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Amazon’s Renewable Energy Push—Plus 4 Other Companies Making Eco-Friendly Moves

We've seen some major sustainability moves this year. Check out this month's roundup of companies making eco-friendly changes.

Written by
Angelica Pizza

Each month, we round up companies that are making eco-friendly changes to their supply chains to highlight the importance of sustainable business practices and conscious consumerism. To round off the end of the year, we're celebrating sustainability wins across various industries.

As consumers, we have the power to vote with our dollars, meaning we can show companies that we prioritize the planet. By supporting more eco-friendly business practices, we're telling industries we want to see a more sustainable future.

And while there's still a lot of improvements to be made, these five companies are making sustainability efforts that deserve to be recognized.

5 Companies Making Sustainable Changes

1. Amazon

Amazon is more than just one of the world's major retailers. From shopping to rapid delivery to entertainment streaming, Amazon truly does it all. And now, the company is working toward its goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions.

This month, Amazon announced 18 new wind and solar energy projects across the U.S. and Europe. In total, the company has 274 renewable energy projects, with goals to expand. According to a press release, "the clean energy produced by these projects will avoid the equivalent of the annual emissions of nearly 3 million cars in the U.S."

The company announced there will be eight new projects across the U.S., including solar projects in Arizona, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, and Virginia. Additionally, Italy, Spain, and Ireland will also see renewable energy projects. The new projects reflect Amazon's initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2040. And according to Amazon, the company is on track to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025.

2. United Airlines

It's no secret that transportation causes some significant greenhouse gas emissions. While we can't avoid traveling altogether, we can opt for more planet-friendly travel options. We've seen Google Flights track the carbon emissions for flights, and we've dissected the most eco-friendly ways to travel when we need to. But what if air travel relied on plant-based fuel?

This month, United Airlines, in partnership with jet fuel company Virent, flew the first-ever passenger plane powered by plant-based fuel. The flight from Chicago to Washington D.C. had over 100 passengers, and the successful flight proves there's no difference between conventionally used fuel and plant-based fuel.

United Airlines has been putting the planet first, with goals to be "100% green by 2050," according to CEO Scott Kirby. The airline aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 100%, and the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) shows this company is well on the way to reaching its goals.

3. ExxonMobil

Adding to the list of companies making big sustainability moves is ExxonMobil. The company announced this month that it has goals to reach net-zero emissions in operations located in the U.S. Permian Basin by 2030. According to a press release, the company hopes to use wind, solar, hydrogen, or natural gas to operate. ExxonMobil also plans to "expand methane detection programs."

According to the company, it's on track to reach current greenhouse gas reduction plans by 2025. And the new plan to make the Permian Basin greener is in alignment with the U.S. and European Union-led Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30%. However, this goal doesn't include ways for the company to offset emissions from its customers.

4. Toyota

You've probably seen countless Toyota Hybrids on the road—or maybe you drive one yourself! These cars are known for combining gas fuel with electric energy to operate with fewer emissions. And now, Toyota has announced a series of all-electric vehicles, making electric cars and trucks more accessible to drivers.

To reduce carbon emissions on the road, Toyota is releasing its bZ, or "beyond zero," vehicle series. The series contains sedans, SUVs, and even a pickup truck that could be a cross between the Toyota Tundra and the Tacoma. Also among the new releases is an off-road, compact SUV called the Compact Cruise EV.

While many of the electric vehicles have not been named yet, including the pickup truck, the company hopes to have all its newly announced electric cars available to drivers by 2030.

5. FedEx

Last but certainly not least, FedEx is making major sustainability moves. This month, the transportation company received 500 electric delivery trucks from BrightDrop, the General Motors EV unit. While FedEx has been using electric vehicles for about 10 years, the new delivery trucks represent the company's commitment to decreasing delivery emissions.

According to CNBC, the BrightDrop EV600 trucks can travel up to 250 miles and carry over 2,000 pounds of cargo. The trucks will first be used in Los Angeles, as California has some of the highest gas prices in the U.S.

Additionally, these electric delivery trucks may be more reliable than fuel-powered trucks, so FedEx won't have to replace them as often. The vehicles are made to last. Plus, the cost to charge these electric trucks is about 75% less than fueling a gas-powered truck. The new fleet of EVs is part of FedEx's plan to be carbon neutral by 2040.