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Amazon buying 100,000 electric vans as part of new effort to combat climate change

Amazon is pledging to be net zero carbon across its entire business by 2040.

The e-tail giant is partnering with social/environmental change group Global Optimism to launch the Climate Pledge. Amazon is the first signatory of the pledge, which commits to meet the net zero carbon targets of the Paris Agreement by 2040, which is a full 10 years ahead of the accord’s stated 2050 goal.

As part of its increased commitment to carbon reduction, Amazon is ordering 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from sustainable vehicle manufacturer Rivian. This $440 million investment represents what Amazon says is the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, with vans starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030. The e-tailer estimates this move will save 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.

Amazon and other companies that sign the Climate Pledge agree to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through efforts such as efficiency improvements, renewable energy, and materials reductions; and neutralize any remaining emissions with quantifiable, permanent offsets.

In 2017, 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.

To date, Amazon has launched 15 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate over 1,300 MW of renewable capacity and deliver more than 3.8 million MWh of clean energy annually – enough to power 368,000 U.S. homes. Amazon has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on fulfillment centers and sort centers around the globe that generate 98 MW of renewable capacity and deliver 130,000 MWh of clean energy annually.

Amazon is also 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. In addition, the e-tailer has launched a new sustainability website to report on its commitments, initiatives, and performance. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics that share the progress the company is making towards reaching The Climate Pledge.

“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. I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge. Large companies signing the Climate Pledge will send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in the products and services the signatories will need to meet their commitments.”
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