By 2040, Amazon wants to be completely carbon neutral. This is the promise made by CEO Jeff Bezos in a new climate commitment, motivated by employee actions. A huge fleet of electric cars would boost this objective by 2021.
"If Amazon can do it, anyone can do it."
Amazon has announced its own climate targets in a new ‘Climate Pledge’: by 2040, ten years earlier than agreed in the Paris climate agreement, the company intends to operate on a completely carbon neutral basis. CEO Bezos has also called on other companies to follow his example.
"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", Bezos told GeekWire. "If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon — which delivers more than 10 billion items per year — can meet the Paris Agreement ten years early, then any company can".
Renewable energy and electric cars
The retail giant has announced that in five years’ time, 80 % of the energy used on a worldwide scale will be renewable and that by 2030, they will have fully switched to renewable energy. To achieve this, Amazon is using fifteen wind and solar parks around the globe, Bezos explained during a press conference. He also announced earlier that the roofs of fifty fulfilment centres would be equipped with solar panels.
Amazon will also purchase 100,000 electric vans to carry out Prime deliveries in the United States. Prototypes of vans currently being developed by Rivian might be in use by next year as a test, the whole fleet should be active by 2024. Earlier this year, Bezos already invested heavily in Rivian, a young competitor to Tesla; adding fuel to the rumours that the cooperation will eventually lead to a takeover.
Employees plan climate strike
In order to promote transparency, Amazon is also launching a website that sets out its sustainability goals and progress. For example, the e-commerce player admits on the site that it has emitted 44.4 million tonnes of CO2. Bezos has also promised to invest 100 million dollars in a new fund for forest conservation and reforestation.
It is no coincidence that this announcement takes place on the eve of a planned protest strike by Amazon, which was organised by its own employees. A group of the retailer’s employees have come together under the name 'Amazon Employees for Climate Justice' and have been exerting pressure on the management for some time now. The activists say they are happy with the news, but promise that their efforts will continue undiminished.