The News: Amazon and Global Optimism announced earlier this week that The Climate Pledge has amassed more than 300 total signers of the pledge, growing 600% in growth over the course of the last year alone. Read more from the Amazon blog here.
Amazon and Global Optimism Announce The Climate Pledge Experiences 600% Growth, Showing Impressive Increase in Commitment to Climate Action
Analyst Take: It was exciting to see news out of Amazon and Global Optimism this week that commitment continues to increase — at a rapid rate — of organizations pledging to take action to combat climate change. How exciting? Significantly. Consider that in September 2021, The Climate Pledge was 200+ signatories strong. Today, just short of six months from reaching that milestone, an additional 100 companies have joined The Climate Pledge, bringing the total number of signatories to 312. That represents 600% percent growth over the last year, which is no small accomplishment.
What is The Climate Pledge?
So, what is The Climate Pledge? We’ve covered Amazon’s efforts on this front on a regular basis, but in case you’ve missed it, The Climate Pledge is a call to organizations the world over to take action on the world’s greatest crisis — climate change — and pledge to work together to ensure the health of our planet for generations to come.
Co-founded in 2019 by Amazon and Global Optimism, signing The Climate Pledge requires a commitment to net-zero carbon by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. Organizations who make the commitment all play important roles in aiding in the development of and investment in low-carbon services and products and their commitment to The Climate Pledge goes a long way toward making significant climate change a reality.
The Climate Pledge represented a big vision and a bold statement: global businesses are responsible for and should be accountable for helping drive transformational action to help both mitigate and protect the planet from the impact of climate change. And according to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with great success comes great responsibility. Speaking about The Climate Pledge, Bezos said, “If a company with as much physical infrastructure as Amazon—which delivers more than 10 billion items a year—can meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early, then any company can.” Gauntlet thrown.
Other leaders clearly agree and have pledged to turn climate crisis into climate action and are embracing the challenge of being part of a global coalition to act and preserve the future of our planet.
What Commitment Does The Climate Pledge Require?
Signing The Climate Pledge is a big commitment for organizations and something they must immediately turn a laser focus on — there’s no talking the talk but not walking the walk. Companies and organizations that sign the Pledge agree to:
- Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.
- Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through business change and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies.
- Take action to neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.
These organizations committing to The Climate Pledge are taking a leadership position on climate change and are clearly not afraid of a challenge. They realize that setting ambitious goals is the way to realize significant change. Signatories include organizations in a wide variety of industries including: Commercial & Consumer Services, IT & Software Development, Paper Products & Packaging, Renewable Power Generation, Industrial Support Services, Non-Energy Utilities, Transportation Services, Food & Beverage Processing, Specialized Professional Services, Media, Telecoms & Data, Wood & Paper Materials, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Intermodal Transport & Logistics, Air Transport, Electrical & Electronic Equipment, Chemicals, Biotech, Health Care & Pharma, Metallic Mineral Mining, Light Manufacturing, Discretionary Retail, Infrastructure, Transportation Equipment, Construction, Transportation Services, Health Care Provision, Non-Profit/Services, Retail, Land & Property Ownership & Development, Entertainment Facilities, Offset Services, Hospitality, Web & Marketing Services, Oil & Gas Extraction & Production, Crop Farming, Leisure & Home Manufacturing, Materials, Powered Machinery, Energy Utility Networks, Fossil Fuels and more.
Some of the signatories of The Climate Pledge include some of the biggest names in global business, companies like Microsoft, Verizon, Best Buy, Henkel, Amazon, Mercedes-Benz, Unilever, Novartis, Cognizant, Hermes, VMware, Salesforce, HP, P&G, Accenture, CBRE, Logitech, WPP, Deloitte, IPG, Visa, Alaska Airlines, Pepsico, Telefonica, Infosys, and other global brands. Some of the signatures are companies you might not be as familiar with, but who are standing up and making a major commitment to take action on climate change — and all of them deserve to be applauded. You can see a full list of the 321 signatories of The Climate Pledge here, and I hope that if you’re as passionate about action against climate change as we are, that you’ll take a minute to look through the list of signatories and applaud them for their initiatives on this front, see the specific actions they are taking to decarbonize their businesses, and patronize their businesses as you can.
Some of the newest signatories include Maersk, SAP, Weyerhaeuser, Sunrun, and HARMAN. Some additional signatories include organizations who have benefitted from Amazon’s corporate venture capital fund that invests in companies that can help accelerate decarbonization and other climate change initiatives, including BETA Technologies, an electric aerospace company, and Infinium, a renewable fuels tech company, along with Pachama, who has developed technology that uses remote sensing and machine learning to measure and monitor carbon stored in forests, and helping companies balance emissions with a commitment to forest conservation and reforestation efforts.
Speaking about this news, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said: “The effects of climate change are becoming more and more apparent in our surroundings and daily lives, and we firmly believe that the private sector must continue to innovate and collaborate across regions and industries in order to decarbonize the global economy at scale … [i]t’s an encouraging sign that more than 300 businesses have now signed The Climate Pledge, which commits them to confronting climate change head-on by incorporating real business changes that will make a lasting impact on our planet. We can only do it together.”
The key takeaway here, for me anyway, is that 312 signatories of The Climate Pledge is impressive in the span of just three years, as is 600% growth in commitments in the course of a very short period of time. That said, 312 companies is not enough, not by a long shot. I hope that if you’re reading this article that perhaps you’ll be inspired to get your organization involved in and committed to signing The Climate Pledge. The only way this is going to work is, as Jassy said, if we all do it together. And, as the team at Global Optimism likes to say, I prefer being a stubborn optimist choosing to build a better future rather than an ostrich burying his head in the sand on issues related to climate change. It’s a problem that we created, now we need to work together to change it — for all of us.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
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Image Credit: The Climate Pledge
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”