While Amazon remained quiet on the details of the pledge at the time, it has this week unveiled an initial tranche of funding - worth US$2 billion - which will be used to support "visionary companies" whose products and services can aid the net zero transition.
Since then, the pledge has been joined by other companies including US-based telecom giant Verizon, British consumer goods firm Reckitt Benckiser and India-based tech giant Infosys. This sent an important message to the global market that there would be an vast growth in the demand for services and products that help curb carbon emissions.
Amazon's Carbon dioxide emissions increased 15% in 2019 to almost 51.2 million metric tons, the company revealed yesterday.
The Climate Pledge Fund will invest in companies in multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilisation, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture. Amazon, which has seen a significant, recent increase in its embrace of environmental initiatives, is also spearheading the Climate Pledge - an effort that calls on other corporations to likewise agree to slashing their greenhouse gas emissions and supporting measures to capture carbon.
Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says the fund will accept applications for grants from companies of any size worldwide, from pre-product startups to well-established enterprises.
"Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations", chief executive officer Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
"To date, Amazon has announced 91 renewable energy projects around the globe".
"Amazon has demonstrated its leadership in adopting low carbon technologies at scale", said Rivian CEO R J Scaringe. However, Amazon created about 15% more carbon dioxide past year than 12 months earlier as its worldwide sales increased. "Our first year-over-year comparison shows progress as we continue to make investments in innovation, technologies and products that will decarbonize our operations over future years".
On Tuesday, Amazon also announced a more aggressive schedule to power its operations with renewable energy sources - moving forward the deadline by five years to 2025.
It also confirmed it has made two investments through its $100m Right Now Climate Fund in nature-based solutions and reforestation projects around the world, including a reforestation project in the Appalachians in the USA and an urban greening initiative in Berlin, Germany.