Carbon capture and EVs: Amazon unveils first beneficiaries of $2bn climate fund
Amazon has announced the first beneficiaries of its $2bn Climate Pledge Fund, with organisations developing carbon removal technologies, nature-based carbon markets and electric vehicle (EV) innovations set to benefit.
In June, Amazon pledged to invest at least $2bn (£1.6bn) in smaller firms creating technologies or services aimed at reducing carbon emissions to net-zero.
The retail giant has this week unveiled the first five companies that it will invest in through the multi-billion-pound Climate Pledge Fund.
CarbonCure Technologies, a company that has commercialised a suite of carbon removal technologies in concrete production and Pachama, a technology company that verifies the carbon capture capabilities of the world’s forests to boost offset markets will both benefit from the fund.
Redwood Material, which develops solutions to recycle end-of-life Lithium-ion batteries and e-waste into high-value metals and chemicals will assist Amazon’s commitment to electrifying its delivery fleet while improving resource efficiency. Rivian is another company supported through the fund. In 2019, Amazon led a $700m investment round into Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle firm, before placing an order for 100,000 Rivian delivery vehicles, due to come into operation in late 2021.
Finally, Turntide Technologies will pilot motors that reduce energy use by 64% in buildings will be trialled in Amazon-owned facilities.
“The Climate Pledge Fund invests in visionary companies whose products and services can empower a low carbon economy,” Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos said.
“Today, I am excited to announce that we are investing in a group of companies that are channelling their entrepreneurial energy into helping Amazon and other companies reach net zero by 2040 and keep the planet safer for future generations.”
‘The Climate Pledge Fund’ is a homage to Amazon’s own global sustainability strategy, launched last year and headlined by a 2040 net-zero target. The company has encouraged other businesses to join with a net-zero target.
Amazon recently revealed that three other large businesses - Dettol and Durex owner Reckitt Benckiser, US telecommunications giant Verizon and Indian IT services firm Infosys – have joined The Climate Pledge. And, earlier this year, Bezos pledged $10bn of his personal wealth to scientists, NGOs and activist groups working on climate adaptation and mitigation.
Amazon will look to engage other Climate Pledge signatories in the investment programme moving forward.
But Amazon has, historically, faced much criticism for its approach to environmental sustainability. The Climate Pledge was created off the back of mounting pressure from consumers, investors and its own staff, who were disappointed in the firm’s hesitance to set time-bound, numerical targets on things like renewable energy sourcing. Amazon has also come under fire for selling its Web Services to oil and gas firms and using non-renewable energy to power its cloud infrastructure.