Amazon Commits to Net Zero Carbon by 2040 and Wants Others to Follow

Last week, Amazon in partnership with Global Optimism, a purpose-driven enterprise focused on social and environmental change, released The Climate Pledge, an agreement compelling businesses who sign on to have net zero emissions by 2040.

This is ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s 2050 goal, and Amazon has asked other companies to follow suit.  Those that agree to commit will (1) report emissions regularly, (2) follow through with plans that decrease carbonization in accordance with the Paris Agreement, and (3) use permanent and socially-beneficial offsets to neutralize any remaining emissions by 2040.  To start, Amazon is beginning to offset its 44.4 million metric ton footprint by ordering 100,000 electric fleet vehicles for its operations by 2030, putting $100 million into global reforestation efforts, investing in the circular economy, and committing to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

The Climate Pledge announcement occurred one day before the global climate change strikes, in which estimates say 4 million people participated in 163 countries.  GreenBiz reports that Amazon employees themselves, members of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, were a consideration in Amazon’s commitment, as 1,700 employees had signed up to strike the day The Climate Pledge was released, and employees from tech companies like Google and Facebook planned to accompany.

“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.”

To view the full press release, click here.