The News: This week, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Global Optimism announced the second major signatory to The Climate Pledge—Infosys— making a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. The Climate Pledge calls on new signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050. Read the full press release from Amazon.
Analyst Take: As the world continues to find itself ignited in more challenging conversations about health, welfare, equality and justice, ambitions to see greater commitment to taking care of the planet remain front and center.
The news this week coming from Amazon is both timely and encouraging. Amazon’s influence in this space is tremendous and as more and more businesses and households turn to Amazon to consume products and services, the company has greater resources and responsibility to have a plan for sustainability.
As for this weeks signatory, Infosys, the company made a voluntary commitment in 2011. This commitment came long before the Paris Agreement, to become carbon neutral and is on track to achieve it well ahead of 2040.
Infosys is the first signatory to RE100 from India and is committed to completely transitioning to renewable power for its electricity requirements. Infosys has already invested in 60 MW of captive solar photovoltaic capacity and nearly 45% of its electricity is coming from renewable sources. Infosys is committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy.
I find this effort by Infosys incredibly positive and a great sign of leadership for India, which has struggled with pollution and other environmental issues–The leadership will extend the reach and influence into one of the world’s fastest developing nations.
What Are These Companies Pledging to Do – A Reminder
Amazon has released broad details of the ambitions of its Climate Pledge, but as a brief reminder, here are some of the key goals of the pledge:
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis;
- Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies;
- Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially-beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
Big Tech is Playing a Big Role Here
Amazon certainly isn’t the only company making a big statement here as we have heard the likes of Bob Swan (Intel), Satya Nadella (Microsoft), and Michael Dell all tout ambitious goals for driving sustainability initiatives.
This is a case where the more the merrier–We aren’t competing, but require collectivism to restore the earth and build products and services that can be delivered with as little impact as possible on the planet.
The influence of big tech is mighty and we want should celebrate these commitments and insist on companies we are consuming from to be active in these global efforts.
Overall Impressions of Amazon’s Latest Climate Pledge Announcement
Amazon, once again, is showing market leadership addressing a global issue that will require massive commitment and attention, in particular from the world’s most influential companies.
I believe that the acceleration of sustainability efforts and reaching our 30 year ambitions over the next 20 (if not sooner) years is critical. Seeing Amazon step up and bring its community of partners into the fold is a reason to feel more confident these efforts are achievable. A global optimism of sorts…Pun Intended.
Good Equals Progress provides industry research and analysis on the topics of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice.
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Image Credit: Amazon