Like many around the world during the Global Climate Strike, hundreds of Amazon employees walked out of their offices yesterday. Employees have been urging Amazon leaders to take more steps to reduce fossil fuel dependency and wrote an open letter back in April. The pressure seems to be working.
On Thursday, CEO Jeff Bezos announced The Climate Pledge, with the following commitments:
Commits to net zero carbon by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030
Orders 100,000 fully electric delivery vehicles, the largest order ever for electric delivery vehicles
Invests $100 million in reforestation projects around the world to begin removing carbon from the atmosphere now
Launches new sustainability website to report progress on commitments
The Pledge encourages other businesses to sign on, with Amazon leading the way. Bezos said, “We’re done being in the middle of the herd on this issue — we’ve decided to use our size and scale to make a difference.” Amazon employees reacted positively.
Analyze the employees’ open letter. What persuasive strategies do they use? Look for examples of logical argument, emotional appeal, and credibility. What organizational strategies do the writers use?
The Amazon announcement doesn’t mention employees’ influence in the decision, although news articles and employees make the connection. Should Bezos include this recognition? Why or why not?
Describe a CEO’s dilemma in situations like these. When is it appropriate for leaders to meet their employees’ demands, and when should they resist? Did Bezos take the best course of action?