The day before the start of Global Climate Strike week, which will see thousands of Amazon employees walk out of the company’s offices around the country tomorrow, CEO Jeff Bezos — the richest man in the world — has promised that the online retail giant will hit a net-zero carbon target by 2040, the LA Times reported. The target is a full decade earlier than what was called for under the United Nations Paris Agreement.
As part of the pledge, the company aims to be operating entirely on renewable energy by 2030, a goal sought by the Amazon employee’s group officially called Amazon Employees For Climate Justice. In an announcement to the press, it seems that Bezos wants to lead by example for other tech giants.
“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… I’ve been talking with other CEOs of global companies, and I’m finding a lot of interest in joining the pledge.”
The employee group tweeted their delight with the result.
“Amazon’s Climate Pledge is a huge win for @AMZNforClimate & we’re thrilled at what workers have achieved in under a year. But we know it’s not enough. The Paris Agreement, by itself, won’t get us to a livable world. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we’ll be in the streets.”
Despite some seeing Amazon as being solely focused on selling products quickly and cheaply to consumers, it won’t be the first time Bezos has expressed a philanthropic bent. The multimillionaire has said in a number of interviews that he plans to use the money made from Amazon to set up infrastructure that will allow humanity to colonize the Moon, Mars, and beyond, seeing this as the most meaningful contribution he could make to our civilization.
That said, more recent PR hasn’t been quite as flattering. As reported by Business Insider, Bezos has recently found himself accused of “dehumanizing” workers after cutting the health benefits of almost 2,000 employees from Amazon’s recently-acquired Whole Foods supermarket chain.
In other news, Amazon is one of four major tech players under review for potentially being in violation of monopoly-based anti-trust laws, per The Inquisitr, for putting its profits before its customers. So the carbon-neutral emissions story is definitely some feel-good press that’s arrived right on time.
Employees from other tech giants including Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook are reportedly planning to join Amazon’s employees for Global Climate Strike week that starts tomorrow.