Amazon Makes Waves In Sustainability As Mercedes-Benz Signs The ‘Climate Pledge’

By Patrick Moorhead - September 15, 2020

Last Friday, Amazon announced an exciting global partnership announcement with Mercedes Benz to help lead the charge in sustainability. Mercedes-Benz is the latest big-name signatory of the Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early and was founded by Amazon and Global Optimism in September 2019. Everyone who signs commits to be "net-zero carbon across its business by 2040". Through this announcement, Amazon will be adding more than 1,800 electric vehicle Mercedes Benz vans to its delivery fleet in Europe this year. By signing, it marks the largest electric vehicle commitment for Mercedes-Benz to date. Amazon's CSR goals are impressive, and they are leading the charge for many companies.  I wrote about Amazon's Climate Pledge Program overview here.

Marcus Breitschwerdt, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, commented that he is "delighted that we are further intensifying our long-standing partnership with Amazon and working together on the battery-electric future of transportation" 

When will these vehicles launch?

These electric vehicles will begin making deliveries to customers in 2020 and will help to save thousands of metric tons of carbon. In taking a more in-depth look, 1200 of these vans are part of Mercedes eSprinter models, and 600 are its eVito vans, which were its first zero-emission vehicle. Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder, and CEO said that this new partnership with Mercedes-Benz is a "part of our journey to build the most sustainable transportation fleet in the world, and we will be moving fast to get these vans on the road this year" (Amazon). 

Mercedes-Benz is combatting climate change by making a goal to have a CO2-neutral fleet of new cars in less than 20 years. The company is already making significant progress, and "by the end of this year, the vehicle portfolio will comprise five fully electric models and more than 20 plug-in hybrids" (Amazon). Signatories to The Climate Pledge can share access to technologies, best practices, and innovations in supply chain enhancements.

Ambitious next steps

Amazon has set some ambitious sustainability goals, and others continue to follow suit. Earlier this year, three prominent signatories were announced: telco giant Verizon, digital services and consulting firm Infosys, and health and hygiene manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser. Reckitt Benckiser made the commitment to power all of its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 as a part of its net zero carbon goal. Verizon had issued $1 billion in green bonds and plan to use the "proceeds to fund multiple sustainability initiatives including renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and sustainable water management" (Verizon). 

In 2019, Amazon reached "42% renewable energy" across the business (Amazon). Shipment Zero encompasses Amazon's eventual vision to make all shipments net-zero carbon with 50% of all shipments net-zero by 2030. They want to achieve this by adding more sustainable process improvements using recycled materials and incorporating renewable energy initiatives. In its roadmap to CO2-neutral mobility, coined "Ambition2039," Amazon is looking at its entire value chain to see how it can incorporate more sustainable practices.

Wrapping Up

As I stated in a previous article titled "Amazon's Climate Pledge Gains Crucial Momentum," "big problems require big solutions." Amazon is currently engaged in 91 different renewable energy projects worldwide and makes up more than 2,900 MW of capacity (capable of powering approximately 680,000 homes). Climate change will not be solved overnight, but this announcement is an excellent step towards meeting Amazon's goals of being net-zero carbon in 20 years. Sustainability is needed now more than ever, especially with companies like Amazon, who have huge, complex businesses that require massive amounts of physical infrastructure (MI&S). Although Amazon has a large enough footprint, they cannot do this alone. By engaging in this pledge and partnership, Mercedes-Benz helps to further these sustainable solutions while also encouraging other companies to do the same by following its example.

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.

Patrick Moorhead
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.