The Climate Pledge vs. SBTi: Is There a Clear Path to Sustainability?

The Climate Pledge vs. SBTi: Is There a Clear Path to Sustainability?
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

As the corporate world grapples with the urgency of climate change, Amazon's Climate Pledge and the SBTi offer two distinct roadmaps. But is it a matter of choosing one over the other, or can they coexist?

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has long been a beacon for corporations, guiding them towards clear and actionable goals for reducing carbon emissions. Yet, Amazon's Climate Pledge presents an alternative, prompting a deeper exploration of the paths to sustainability.

The Climate Pledge Quick Facts Download

The Climate Pledge's Mission

Accelerate responsible climate action in every industry so our planet’s diverse communities, natural resources, and shared environments can thrive indefinitely.

When it comes to protecting our planet, there is no middle ground. By joining The Climate Pledge, your company can step up with Earth’s action-oriented leaders and take responsibility for what happens next.

Signatories of the Pledge agree to three areas of action:

1. Regular reporting. Measure and report greenhouse gas emissions on a regular basis.

2. Carbon elimination. Implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement through real business changes and innovations, including efficiency improvements, renewable energy, materials reductions, and other carbon emission elimi­nation strategies.

3. Credible offsets. Neutralize any remaining emissions with additional, quantifiable, real, permanent, and socially beneficial offsets to achieve net-zero annual carbon emissions by 2040.

Amazon's Climate Pledge: Joining Forces with Global Leaders

Launched in collaboration with Global Optimism, the Climate Pledge commits signatories to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement. Amazon leads the charge, but they're not alone. 431 companies, including Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, Unilever and Best Buy, have also pledged their commitment, showcasing a collective drive towards a sustainable future.

However, it's essential to note that the Climate Pledge and the SBTi aren't mutually exclusive. Companies can, and many do, commit to both, leveraging each initiative's strengths to accelerate their sustainability journey.

The Broader Context

Amazon's divergence from the traditional SBTi path, as highlighted in a recent Scope 3 Collective article, underscores the evolving landscape of corporate sustainability. Their commitment to working with "other organizations and credible third-party validators" suggests a broader, more inclusive approach to climate action.

Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of meaningful climate action, whether through established norms or alternative pledges.


The journey to a sustainable future is multifaceted. While the SBTi offers a structured roadmap, the Climate Pledge exemplifies an alternative yet complementary path. Together, they represent the diverse strategies companies can employ to combat climate change.

In April 2023, Amazon unveiled "Future Forward", a compelling documentary series spotlighting the proactive efforts of individuals and businesses confronting the climate crisis head-on. This series delves deep into the narratives of these climate champions, showcasing their innovative approaches and the transformative steps they're taking to combat environmental challenges. Through their stories, "Future Forward" offers a glimpse into the passion, dedication, and ingenuity required to forge a sustainable path for our planet. Discover more:
The Climate Accountability Wake-Up Call: Major Companies Delisted by SBTi
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Science Based Targets Initiative - Scope 3 Collective
Unlock the power of the Science-Based Targets Initiative 🌍. Dive into a curated collection of insights, case studies, and strategies right here on Scope 3 Collective. From setting ambitious goals to real-world implementation, discover how businesses are shaping a sustainable future. Explore the wea…