Amazon and We Mean Business, a global nonprofit coalition working with businesses to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon economy, today announced they have partnered to establish the world’s most comprehensive effort to drive companies to adopt more ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals. The We Mean Business coalition works with over 1,200 companies, with a total market capitalization of more than $24.8 trillion, to drive business action and policy ambition on climate change and increase chances of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
The partnership will:
- Encourage companies to take a leadership position and accelerate their goals to meet The Climate Pledge — the commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement.
- Mobilize supply chains, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to take and scale-up measurable and direct action on climate change.
- Determine ambitious and accountable means for companies to credibly integrate Nature-Based Solutions in their climate strategies.
“The science is clear. We must hold temperature rise to 1.5°C. Thanks to the long-term vision of the IKEA Foundation, and the tireless work of the partners of the We Mean Business coalition, business is already taking bold action on climate,” said María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition. “Through The Climate Pledge, we will pick up the pace. With a commitment to collaboration and innovation, those at the head of the pack can reach net-zero emissions by 2040. To do that, we must accelerate supply chain action and develop a robust approach to Nature-Based Solutions in addition to deep decarbonization. We are delighted to be collaborating with Amazon, who have shown bold leadership and deep commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”
“The size and scale of the climate crisis demands that the business community joins forces and works together to invent, fund, and implement bold decarbonization programs to help protect the planet,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “No one company can solve this problem on its own. We look forward to working with the We Mean Business coalition to encourage businesses around the world to accelerate their commitments to tackle climate change.”
“Climate change is everybody’s business. I am delighted that deeper and broader collaboration in The Climate Pledge will result from the partnership with the We Mean Business coalition,” said former UN Climate Chief and co-founder of Global Optimism, Christiana Figueres. “We are not in a position to meander on the path to decarbonization – science tells us time is not on our side. If we are going to build back better, companies of all sizes need to safeguard the economy against the disruptive and devastating impacts of the climate crisis, which damages all of us. Large corporations decarbonizing their operations and supporting small and medium businesses to follow them in a whole-economy approach makes sense.”
Through this partnership, the We Mean Business coalition and The Climate Pledge are establishing the largest effort to date to mobilize the private sector to reach net-zero carbon by 2040—10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. The partnership will demonstrate that corporate leaders can go further and faster on climate action.
Core partnership activities include:
- The We Mean Business coalition will encourage companies to accelerate their goals by committing to The Climate Pledge in addition to their existing We Mean Business commitments. Existing commitments include setting emission reduction targets in line with climate science through the Science Based Targets initiative and committing to 100% renewable power through RE100, among others.
- The We Mean Business coalition will engage with companies to help accelerate supply chain action (scope 3 emissions). This work will engage large companies and their supply chains to provide frameworks, toolkits for action and reporting, and capacity building to encourage suppliers, especially SMEs, to ramp up their climate goals.
- The We Mean Business coalition and The Climate Pledge will jointly support the Four Principles for Nature-Based Solutions published in May 2020 as a framework to help business decision makers distinguish credible carbon mitigation projects and to evaluate regenerative investments. Mitigation at pace remains a priority for all business. This work will enable companies to take a robust approach to investing in nature, alongside making significant and transformative emissions reductions in their direct operations and supply chains.
- Climate Pledge signatories will explore investment opportunities, including through Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, in companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.
As part of this new partnership, The Climate Pledge and the We Mean Business coalition will also provide resources and support to the following partner initiatives that are urging companies to respond to the climate crisis by setting specific, measurable targets:
- TED Countdown: TED Countdown, a global initiative powered by TED and Future Stewards, aims to champion and accelerate solutions to address the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. Signatories to the Climate Pledge will be encouraged to participate in Countdown’s global launch event on October 10, 2020, engage in cross-sector working groups in the year leading to the Countdown Summit in October 2021, promote and host local TEDx Countdown events, and participate in the 2021 Summit.
- Race to Zero: The Climate Pledge will support awareness-raising efforts to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonized economy ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and advocate for governments to strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. Race to Zero will support all businesses across value chains to take climate action.
- The Science Based Targets initiative: All signatories to The Climate Pledge will be encouraged to set targets through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce emissions and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the zero-carbon economy.
“When we helped launch the We Mean Business coalition back in 2014 it was a big bet,” said Per Heggenes, CEO, the IKEA Foundation. “We did it because we felt business has both the responsibility and the capability to demonstrate leadership in the race to zero. Today we’re excited that Amazon will be a part of this journey and strengthen the coalition’s collective impact. By embracing both commitments to reduce GHG emissions and pursue Nature-Based Solutions as necessary, the We Mean Business coalition can accelerate private sector change at a faster pace to help secure the future livability of our planet. We applaud Amazon for showing real leadership by committing to and applying the four principles of Nature-Based Solutions.”
“I am delighted with Amazon’s efforts to galvanize businesses to race to net-zero emissions as fast as possible,” said Nigel Topping, UK High Level Climate Champion. “This announcement comes at a critical time when we need to strengthen capacity as economies rebuild from COVID-19. The Climate Pledge – which has been a close ally of the Race to Zero campaign – will help stimulate a healthy, green recovery that creates jobs and builds resilience.”
“The moment to act on climate change has been upon us for too long, and now is the time to unite all levels of society – business leaders, courageous political actors, scientists, and individuals,” said Chris Anderson, Head of TED. “The global disruptions from COVID-19 are a prequel to what we can expect if we do not coalesce to take on the climate crisis. This partnership presents a thrilling opportunity to protect the planet, create new economic opportunities, and build back better. We are proud to be a part of this critical effort.”
“Like the COVID-19 epidemic, unchecked climate change will radically affect people’s lives, businesses, and the economy. Governments alone cannot solve these problems. The innovation, dynamism, and drive fostered by the corporate sector are critical. Companies that have demonstrated the ability to innovate and revolutionize systems – none more than Amazon – can help set the pace through ambitious climate action,” said Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute, one of the SBTi partners. “We urge all companies that sign The Climate Pledge to set a science-based target in line with 1.5°C to put them on track to reach net-zero emissions. WRI welcomes The Climate Pledge’s new partnership with the We Mean Business coalition, and we look forward to working together to create a prosperous zero-carbon future.”
Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. Verizon, Reckitt Benckiser (RB), Infosys, and Oak View Group joined the pledge this year—sending an important signal that there will be rapid growth in demand for products and services that help reduce carbon emissions. For more information visit www.theclimatepledge.com.