Amazon will be stepping up its efforts to reduce its climate impact, CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Thursday. The company will be ordering 100,000 electric delivery trucks from Michigan’s Rivian as part of this commitment, Bezos said. The commerce giant will seek to meet its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2040 — 10 years earlier than is outlined by the United Nations Paris Agreement.
Bezos said at a National Press Club event in Washington where he made the announcement that the updated timeline is due to the increase in climate change, which has been more aggressive than even some of the more serious predictions had anticipated five years ago when the Paris agreement was reached.
Amazon’s overarching efforts to make the company carbon-neutral are bundled under a plan the company is calling the “Climate Pledge,” which will be open to other companies as well. In addition to efforts like the Rivian order for emission-free delivery vehicles, Amazon also will be seeking to reduce its footprint through other means, including solar energy and carbon offsets.
Rivian noted that this was the largest order to date of any electric delivery vehicles, and that they’d begin actually deploying for Amazon starting in 2021. Amazon led a $700 million investment round in Rivian in February, and the company announced a further $350 million from auto industry giant Cox Automotive earlier this month. Automaker Ford revealed a $500 million investment in Rivian in April, too.
Rivian also has plans to build and ship consumer vehicles, including the all-electric pickup truck and SUV it revealed late last year, which it aims to begin delivering to customers in 2020.