A day before the planned global climate strike, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced a climate pledge that enables the company to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement — 10 years ahead of schedule.
The company aided in the creation of The Climate Pledge and is the first signatory. The pledge is co-created along with Global Optimism, a company that aims to foster social and environmental change, to which Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s former climate change chief, is a founding partner.
“Optimism” is the word that is guiding signatures onto pacts such as The Climate Pledge, the Kering-led G7 Fashion Pact, as well as the feet of student marchers who will take to the streets across the country to envision clearer skies ahead, and a more sustainable future.
Companies that sign The Climate Pledge are tasked with self-measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis, along with implementing strategies which reduce carbon emissions according to the Paris Agreement as well as neutralize carbon emissions with “quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets” to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
In some areas, one can say the G7 Fashion Pact with 32 signatories, (which includes H&M, Zara, PVH, Tapestry, Prada, Ferragamo, Giorgio Armani and Burberry, among others) appears less aggressive, but more approachable. The pact aims to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 according to the Paris Agreement; restore biodiversity by reinstating natural ecosystems and protecting endangered species, and address ocean pollution by eliminating single-use plastics by 2030.
While it’s expensive to implement strategies of lasting change and at scale, it’s not stopping Amazon. Delivering more than 10 billion items a year, Amazon will “use our size and scale to make a difference,” according to Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive officer, in a press statement.
What other efforts reveal Amazon’s commitment to sustainability?
The Climate Pledge follows Amazon’s recent $440 million investment in a company called Rivian, which produces emissions-free vehicles that Amazon intends to increasingly deploy throughout its operations.
Amazon is also on track to reach 80 percent renewable energy by 2024, while also investing millions in reforestation in a new fund, “Right Now Climate Fund.” All of its goals will be tracked on its sustainability web site, which launched today.
The participation of large signatory companies will send “an important signal to the market,” as Bezos sees it.
But it’s not just in this action. Brands from luxury, mass-market and the value-priced sector are all signing on in some way to sustainability — with many going along with the U.N.’s programming in its anticipated Climate Change Summit running from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27.
Brands such as Swarovski, Ikea Group, L’Orèal, Goodwill, and Lego Foundation are all participating in panel discussions at the U.N., with more announcements to come for how, not just Amazon, but everyone is striving to do something sustainable.
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Kering-Led Fashion Pact Has 32 Signatories in Run-up to G7 Summit