Amazon employees aren't happy about climate change being ignored by big business – including their employer. Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, the advocacy group behind the walkout, say it is the first in the history of the tech industry over climate change. As of this past Monday, 941 Amazon employees pledged to join the demonstration, walking out on 20 September 2019.
Geekwire.com reports that employee activists want Amazon to produce zero emissions by the year 2030. That means electric delivery vehicles, and ending contracts with fossil fuel companies using Amazon's technology products.
A spokesperson from Amazon has already gone on record as saying the company was "playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change." Programs like Shipment Zero, a climate action plan that includes shifting to renewable energy sources and eliminating net emissions for retail sales. The Amazon spokesperson went on to say: “We have dedicated sustainability teams who have been working for years on initiatives to reduce our environmental impact. Earlier this year, we announced Shipment Zero – Amazon’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net-zero by 2030. Over the past decade through our sustainable packaging programs, we’ve eliminated more than 244,000 tons of packaging materials and avoided 500 million shipping boxes.”
A Letter To The Bezos
Amazon Employees for Climate Justice started making headlines earlier in 2019 to pressure the tech giant to reduce its carbon footprint. Over 7,600 software engineers, managers, designers and other Amazon workers signed an open letter to CEO Jeff Bezos and the Amazon board of directors calling for the company to implement a comprehensive climate change plan. The group also asked for published reports describing Amazon's plan to reduce fossil fuel dependence and prepare for disruptions caused by climate change. This came in the form of a shareholder resolution, which was voted down.
Roshni Naidu, an Amazon product manager said in a press release, "I’m proud that Amazon is one of the most innovative companies, and that means we can be a leader on climate. As a leader, we need to reach zero first and not be a company who slides in at the last possible deadline. A clean energy future means that Amazon must hit zero emissions by 2030 at the latest. This walkout is about telling our business and political leaders that we demand urgent action at the scale of the crisis.”
The walkout is scheduled in Seattle beginning at 11:30 am on 20 September 2019. Together with Global Climate Strike, Amazon employees plan to march and rally at Seattle City Hall.