Amazon drives carbon reduction goals with new partnership
In a recent announcement made by Amazon, the company details The Climate Pledge’s latest partnership with We Mean Business to drive the adoption of carbon reduction goals.
Co founded by Amazon and Global Optimism The Climate Pledge is a commitment to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early as well as achieve net-zero carbon by 2040.
“The science is clear. We must hold the temperature rise to 1.5°C. Thanks to the long-term vision of the IKEA Foundation, and the tireless work of the partners of the We Mean Business coalition, business is already taking bold action on climate,” commented María Mendiluce, CEO of the We Mean Business coalition.
As part of its efforts to achieve this commitment, Amazon has partnered with We Mean Business - a global non-profit coalition that works with businesses to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
The partnership aims to develop the world’s most comprehensive effort to drive the adoption of ambitious carbon emissions reduction goals within organisations. We Mean Business works with more than 1,200 companies and has a total market capitalisation of over US$24.8trn to drive business action and policy ambitions relating to climate change.
The partnership aims to:
- Encourage companies to take a leadership role and accelerate goals to meet The Climate Pledge
- Mobilise supply chains to take and scale-up measurable and direct action when it comes to climate change
- Determine means for companies to credibly integrate nature based solutions within their strategies.
“Through The Climate Pledge, we will pick up the pace. With a commitment to collaboration and innovation, those at the head of the pack can reach net-zero emissions by 2040. To do that, we must accelerate supply chain action and develop a robust approach to Nature-Based Solutions in addition to deep decarbonization. We are delighted to be collaborating with Amazon, who have shown bold leadership and deep commitment to tackling the climate crisis,” added Mendiluce.
“The size and scale of the climate crisis demands that the business community joins forces and works together to invent, fund, and implement bold decarbonization programs to help protect the planet,” commented Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “No one company can solve this problem on its own. We look forward to working with the We Mean Business coalition to encourage businesses around the world to accelerate their commitments to tackle climate change.”
Via its partnership with the We Mean Business coalition, The Climate Pledge is establishing the largest effort to date to mobilise the private sector to reach net-zero carbon by 2040.
“Climate change is everybody’s business. I am delighted that a deeper and broader collaboration in The Climate Pledge will result from the partnership with the We Mean Business coalition,” said the former UN Climate Chief and co-founder of Global Optimism, Christiana Figueres.
“We are not in a position to meander on the path to decarbonization – science tells us time is not on our side. If we are going to build back better, companies of all sizes need to safeguard the economy against the disruptive and devastating impacts of the climate crisis, which damages all of us. Large corporations decarbonizing their operations and supporting small and medium businesses to follow them in a whole-economy approach makes sense.”
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.