In an effort nearly a year in the making, Amazon employees are taking a public stand. They want their company to reckon with what they believe to be the most pressing problem facing the world: climate change.
A group of employee stockholders have signed their names to a resolution, which will be voted on at the upcoming annual shareholder meeting next year. They are requesting that Amazon prepare a report describing exactly how it is planning for disruptions posed by climate change, and how it will reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.In total, 28 employees put their names on the document. It’s a first-of-its-kind stand from employees of one of the world’s most powerful companies–a group of dissenters using the leverage provided to them via their stock options. And according to the people behind resolution, it was the best and perhaps only way to get Amazon’s attention.
According to Eliza Pan, a program manager at Amazon’s offices in Seattle, the proposal is “a formal mechanism that brings this issue directly to the board of directors.” Within the company, she says, the number of Amazonians who consider climate change to be an urgent issue is growing. “We have 12 years left to dramatically reduce our emissions,” says Pan, “to prevent basically total and dramatic change of our climate.” By drafting a resolution, she adds, it’s the employees utilizing the leverage they have. “Employees have power within companies,” she adds.