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S4 Capital, IBM and Iceland join Amazon’s Climate Pledge initiative

S4 Capital, IBM and Iceland join Amazon’s Climate Pledge initiative

A further 20 companies have signed The Climate Pledge, a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 initiated by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019.

The corporate influx brings the total number of companies to sign the pledge to 53 and includes grocery chain Iceland Foods, technology giant IBM and advertising group S4 Capital.

What is The Climate Pledge?

  • Led by Amazon, the green pledge obliges signatories to ’measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis’ to attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

  • If achieved, this would see the grouping hit the climate goal a full decade ahead of the Paris climate accord deadline and will necessitate substantial restructuring and innovation to engrain decarbonization strategies at all levels of each business.

  • Among those who have already made the public commitment are Microsoft, Unilever, JetBlue Airways and Mercedes-Benz.

  • In a sign that the movement is gaining traction, a further 20 businesses have also signed on the dotted line, notably Hotelbeds, IBM, Iceland Foods, Ørsted and S4 Capital.

  • Bezos instigated the ’go green’ pledge in 2019 after facing criticism from employees that the business was failing to account for the damage inflicted by its global carbon footprint.

  • Environmentalists blame Amazon for pursuing easy wins in the form of media-friendly climate-change initiatives at the expense of more fundamental action to curtail investment in cloud infrastructure and fossil fuel giants.

  • Amazon has set limits on how far it is willing to go, however, arguing that it is better to work with environmentally damaging industries to ’help them accelerate the development of renewable energy businesses’.

  • Further suspicion of Amazon’s motivations has been raised by its refusal to adhere to CDP authored standardized guidelines to accurately calculate climate change metrics, unlike Microsoft and Unilever.

What it means for adland

  • S4Capital is notable for being the first ad network to sign up for the initiative – a decision that follows hot on the heels of the launch of a new climate action group by the Ad Association.

  • The embrace of more onerous climate targets also follows a joint intervention by Sky and Unilever to beseech the broader ad industry to embrace a carbon-neutral future sooner rather than later.