The first recipients of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund of $2bn were revealed on Thursday.
The Amazon-led Climate Pledging Fund, launched in June, will be committed to investing in ‘sustainable technology and decarbonizing’ across a variety of sectors such as transport and logistics, power production, food and agricultural industries.
Together with Redwood Materials, founded by former Tesla CTO JB Straubel, Amazon is investing in four other firms, including CarbonCure Technologies, which has built technology to absorb carbon dioxide in fresh concrete during manufacturing, Pachama’s climate technology start-up, Turntide Technologies’ smart engine start-up and Rivian, and Amazon’s electric van start-up has invested in the past. Amazon also uses electric vans from Rivian in part of its supply chain.
Amazon declines to say how much they invest in each venture, adding that the amount goes from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars in seed and early stage investments.
“The Climate Pledge Fund invests with innovative businesses that can allow a low carbon economy through their goods and services,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the Amazons. “I am delighted to announce today that we are investing in an entrepreneurship community to enable Amazon and other businesses to hit a net zero by 2040 and keep the world cleaner for future generations.”
The fund forms part of the “Climate Pledge” of Amazon, which Bezos first announced in September last year. Amazon has vowed to be carbon neutral by 2040 as part of the initiative. The Paris Climate Agreement also committed to meeting the targets by 2040, ten years ahead. In the 2017 Paris Climate Deal, President Donald Trump excluded the US.
Amazon previously said that $2 billion is a “original” pledge, signaling that the fund will expand over time. The company said Thursday it is looking to include other signatories of the Climate Pledge in the venture capital fund. Verizon, Infosys and the German automaker Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, among others, are other Climate Pledges signatories.
In order to meet its environmental impact, Amazon is facing rising pressure on its workers. In May 2019, thousands of workers sent a request to Bezos to the annual shareholder meeting of Amazon to implement a holistic strategy on climate change and slash its carbon footprint. The idea was drawn up on a letter of workers released in April 2019 accusing Amazon of donating to climate-related politicians and calling on the company to step away from fossil fuels.
Amazon has since made numerous attempts to advance its goal of focusing on green energy. Amazon has agreed to buy 100,000 energy transporter from the Rivian vehicle maker, after investing $440 million in the firm as part of the Environment Pledge.
In April Amazon spent $10 million in conservation and regeneration of woodland in the north-east of the United States. Bezos also dedicated $10 billion in February to launch a new Climate Change Earth Fund. It will include “preserving and protecting the natural environment” for climate-oriented scientists and activists and other organisations.