Amazon commits to using 100% renewable energy by 2030, zero carbon emissions by 2040

Today, Amazon announced that it's partnering with Global Optimism to co-found The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement ten years early. While Amazon is the first signatory of the pledge, the hope is that more companies will join in order to promote environmental sustainability.

Those that choose to join the pledge will be committing to:

  • Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis;
  • Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies;
  • Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

For its part, Amazon is making a number of commitments, starting with transitioning all of its energy usage to renewable energy sources. The company expects to use 80% of renewable energy for its operation by 2024 and to transition completely to renewable energies by 2030. This should help the company reach its goal of zero carbon emissions by 2040. Companies such as Google and Apple already run on 100% renewable energy.

Commenting on the move, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos noted that the company decided it's time to use its size to influence others to make a change:

“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(...). 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.”

Amazon also announced that it has ordered a fleet of 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian, an EV company that Amazon has already invested $440 million in, and which is aiming to launch its first vehicles by 2021. This is the biggest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, according to the online retailer, and Amazon plans to have 10,000 of these on the road by 2022, and all 100,000 by 2030.

Amazon is also investing in reforestation - a fitting choice for the company - with the Right Now Climate Fund, committing $100 million to "restore and protect forests, wetlands, and peatlands around the world".

Finally, Amazon is launching a website dedicated to reporting its sustainability commitments and progress to reaching the goals set by The Climate Pledge. Data such as the carbon footprint and other metrics will be available, as well as more information on the company's different programs to reduce its environmental impact. You can visit the new website here.

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