Bloomberg reports that Amazon has lost an endorsement by the organization that monitors corporate climate goals, a change that undermines the credibility of its plan to eliminate carbon emissions.
Here's how Bloomberg frames the story:
"The Science Based Targets initiative, a United Nations-backed entity that validates net zero plans, has removed Amazon from its list of companies taking action on climate goals after the tech behemoth failed to implement its commitment to set a credible target for reducing carbon emissions.
"The move raises questions around Amazon’s status as a preferred stock among funds marketing themselves as ESG (for environmental, social and governance). The world’s largest ESG exchange-traded fund, which is managed by BlackRock, lists Amazon among its top three holdings. The company is also held in over 900 ESG funds registered in the European Union alone, representing about 2% of outstanding shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg."
According to the story, "Amazon in 2019 said it would eliminate or offset all of its carbon emissions by 2040, and a year later the company committed to submitting its goals through SBTi’s verification process … Amazon’s emissions are up by about 40% since setting out its net zero target, though they ticked lower in 2022 as the company’s growth slowed and renewable energy projects came online."
In a response to the decision, Amazon says that the dispute is about "appropriate submission guidelines and methodologies for complex businesses like Amazon," and that it will continue to work with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), though it also will look to work with other organizations to establish its bona fides.
- KC's View:
Somehow, it is hard to reconcile Amazon's desire to be a responsible steward of Earth's resources - or at least be seen as a responsible steward of Earth's resources and its reality as an enormous consumer of said resources because of its basic business model.
It probably is inevitable that someone would call the company out. Let's see if Amazon can find other organizations willing to offer an imprimatur for its efforts.