Amazon.com, Inc. said Tuesday it expects to reach its previously announced goal of running on 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of schedule. It also is launching a $2 billion fund to invest in products, services and technologies that decarbonize the economy.
The e-commerce and technology giant had previously committed to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% by 2030.
The company reached 42% renewable energy across its business last year, according to its 2019 sustainability report, which also was released Tuesday.
Amazon has so far announced 91 renewable energy projects around the world totaling 2.9 GW, including 31 utility-scale wind and solar projects and 60 solar rooftops at its fulfillment centers and sort centers. These projects would deliver 7.6 million megawatt hours of output annually, or enough to power 680,000 U.S. homes, according to Amazon, which has pledged to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
The $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, meanwhile, “will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably,” said CEO Jeff Bezos. “Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises.
“Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.”
The fund would invest in industries including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture.
Bezos announced last September that Amazon would be purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from U.S. manufacturer Rivian Automotive, with the vehicles expected to hit the roads starting in 2021. Amazon expects to have 10,000 of the vehicles on the road by 2022, and all 100,000 by 2030.
Investors increasingly are demanding more accountability from publicly traded firms, including oil and gas companies, on their efforts to fight climate change.
A growing number of companies in the sector have announced similar emissions reduction targets, including European majors such as Royal Dutch Shell plc, BP plc and Total SA, and investor-owned natural gas and power utilities such as Southern Company, Xcel Energy, Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy Inc.
In a sign of the times, Boston-based Greentown Labs, a climate tech startup incubator, said last week it plans to open its second location next spring in the U.S. oil and gas capital of Houston.
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