Amazon orders 100,000 electric vans from Rivian, the US startup in which the online retailer had already invested heavily in February. The announcement of the van purchase is part of Amazon’s now published climate protection plan.
In this plan, the e-commerce giant commits itself to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030 and to operating completely CO2-neutral by 2040.
As far as electric transporters are concerned, Amazon wants to use the first Rivian Automotive vehicles from 2021 for deliveries. By 2022 Amazon promises to have 10,000 of the electric vans in use before integrating all 100,000 transporters from the US startup into the online dealer’s fleet by 2030.
Amazon’s latest efforts are part of the Climate Pledge the retailer has co-founded intending to fulfil the Paris Agreement ten years earlier. “We’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement, adding that Amazon is pushing for other companies to join the pledge.
The announcement came on Thursday ahead of the global climate strike and before a massive walk-out by Amazon employees. The group leading the industrial action — Amazon Employees for Climate Justice — has spent this year urging senior management to take more urgent steps. The LA Times that has been following the story in the US called the workers’ efforts “a key reason Amazon’s overall environmental footprint increasingly is coming under scrutiny”.
For Amazon, the Climate Pledge includes a long-term commitment to power its global infrastructure with 100% renewable energy. Amazon is now promising to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030 on its path to net-zero carbon by 2040. Besides, the online giant is planning a 100 million dollar program for reforestation and nature protection. The scheme is run through the Right Now Climate Fund in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
To report on its commitments, albeit not independently, Amazon also launched a new sustainability website. The site includes information on Amazon’s carbon footprint and other sustainability metrics.
In terms of transport, Amazon in February led a $700 million investment round in Rivian followed by a $500 million investment by Ford in April, bringing the total stake in the electric vehicle maker this year alone to over $1.5 billion. This latest order, once fulfilled, sets Amazon apart from the slower market of established carmakers. The company is also running a drone-delivery pilot with Prime Air and is also testing mobile robots, investing in electric cars and EV infrastructure as well joining up with Toyota on a new all-electric and autonomous vehicle platform.