Amazon Launches Sustainable Investment Fund

The Climate Pledge Fund

Amazon (AMZN) is creating an internal venture-capital fund that will invest in sustainable technology. The $2 billion initiative will back companies across a variety of industries like manufacturing, energy generation, transportation, food, and others.

The new fund is called The Climate Pledge Fund and its goal is to help Amazon reach carbon neutrality by 2040. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos said that companies in any part of the world, of any size and stage, will be considered for funding.

Amazon Responds to Criticism

Amazon, which delivers about 10 billion items per year, has faced criticism from environmental activists. Both its data centers and the transportation it uses have significant environmental impacts.

Amazon has responded with a number of initiatives. Last year, it pledged to reach carbon-reduction goals put in place by the Paris Climate Agreement. And just this February, Jeff Bezos committed about $10 billion of his personal money to fund nonprofits, labs, and activists working on environmental issues.

Amazon also invested $700 million in Rivian, an electric vehicle startup, last year. Rivian plans to have its vehicles ready for operations by 2021, and Amazon has agreed to purchase 100,000 of them to use for deliveries.

Other Companies Pitch In

Amazon is not alone in pushing to invest in sustainability initiatives. In 2019, investments in clean energy from global venture capital and private equity firms hit $10.5 billion, marking a 6% increase from the previous year.

Verizon Communications (VZ), Infosys (INFY), and other companies joined Amazon in signing the pledge to reach the Paris Climate Agreement goals. BP PLC (BP), like Amazon, has put carbon neutrality goals in place and plans to have net-zero emissions by 2050. Despite pandemic-related difficulties for many companies, Amazon and others’ commitment to protecting the environment is strong.

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