- Hundreds of Amazon workers signed a petition calling on the company to reduce emissions to zero by 2023.
- They say that emissions from Amazon warehouses disproportionately affect communities of color.
- Amazon has previously pledged to go completely carbon neutral by 2040.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
More than 600 Amazon workers have signed a petition calling for the company to eliminate its carbon emissions by 2023, saying pollution from the e-commerce giant’s warehouses is “disproportionately concentrated in communities of color.”
The workers, who are not named publicly, say Amazon must first deploy zero-emissions technologies in communities most affected by pollution from the trucks and other vehicles going in and out of distribution hubs. The group also cites a 2014 study that found people of color are exposed to an average of 38% more toxic air pollution than their white counterparts.
“We want to be proud of where we work,” the petition says. “A company that lives up to its statements about racial equity and closes the racial equity gaps in its operations is a critical part of that.”
The petition comes as Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting takes place Wednesday, including investor proposals regarding reports from the company on packaging waste and on “environmental racism.”
This isn’t the first time Amazon employees have pushed the company to make changes to better serve the environment. Insider reported that 7,700 employees signed a petition in 2020 calling for the company “to develop a plan to stop using fossil fuels. They also wanted it to stop going after customers in the oil and gas industries,” adding that, “Amazon Web Services has an entire unit dedicated to serving this market.”
Amazon in 2019 pledged to go completely carbon neutral by 2040 as one of the founding companies of the “climate pledge.” Founder Jeff Bezos has also pledged $10 million to fight climate change globally through his Bezos Earth Fund initiative.
But some critics pushed back on this initiative, saying that the company should be combating climate change on a more intimate level, taking aim at Amazon’s excessive packaging.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.