Significant companies can send important signal to the market: Bezos

Infosys, Reckitt Benckiser and Verizon have signed The Climate Pledge committing to become net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040

June 16, 2020 04:21 pm | Updated 04:21 pm IST - Bengaluru

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Infosys, Reckitt Benckiser and Verizon have on Tuesday signed The Climate Pledge committing to become net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050.

Welcoming Infosys to the global climate bandwagon, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO said, “Infosys is showing bold leadership by signing up to The Climate Pledge and committing to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement ten years early. When significant companies join the initiative, they send an important signal to the market that it’s time to invest in low carbon products and services.”

“As the climate crisis worsens, more companies will need to get serious and challenge themselves to achieve decarbonization at a faster pace,” said Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founding partner of Global Optimism. Ms. Figueres is also instrumental in the Paris Agreement and co-founding The Climate Pledge with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Companies that sign The Climate Pledge agree to: measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis; implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimination strategies and neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Joining the campaign, Salil Parekh, CEO and MD, Infosys, said “At Infosys, we recognized climate change as a serious threat to our planet early on, and realized our responsibility as a corporate institution to mitigate its impact by taking concrete steps. We believe that the way in which global organizations respond to this crisis, would play a big role in defining how the rest of the world takes up the cause. As a result, we committed to climate action over a decade ago, and since then the impact on climate and environment have been important considerations in the decisions we make as an organization. We are pleased to partner with Amazon and Global Optimism in The Climate Pledge initiative with a collective aim to work towards a low-carbon future.”

As per a statement, Infosys made a voluntary commitment in 2011, long before the Paris Agreement, to become carbon neutral and is on track to achieve it well ahead of 2040. The company is the first signatory to RE100 from India and is committed to completely transitioning to renewable power for its electricity requirements. It has already invested in 60 MW of captive solar PV capacity and nearly 45% of its electricity is coming from renewable sources while the tech firm is committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy.

Telecommunication technology firm Verizon too has announced that it joined The Climate Pledge, the commitment co-founded by Amazon and Global Optimism to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early.

Verizon in an official annoucement said the company was on track to be carbon neutral across scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2035 and issued a $1 billion green bond to invest in innovative solutions to accelerate the company’s sustainability efforts. This includes powering operations with 50% renewable energy by 2025 and new virtual power purchase agreements (VPPA) for more than 380 MW of new wind and solar power capacity.

“Climate change is a global challenge that impacts everyone, and that is why we considered it vital to join The Climate Pledge,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO of Verizon.

“Leaving future generations with a cleaner world is core to our values as a responsible business. At Verizon, it does not stop with reducing our carbon footprint. Through our technology and networks, we’re innovating solutions for customers, increasing efficiencies and building resilience across the company and the communities we serve.”

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