Amazon is investing billions of dollars into green technologies. Matt Peterson, Director of Corporate Development at Amazon told Bloomberg last week, “This is the first cohort of what will be many investments that Amazon will make as part of the climate pledge fund. Each of these companies from Amazon’s perspective is a key piece of the puzzle that will help us decarbonize by the year 2040 which is what we committed to as part of the climate pledge. We’re looking to employ what these companies technologies are doing in our own operations and hopefully in the operations of other companies as well.
Areas of interest for Amazon are: new forms of renewable energy, new types of battery storage, electrified vehicles of all types including planes, ships, cars, and trucks, CO2 removal solutions, recycling, and low-carbon fuels.
Amazon recently announced that it purchased 6 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel for its fleet of jets and that’s something that I would love to really find a way to address is that of aviation. Aviation is one of the hardest problems to solve from a climate perspective and from an emissions perspective because electric planes don’t even exist today.
We don’t consider ourselves a venture capital firm. We don’t look to compete in that area. We partner with many firms including breakthrough energy ventures and others that are doing this from more of a vc standpoint. Our value is very distinct and what we’re trying to do is not only give companies money and capital to grow their businesses, we’re trying to give them demand for their products. It goes beyond just what Amazon is doing. It goes into the entire climate pledge and that’s our long-term strategy is that if we build a coalition of companies that include Verizon, Mercedes, Wreck-it Benches, Infosys, and many others to come, then you’re creating a huge market signal that there is demand for products that will help companies get to net zero carbon quickly. When you have that demand and then you pair that with the companies that we’re investing in that are building those products, that will help get those companies to that point.”
Rob Niven, Founder and CEO, CarbonCure Technologies had this to say about their green technology that Amazon invested in, “We work in the cement and concrete industry. What we do is use carbon dioxide as a value-added feedstock so instead of looking at it like a harmful greenhouse gas, we repurpose that waste CO2 so that it can provide higher value concrete and we have the right business model that makes it so that it costs the same price as concrete in the marketplace. We have already supplied millions and millions of yards of concrete for various projects including many with Amazon so it’s our way of rapidly decarbonizing the concrete industry while providing additional value without having to disrupt the entire concrete industry.”
Diego Saez Gil, Co-founder and CEO of Pachama said, “Our work at Pachana is precisely on conserving and restoring forest as a solution to climate change. Managing forests and restoring forests is an enormous part of the solution. We have about a billion hectares on the planet that can be restored as forest which has the potential of taking down hundreds of gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere. We analyze data and look at ways in which to offset certain companies carbon footprint. There is this framework by which reforestation and forest conservation projects can receive current credits for the carbon that they are removing from the atmosphere. What we do is we help make this market more efficient by using satellite images and artificial intelligence to predict exactly how much carbon is being sequestered by those forests. We look at the historical data and what has happened in the region and then we monitor that over time, keeping the projects accountable and making the market more transparent. We connect those projects with companies that are looking to achieve net zero or current neutrality and assuring these companies that their investments are working.”
Ryan Morris, Chairman and CEO, Turntide Technologies said, “Electric motors are kind of the hidden champions of civilization. Most people, when you think of electricity you think of lighting or electric vehicles, but literally everything that moves has an electric motor behind it so whether that’s the water coming out of your tap from pumps, fans circulating air in a building, or compressors and refrigeration literally half of all the electricity in the entire world, over a trillion dollars a year, is consumed by electric motors. The incredible thing about motors is that 98 percent of the install base of motors today is what’s called an AC induction motor that Nikola Tesla invented in 1888 so it’s one of the largest and least changed things. There’s no path to a 100 percent carbon-free civilization unless we solve both the supply generation side with things like solar and wind, as well as addressing the demand side and so motors are the single biggest component of demand.”
Matt Peterson, Director of Corporate Development, Amazon; Rob Niven, Founder and CEO, CarbonCure Technologies; Diego Saez Gil, Co-founder and CEO, Pachama; and Ryan Morris, Chairman and CEO, Turntide Technologies speak with Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde at the Bloomberg Green virtual event about their companies’ efforts to combat climate change.