CEO Jeff Bezos announced the new initiative, which it calls The Climate Pledge, as well as a set of related moves at a news conference Thursday (see a video clip below). The tech giant has placed a purchase order for 100,000 electric delivery vans from Detroit-based Rivian Automotive, he said. Amazon has led fundraising rounds for the start-up company and Bezos suggested the investment could have a cascading effect on the larger electric vehicle market.
The company also promised to invest $100 million in reforestation through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Amazon will be the “first signatory” of the climate pledge, Bezos said, adding that the hope is that other companies will soon follow.
“We want to use our scale and our scope to lead the way,” Bezos said. “It’s a difficult challenge because we have deep, large physical infrastructure. We’re not just moving data around; we’re moving packages around. But if we can do this, anybody can do this.”
At the direction of President Donald Trump, the United States withdrew from the Paris agreement. He has frequently targeted Bezos and Amazon on Twitter for various reasons but as of Thursday evening had not weighed in.
Amazon said investments in wind and solar energy solutions will enable it to reach 100% renewable energy use across its whole operation by 2030. By that same year, the goal is to have 50% of shipments carbon-neutral.
Investors didn’t appear to react strongly to the news. Amazon shares finished the trading day at $1,821.50, up a fraction.