Delivery giant Amazon
on Thursday set a goal to meet the Paris Climate Agreement objectives 10 years early, with a pledge to be carbon neutral by 2040 — including its Prime one-day shipping perk.
Amazon will also work toward using 100% renewable energy by 2030.
The ambitious plan by the online retailer makes it the first signatory on The Climate Pledge, which it has newly formed with a group called Global Optimism. The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be at net- zero carbon across their businesses 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.”
With what it’s calling, Amazon Shipment Zero, the retailer thinks it can eventually make all shipments net-zero carbon, at 50% net-zero carbon by 2030. Getting there will include use of its existing sustainable packaging initiatives like Frustration-Free Packaging and Ship-in-Own-Container, which have reduced packaging waste by 25% since 2015.
Amazon was featured in the recently wrapped proxy round, in which shareholders and the funds that represent them, put pressure on companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics, among other issues. Shareholders want Amazon to be more transparent about its fossil-fuel use.
Two years ago, Amazon made a long-term commitment to power its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy. Amazon is now pledging to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 on its path to net zero carbon by 2040.
It has already made investments that could change the way it delivers, including the $440 million it has put in Michigan-based and Illinois-built Rivian, which makes emissions-free electric vehicles.
Amazon on Thursday said it has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, with vans starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021. Amazon plans to have 10,000 electric vans 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.
Additionally, 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, a step that times with destructive fires in the Amazon Rainforest in recent months.
The Climate Pledge, meanwhile, will call on its signatories 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.
Amazon stock has rallied 21.7% in 2019, though the stock is down 5.1% over the past year. The S&P 500 index
is up 20.4% for the year to date.