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Amazon launches $2 billion fund to promote sustainability

Amazon is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to reducing carbon.

The e-tail giant is introducing the Climate Pledge Fund, a dedicated venture investment program designed to support the development of sustainable technologies and services. Amazon hopes the fund will enable it and other companies to meet The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040. 

Amazon is providing initial funding of $2 billion to back visionary companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero-carbon economy. In 2019, Amazon and climate change network Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. Verizon, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), and Infosys recently joined the pledge.

The Climate Pledge Fund will invest in companies in multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture. Over time, Amazon will also look for opportunities to involve other Climate Pledge signatories in this venture investment program.

“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.”

Amazon has also released its 2019 sustainability report and an update on the company’s sustainability goals and programs, including:

•    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 totaling over 2,900 megawatts (MW) of capacity will deliver more than 7.6 million megawatt hours (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.

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