Verizon, other companies, sign up for Amazon and Global Optimism's 'Climate Pledge'

Verizon is among the first companies to sign up for Amazon and Global Optimism's Climate Pledge. (Getty Images)

Verizon, Infosys and Reckitt Benckiser became the first global companies to sign up for Amazon's Climate Pledge that was first announced in September.

Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change 10 years ahead of schedule. The Paris Agreement has targeted 2050 while the Climate Pledge has set a goal of being carbon neutral by 2040.

"Climate change is a global challenge that impacts everyone, and that is why we considered it vital to join The Climate Pledge,” Verizon CEO and Chairman said Hans Vestberg, in a statement. “Leaving future generations with a cleaner world is core to our values as a responsible business."

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Early last year, Verizon issued $1 billion in green bonds, and said it planned to use the proceeds to fund various sustainability initiatives including renewable energy, green buildings, energy efficiency, and sustainable water management. Verizon anticipated that a majority of the funds would be allocated within three years.

With the green bond proceeds, Verizon is making investments in 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.

RELATED: Verizon pledges to go carbon neutral by 2035

On Earth Day last year, Verizon announced that it would go carbon neutral by 2035 in terms of all sources of emissions owned or controlled by Verizon and all sources of emissions purchased by Verizon.

Verizon, Infosys and Reckitt Benckiser, the latter of which is the parent company of Calgon and Lysol, are customers of Amazon. Two years ago, Verizon announced it had picked Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider.

The companies that signed the pledge agreed to do the following:

• 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;

• Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

“I’m excited that Verizon is signing The Climate Pledge and committing to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early. Tackling climate change requires innovation, leadership, and partnership - no one can do it alone,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, in a statement.

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