Amazon’s cloud CEO says sustainability efforts and profits ‘don’t have to be at odds’

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Amazon Web Services CEO: I hope my kids don't think we're doing enough on the environment

Making profits and doing right by shareholders and working on ways to protect the environment and mitigate climate change are not mutually exclusive, Adam Selipsky, CEO of cloud leader Amazon Web Services (AWS), told CNBC on Monday.

In an interview for “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer, Selipsky said the entire company of Amazon is aiming to be net-zero carbon by 2040, a decade earlier than set out in the Paris climate agreement.

Sustainability and profits “don’t have to be at odds,” Selipsky said, pointing to examples at Amazon and AWS that make good business sense by the sheer fact that they are better for the environment such as cloud data centers that are energy efficient.

More broadly, he said, the company is putting low carbon concrete into its data centers and office buildings and seeking out sustainable jet fuel for shipping packages. Since 2015, he said, Amazon has reduced average package waste per shipment by 38%.

Selipsky also cited Amazon’s investment in electric truck maker Rivian Automotive — a spoke in the company’s climate wheel — saying by year-end in the U.S. alone, Amazon is going to have thousands of Rivian vehicles on the road delivering packages.

About two years before its 2021 initial public offering, Rivian got a $700 million investment from Amazon and a commitment from the e-commerce and cloud giant to buy 100,000 custom-built electric delivery vans, as part of a move to electrify its last-mile fleet by 2040.

Cramer asked Selipsky if he thinks his kids would say Amazon is doing enough for the environment. “I hope they don’t feel we’re doing enough yet,” because the company is only just getting started, Selipsky said. He added that Amazon doesn’t have all the answers but feels it’s on the right track.

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Watch the full interview with Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky

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