Amazon.com Inc CEO Jeff Bezos pledged to make the largest US e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040 and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from a start-up, Reuters reported on September 20th.
Reducing emissions is a challenging goal for Amazon, which delivers 10 billion items a year and has a massive transportation and data centre footprint. "We know we can do it and we know we have to do it," Bezos said on Thursday September 19th.
Bezos announced a number of actions at a press conference in Washington ahead of the upcoming Climate Week in New York, a global gathering of world and company leaders seeking ways to fight climate change. Global marches to push for climate action are planned for Friday, and many Amazon customers will take part.
Amazon will meet the goals of the Paris climate accord 10 years ahead of schedule, said Bezos, and it will use 100% renewable energy by 2030, up from 40% today. The Trump administration said in June 2017 it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord.
Amazon also pledged to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from US vehicle design and manufacturing startup, Rivian Automotive LLC.
Amazon and Ford Motor Co are among the investors in Rivian. Bezos said the first electric delivery vans for Amazon will be on the road by 2021, and all 100,000 will be deployed by 2024.
Bezos announced that Amazon will also invest $100 million to restore forests and wetlands, adding that the company will take a "careful look" at any political campaign contributions it makes that could be going to politicians who deny climate science.
Moreover, the company's move to accelerate delivery to same-day or next-day has the counterintuitive effect of decreasing carbon emissions, Bezos said. "Once you get to one-day and same-day, because you are eliminating the possibility of air transportation, you have to get those products closer to the customer," he said.
He vowed to try to convince other company CEOs to sign up to Amazon's plan, called The Climate Pledge.
Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace USA welcomed the commitment, but a spokesperson said the company still lags behind peers Google, Apple and Facebook in transparency around its renewable projects.