Net zero carbon by 2020. While that might seem a bit ambitious, it’s Amazon’s mission to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early through an organization called The Climate Pledge, co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in 2019.
The 13 companies -- including Atos, Brooks, Canary Wharf Group, Coca-Cola European Partners, ERM, Groupe SEB France, Harbour Air, ITV, Microsoft, Neste, Rubicon, Unilever, and Vaude -- comprise the 31 companies in total that are now members.
Those joining the pledge agree to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.
They also agree to implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies -- and neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
Internet habits are not as clean as many think. Online orders, streaming videos, use of computers and other electronic devices, and individual deliveries to residential areas have been said to increase the amount of carbon emissions.
Several years ago, estimates suggested watching online videos accounted for the biggest chunk of the world's internet traffic at 60%, and generated 300m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, which is roughly 1% of global emissions, according to French think tank The Shift Project. Those numbers were released pre-COVID-19.
Although the energy needed to conduct internet search or send one email is small, approximately 4.1 billion people -- or 53.6% of the global population -- used the internet when these numbers were released. The gases emitted with each online activity add up.
While Google is not part of The Climate Pledge, the company is doing its part.
As of September 2020, Google said it has eliminated its entire carbon legacy through the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets. This means that Google's lifetime net carbon footprint is now zero.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said it was the first major company to accomplish the task.
Supporting global efforts, The Climate Pledge Fund is a $2 billion investment to support the development of technologies and services that reduce carbon emissions and help preserve the natural world, along with $100 million in reforestation projects and climate mitigation solutions.
In October, Amazon announced its first custom electric delivery vehicle.
The company unveiled the prototype and said about 10,000 Amazon custom electric delivery vehicles will be on the road delivering packages to customers worldwide as early as 2022 and all 100,000 by 2030.
The project is being done with Rivian, an electric adventure vehicle.