‘This is Amazon’: Driving sustainability with electric vehicles
Ben Davies is just one of the many people driving sustainability forward at Amazon as he supports the rollout of electric vehicles in Bristol – part of our last mile electrification programme.
One of Ben’s biggest passions is the environment and Amazon’s shared value in sustainability was a big draw for him joining the company as an Operations Manager at our Bristol delivery station last year. He has sinced jumped at the opportunity to work with electric vehicles and reduce emissions at Amazon.
We all have a responsibility to make sure we protect our environment.
“As an operations team, our core responsibility is to ensure customer parcels arrive on time. When introducing these new electric vehicles, we have to ensure those orders are still arriving exactly as they should,” he explains.
The rollout in Bristol involves teams responsible for delivery management, on-road safety, charging infrastructure and much more – all of which is designed to ensure parcels can be delivered to thousands of customers in the Bristol area each day.
Switched on to sustainability
Last year, Amazon announced it was adding more than 1,800 electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz vans to its delivery fleet in Europe. Amazon in the UK received more than 500 electric vehicles from that order, all of which hit the road in 2020.
“Getting to zero emissions is one way we can protect the environment and if we act now, we can make a real difference for the future," Ben explains.
“We all have a responsibility to make sure we protect our environment, and Amazon helps us to do that, whether it’s through electric vehicles or renewable resources.”
Throughout his career, Ben has prioritised working for businesses which are true to their sustainability and social impact commitments – including initiatives to reduce single-use plastics and ocean pollution in the cosmetics industry.
“One of the reasons that I chose to join Amazon was due to our focus on sustainability as a company,” he adds. “I love the fact that we have invested in electric vehicles, amongst other things, to make sure that we can deliver to our customers and reduce our impact on the environment.”
Going above and beyond
Beyond his professional life, sustainability and the environment are also important to Ben on a personal level.
“I’ve always been green-fingered, and you’ll usually find me up a mountain, in a river, running a marathon, or just getting outdoors and spending time in nature. I love travelling the world and experiencing seeing new places.
“In this amazingly diverse world we live in, there are so many opportunities for new experiences – but we all have a responsibility to preserve those experiences and opportunities for generations to come."
That’s one reason why, closer to home, Ben takes steps to improve things in his community – starting with the local beach. On the coastline between Portishead and Cleavedon, just outside Bristol, Ben can be found picking litter with friends and family, including his godchildren.
“At least every two weeks we’ll go down to pick litter. Apart from the immediate benefit to the environment, it’s also a great way to spend time outdoors, and it helps us to educate the kids about the importance of protecting the environment.”
This has been particularly beneficial during lockdown, as schools and children’s clubs have been restricted or closed – leaving plenty of time to keep children busy!
Ben also sees how taking direct action can help all of us, whether young or old, to have a sense of control over the world around us, and how it might look in the future.
“When we talk about climate change, it can feel scary,” he explains, “and sometimes that becomes an obstacle to taking action. By doing your bit, no matter how small, you feel a lot closer to the solution, and a greater sense of control about what the future may bring.”
Acting on The Climate Pledge
The electric vehicles that Ben works closely with are part of our efforts to be net zero carbon by 2040 – a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement’s 2050 target.
As Ben explains, Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge includes 100,000 new electric delivery vehicles from US-based car manufacturer Rivian, the largest ever order of electric delivery vehicles. These vans are starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021, and all 100,000 vehicles will be on the road by 2030 — saving millions of metric tons of carbon per year.
Find out more about The Climate Pledge and the actions we’re taking in support of our sustainability commitments in the UK and across Europe.
Throughout this year, ‘This is Amazon’ will give Amazon customers a glimpse behind-the-scenes with inspirational stories of the people who power our business – watch this space to find out more.
Find out more: The Climate Pledge