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A Look at Amazon's Climate Pledge Projects

Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world. And the CEO, Jeff Bezos, is reportedly the richest person in the world, with a current net worth of $122 billion. On February 17, 2020, Bezos announced the Bezos Earth Fund and pledged $10 billion towards it, leading to a public debate about his past and current actions.
A Look at Amazon

You may have heard the news around the Fund lately. The Amazon CEO established it in order to help preserve and protect the Earth. He stated that the money will go towards scientists, activists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and more. 

You may have also heard the conversations around the benefits of this decision, and how it isn't matching up with Amazon's actions. 

Amazon's Efforts and Impacts

First, here are the good parts. Bezos' decision to pledge $10 billion is quite groundbreaking. Though it's only a small percentage of his wealth, it is nevertheless an impressive amount. 

Amazon has also been investing in other climate-related programs recently, too. Back in September of 2019, the company started The Climate Pledge. This pledge lines up with the Paris Climate Agreement in that it strives to achieve more sustainable practices within the upcoming years.

First, it requires that all who pledge must agree to measure and report greenhouse gas regularly, develop and implement strategies for decarbonization and neutralize any other emissions. The Paris Agreement sets 2050 as a deadline for these goals, but The Climate Pledge is aiming for 2040. 

For Amazon, it might be hard to picture what this will look like. Surely such a big company will have an issue becoming sustainable, right? Well, the company is dedicated and planning to make it work.

The company offers a layout of its plans on its sustainability website. There you can find its goals for reducing its carbon footprint, vision for its shipping to have net-zero carbon emissions and its plan to implement 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. The latter would save approximately 4 million metric tons of carbon per year. 

Last, Amazon started its Right Now Climate Fund last year, pledging $100 million to restore and protect forests and other natural areas in need. 

So, Amazon has been doing more than many other corporations to help with climate change. But the news isn't all good.

Criticism Surrounding the Corporation

Though Bezos pledged that money to his fund, critics and activists are quick to point out that Amazon still provides new tech and cloud services to the oil and gas industries.

These two industries provide nonrenewable energy. Climate activists claim that Bezos and Amazon don't seem too committed to climate change if they are willing to work with fossil fuel industries. 

Others are pointing out that yes, his pledge is a significant amount of money, but there are no clear guidelines or statements dictating where the money is going. So far, the public has only heard the ideas and goals of the Bezos Earth Fund, not the concrete plans. 

Next, there's more backlash against the company because of its relationship with its employees. Recently, Amazon climate activist employees called for the company to do more for climate change. Reports later emerged that Amazon had threatened to fire these employees because of their outspokenness. 

This dynamic doesn't sit well for many activists. It's a hypocritical move for a company that wants to come across as invested in sustainability and the climate. 

Though activists still acknowledge Bezos' and Amazon's contributions and their benefits, they feel the company and the CEO should be doing more.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

It's a complicated matter, and you may find yourself praising his contributions but also wanting Amazon to do more. You may also want to do more yourself. Luckily, change comes in small steps, too, so you can help mitigate your environmental impact with things like recycling your old electronics or reducing your carbon footprint.

Small changes can have an effect, but many eco-friendly activists still call for more corporation changes. Amazon's plans and pledges are one thing, but the actions are another. 

Through these plans, you can see the beneficial effects Amazon's sustainability goals will have on climate change. And Bezos' money will potentially help. Activists, scientists and NGOs have hopes and ideas for where the $10 billion should go and how it can help.

Still, all eyes are on Amazon and Bezos. Actions will speak louder than words here. And hopefully, Amazon will see those actions to fruition.


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