Apple and AWS unveil sustainability commitments ahead of COP26

Big tech firms join Microsoft in working towards net zero targets

Amazon and Apple joined Microsoft in making sustainability announcements today ahead of next week's world climate change summit. 

Amazon announced that it's invested in three companies developing sustainable technologies through its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund program.

They included Resilient Power, which builds electric vehicle charging technology, and CMC Machinery, which makes custom-sized boxes eliminating the need for single-use plastic packaging. It also made its second investment in Infinium, which produces low-carbon electrofuels. The Resilient Power investment will help Amazon introduce more electric vehicles into its delivery fleet, it said. 

Amazon announced the Climate Pledge Fund in 2020 to support sustainable investments. These latest funding agreements, for undisclosed amounts, bring its portfolio of companies to 11. 

Apple added 10 new projects to its Power for Impact initiative, which will provide renewable power to communities around the world. In the US, it will work with Sioux tribes to develop tribal wind energy resources for the wholesale energy market. 

The company will also bring renewable energy to over 3,700 households in South Africa and Nigeria, while supporting rooftop solar on a school and on a healthcare facility. It will put rooftop solar on an educational institution in the Philippines, participate in renewable energy project in Thailand, and provide solar electricity for 20 schools in Vietnam. 

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The tech giant giant will help install rooftop solar panels on a hospital and a nonprofit in Colombia, and will put solar installations in an eco-village for at-risk youth in Israel. 

Apple, which has pledged to be 100% carbon-neutral by 2030, also doubled the number of suppliers committed to using clean energy over the last year, it said. It has made agreements with 175 suppliers, who will help to bring more than nine gigawatts of clean power online. 

The announcements, along with Microsoft's pledge today to reduce water and carbon usage in its data centers, come ahead of the two-week COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow beginning on October 31.

America's climate envoy John Kerry has warned that the event is the last chance to plan for a reduction in emissions that would limit temperature rises to a threshold 1.5 degrees. The summit, which has already reportedly prompted lobbying by some countries to play down the impact of fossil fuels, will be an attempt to persuade participants to stick with commitments made at the Paris summit in 2015.

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