employees who have graduated from this free program have learned new skills and seen pay increases by about 40%. We have created 700 new categories of jobs since introducing robotics in our fulfillment network, including flow control specialists, Amnesty floor monitors, and reliability maintenance engineers.

3) Speed

We recently started leveraging our large fulfilment center footprint to move from a national fulfilment network in the U.S. to a regionalized network model. We now place items that we anticipate customers want in the fulfilment center that’s closest to them. Thanks to these efforts, today, more than 76% of the products US customers order that we fulfil are now from fulfillment centers within their region. This approach delivers faster speeds, lowers our cost to serve customers, and reduces our carbon emissions. We’re   applying this same logic in Europe at the country level to deliver faster speeds to customers, and greater efficiencies in our operations.

Over the last three years we’ve invested in building a Same-Day delivery network in the U.S, which is available in more than 90 metro areas on hundreds of thousands of items. These sites are located close to the cities they serve, which decreases the distance drivers have to travel to deliver packages to customers and increases delivery speeds. At these sites, we fulfill, sort and deliver all from one location, within hours of a customer placing an order. The inventory at these sites are specifically tailored to what customers in the area want and need.

Thanks to optimizations we’ve made to our network and our investment in Same-Day delivery, we’re excited that this year we’re on track to have our fastest Prime delivery speeds ever.

4) Sustainability

We consistently ask, “How can we make this product, this service, or this experience better for our customers?” This mindset is ingrained in our culture, so every day, we apply the same relentless pursuit to delivering progress on our sustainability commitments.

Since 2015 we’ve invested in materials and technology that have helped reduce the weight of the packaging per shipment by 38% and eliminated the use of more than 1.5 million tons of packaging materials. In Europe, we switched from single-use plastic delivery bags to curbside recyclable paper delivery bags and cardboard envelopes.

We are also dedicated to powering our operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025. We now have more than 125 renewable energy projects on Amazon sites across Europe. We have 80 on site solar and 49 large scale wind projects, projected to generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 3.5 million European homes annually.

In October 2022 we pledged to invest more than €1 billion over the next five years to help decarbonize and electrify transportation across Europe. At the time, Amazon had more than 3,000 electric vehicles delivering packages across the continent and our investment will increase this to 10,000 by 2025.

Amazon has always strived to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. Our passion for invention and commitment to operational excellence are helping us achieve our goal of being Earth’s best employer, all while achieving our bold commitments to innovation, speed and sustainability.

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