The business world continues to speed past the anti-environmental Trump agenda, reflecting the views of customer, not self-interested bought and paid for politicians. In the latest example, Amazon says it wants net zero carbon by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. It backed up its green words with green cash yesterday by announcing that it will purchase 100,000 fully-electric delivery vehicles from Rivian – apparently the largest order ever for electric delivery vehicles – and devote $100 million to reforestation projects around the world to begin removing carbon from the atmosphere now.
It’s part of the so-called Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Amazon is the first signatory of this pledge, and it will hardly be the last. The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.
“We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue—we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge. Large companies signing The Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments.”
By joining The Climate Pledge and agreeing to decarbonize on a faster time horizon, signatories will play a critical role in stimulating investment in the development of low carbon products and services that will be required to help companies meet the pledge.
“Bold steps by big companies will make a huge difference in the development of new technologies and industries to support a low carbon economy,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism. “If Amazon can set ambitious goals like this and make significant changes at their scale, we think many more companies should be able to do the same and will accept the challenge. We are excited to have others join.”
Amazon’s previously announced investment in Rivian is an example of this. Rivian is a producer of emissions-free electric vehicles – it’s working with Ford Motor on an electric F-Series pickup – with its headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan and a manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.
The $440 million investment will accelerate the production of electric vehicles critical to reducing emissions from transportation. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030 – saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.
Two years ago, Amazon made a long-term commitment to power its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy. To date, Amazon has launched 15 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 1,300 MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 3.8 million MWh of clean energy annually – enough to power 368,000 U.S. homes.
Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe that generate 98 MW of renewable capacity and deliver 130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.
Amazon is launching the Right Now Climate Fund, committing $100 million to restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. The Right Now Climate Fund will help remove millions of metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere over the lifetime of the project and create economic opportunity for thousands of people.
“The science is clear: healthy forests, grasslands, and wetlands are some of the most effective tools we have to address climate change—but we must act now to take natural climate solutions to scale,” said Sally Jewell, interim CEO, The Nature Conservancy.
Amazon has launched a new sustainability website to report on its commitments, initiatives, and performance. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making towards reaching The Climate Pledge. The new goals back Amazon’s attempt to make all shipments net zero carbon, with 50% net zero carbon by 2030; sustainable packaging initiatives like Frustration-Free Packaging and Ship in Own Container, which have reduced packaging waste by 25% since 2015; renewable energy programs; investments in the circular economy with the Closed Loop Fund; and numerous other initiatives happening every day by teams across Amazon. See sustainability.aboutamazon.com to view the company’s new sustainability reporting website and learn more.