Amazon Announces $2Bn Climate Pledge Fund

Investing in companies building products, services, and technologies this fund aims fundamentally to decarbonize the economy and protect the planet.

On June 23rd, international e-commerce giant Amazon announced the creation of a ground-breaking Climate Pledge Fund. With an initial $2 billion in funding, this venture investment program will encourage sustainable innovation, developing products and services that aim to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. 

Helping support and scale these new technologies for widespread use, the fund ultimately works to help Amazon, alongside other corporations, meet its Climate Pledge: a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early, becoming net-zero carbon by 2040. 

Co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019, Verizon, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), and Infosys have recently joined the Pledge, signalling to the global market demand for cleantech is on the up. This growth trajectory is a trend Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund is set to accelerate, with direct investment in sustainable technologies leading the way towards the low carbon economy of the future. 

The Climate Pledge Fund

“The Climate Pledge Fund will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO.

“Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises. Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”

Investment will span multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture. As the Fund develops, Amazon also plans to seek opportunities to involve other Climate Pledge signatories in this cleantech venture program.

“Amazon has demonstrated its leadership in adopting low carbon technologies at scale,” said Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe of the Fund.

“Their investment in Rivian and subsequent order of 100,000 electric delivery vans will substantially shrink the carbon footprint of Amazon’s package delivery network. We’re excited about a future of decarbonized delivery services.”

2019 Sustainability Report

Alongside announcing its Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon released its 2019 sustainability report, providing an update on the company’s sustainability goals and programs

As summarized on Amazon’s ‘Day One’ (their online blog forum), since the acceleration of the company’s sustainability initiatives in 2016: 

“…our bold commitment to integrating sustainability across the company has not changed, and it will not change another five or ten years from now. What has changed, however, is the way in which we are conducting our business, running our operations, funding and implementing new technologies and services that decarbonize and help preserve the natural world, along with the ambitious goals we have set, starting with The Climate Pledge. We’re all in on our goals and our work to build a better planet.”

This commitment is reflected in their annual results:
  • Amazon announced it’s on a path to run on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of schedule. As part of The Climate Pledge, Amazon had previously committed to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030.
  • To date, Amazon has announced 91 renewable energy projects around the globe. Together, these projects totalling over 2,900 MW of capacity will deliver more than 7.6 million MWh of renewable energy annually, enough to power 680,000 U.S. homes.
  • Amazon made two investments from its $100 million Right Now Climate Fund in nature-based solutions and reforestation projects around the world, including a reforestation project in the Appalachians in the U.S. and an urban greening initiative in Berlin, Germany.
  • Since 2015, Amazon has reduced the weight of outbound packaging by 33% and eliminated more than 880,000 tons of packaging material, the equivalent of 1.5 billion shipping boxes.

To find out more of Amazon’s continued commitment to green practice from CleanTech news, please use the link here. 

Camy Sandford

Camy Sandford is an Editor and Senior Writer for CleanTech News. Camy’s focus for sustainable development is longstanding, growing stronger as the realities of the global climate crisis have become more apparent. With a diverse background in the field, she remains most passionate about driving carbon reductions through behavioural change. Firm in her belief that small-scale collective change can have a huge impact, her focus at CleanTech News will centre around finance. Keeping readers up to date on cutting edge innovation, she aims to encourage and support global corporations to bring sustainability to the forefront of their agendas, shining a light on successful current initiatives.