我们的全食超市（Whole Foods Market）仍然营业，为顾客提供新鲜食品和其他重要商品。我们正在采取措施帮助那些最容易感染病毒的人们，将全食超市每天营业后的第一个小时定为老年人专场。我们暂时关闭了Amazon Books、Amazon 4-Star和Amazon Pop Up商店，因为它们不销售必需品，我们为这些关闭的商店的员工提供了继续在亚马逊其他地区工作的机会。
3月份，我们的履约和交付网络新招10万名员工。本周早些时候，我们又宣布再招聘7.5万名员工，以满足客户需求。这些新员工正在帮助依赖我们满足其关键需求的客户。我们知道，由于失业或被暂时解雇，世界各地的许多人都遭受了经济上的损失。我们很高兴让他们加入我们的团队，直到一切恢复正常，或者他们的前雇主可以把他们重新召回，或者有新的工作机会。我们欢迎乔·达菲（Joe Duffy），他在纽瓦克机场（Newark Airport）失去机械师的工作后加入到我们的行列，他是从一位亚马逊运营分析师的朋友那里得知了这个职位空缺。达拉斯幼儿园教师达比·格里芬（Darby Griffin）在3月9日学校停课后加入亚马逊，现在帮助管理新库存。我们很高兴有达比陪着我们，直到她能回到教室。
Amazon Web Services（AWS）服务在这场危机中也扮演着重要角色。在这种情况下，各种机构能够访问可扩展、可靠且高度安全的计算能力至关重要，无论是用于重要的医疗保健工作、帮助学生继续学习，还是让空前数量的员工在线并保持在家工作效率。各大医院、制药公司和研究实验室正在使用AWS来护理患者、探索治疗方法，并以许多其他方式减轻新冠病毒的影响。世界各地的学术机构正在从“面对面”教室过渡到虚拟教室，并在AWS上运行，以帮助确保学习的连续性。各国政府正在利用AWS作为一个安全的平台，在对抗病毒的过程中建立新的能力。
我们还启动了AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative（AWS诊断开发计划），该计划旨在支持致力于将更准确的新冠病毒诊断解决方案推向市场的客户。更好的诊断有助于加速治疗和遏制病毒流行。我们已承诺投入2000万美元来加速这项工作，并帮助我们的客户利用云来应对这一挑战。虽然该计划是为应对新冠病毒疫情而建立的，但我们也在展望未来，我们将资助有可能遏制未来传染病爆发的诊断性研究项目。
我们正在向疾控中心提供云服务，帮助数千名公共卫生从业者和临床医生收集与新冠病毒疫情相关的数据，报告响应措施。在英国，AWS为一个项目提供云计算基础设施，该项目分析医院入住率、急诊室容量和患者等待时间，以帮助英国国家医疗服务体系（National Health Service）决定在哪里最好地分配资源。在加拿大，OTN——世界上最大的虚拟医疗网络之一——正在扩展其由AWS支持的视频服务，以适应疫情所导致的使用需求激增4000%。在巴西，AWS将为圣保罗州政府提供云计算基础设施，以保证该州公立学校的100万名学生参加在线课程。
我们正在方便客户使用http://Amazon.com 或Alexa直接向处于新冠病毒疫情第一线的慈善机构捐款，包括Feeding America、美国红十字会和拯救儿童组织（Save the Children）。Echo用户可以选择说，“Alexa，捐钱给Feed America新冠病毒疫情响应基金。”在西雅图，我们与一家餐饮企业合作，在疫情爆发期间向西雅图和King County县的2700名老年人和多病居民分发了7.3万份饭菜，我们捐赠了8200台笔记本电脑，供西雅图公立学校的学生们在上课期间使用。
去年，我们与联合国前气候变化负责人、Global Optimism创始人克里斯蒂娜·菲格雷斯（Christian Figueres）共同发起《气候宣言》（The Climate Pledge），并成为该承诺的第一个签字人。根据这一承诺，亚马逊将提前10年实现《巴黎协定》的目标，到2040年实现净零碳排放。亚马逊在实现这一目标方面面临重大挑战，因为我们不仅仅是传递信息——我们拥有广泛的物理基础设施，每年在全球交付超过100亿件商品。我们相信，如果亚马逊能够提前十年实现净零碳，任何公司都可以——我们希望与所有公司合作，使其成为现实。
451 Research的一项研究发现，AWS的基础设施的能效是接受调查的美国企业数据中心中值的3.6倍。随着我们对可再生能源的使用，这些因素使AWS能以更低的碳足迹（低88%），完成与传统数据中心相同的任务。不要认为我们不会在意剩余的12%–我们会通过对可再生能源项目的更多投资，让AWS 100%实现无碳。
为了确保下一代拥有在科技驱动的经济中茁壮成长所需的技能，我们去年启动了一个名为“亚马逊未来工程师”（Amazon Future Engineer）的项目，该项目旨在教育和培训低收入和弱势群体的年轻人，让他们追求计算机科学的职业生涯。我们有一个雄心勃勃的目标：每年帮助数十万学生学习计算机科学和编程。
西奥多·苏斯·盖泽尔（Theodor Seuss Geisel，美国作家）对此的反思：“当不好的事情发生时，你有三个选择。你可以让它定义你，让它摧毁你，也可以让它加强你。”对于人们会选择哪一种，我非常乐观。
即使在当前这种情况下，还是让我们保持第一天的心态（it remains Day 1，贝索斯多年来一直主张的工作心态，希望员工要保持新人时候的心态，亚马逊则要保持初创公司的心态，努力向前。）。一如既往，我附上一份我们1997年的股东信的复印件。
Jeffrey P. Bezos
To our shareowners:
One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 crisis is how important Amazon has become to our customers. We want you to know we take this responsibility seriously, and we’re proud of the work our teams are doing to help customers through this difficult time.
Amazonians are working around the clock to get necessary supplies delivered directly to the doorsteps of people who need them. The demand we are seeing for essential products has been and remains high. But unlike a predictable holiday surge, this spike occurred with little warning, creating major challenges for our suppliers and delivery network. We quickly prioritized the stocking and delivery of essential household staples, medical supplies, and other critical products.
Our Whole Foods Market stores have remained open, providing fresh food and other vital goods for customers. We are taking steps to help those most vulnerable to the virus, setting aside the first hour of shopping at Whole Foods each day for seniors. We have temporarily closed Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up stores because they don’t sell essential products, and we offered associates from those closed stores the opportunity to continue working in other parts of Amazon.
Crucially, while providing these essential services, we are focused on the safety of our employees and contractors around the world—we are deeply grateful for their heroic work and are committed to their health and well-being. Consulting closely with medical experts and health authorities, we’ve made over 150 significant process changes in our operations network and Whole Foods Market stores to help teams stay healthy, and we conduct daily audits of the measures we’ve put into place. We’ve distributed face masks and implemented temperature checks at sites around the world to help protect employees and support staff. We regularly sanitize door handles, stairway handrails, lockers, elevator buttons, and touch screens, and disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer are standard across our network.
We’ve also introduced extensive social distancing measures to help protect our associates. We have eliminated stand-up meetings during shifts, moved information sharing to bulletin boards, staggered break times, and spread out chairs in breakrooms. While training new hires is challenging with new distancing requirements, we continue to ensure that every new employee gets six hours of safety training. We’ve shifted training protocols so we don’t have employees gathering in one spot, and we’ve adjusted our hiring processes to allow for social distancing.
A next step in protecting our employees might be regular testing of all Amazonians, including those showing no symptoms. Regular testing on a global scale, across all industries, would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running. For this to work, we as a society would need vastly more testing capacity than is currently available. If every person could be tested regularly, it would make a huge difference in how we fight this virus. Those who test positive could be quarantined and cared for, and everyone who tests negative could re-enter the economy with confidence.
We’ve begun the work of building incremental testing capacity. A team of Amazonians—from research scientists and program managers to procurement specialists and software engineers—moved from their normal day jobs onto a dedicated team to work on this initiative. We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab and hope to start testing small numbers of our frontline employees soon. We are not sure how far we will get in the relevant timeframe, but we think it’s worth trying, and we stand ready to share anything we learn.
While we explore longer-term solutions, we are also committed to helping support employees now. We increased our minimum wage through the end of April by $2 per hour in the U.S., $2 per hour in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and €2 per hour in many European countries. And we are paying associates double our regular rate for any overtime worked—a minimum of $34 an hour—an increase from time and a half. These wage increases will cost more than $500 million, just through the end of April, and likely more than that over time. While we recognize this is expensive, we believe it’s the right thing to do under the circumstances. We also established the Amazon Relief Fund—with an initial $25 million in funding—to support our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and temporary employees under financial distress.
In March, we opened 100,000 new positions across our fulfillment and delivery network. Earlier this week, after successfully filling those roles, we announced we were creating another 75,000 jobs to respond to customer demand. These new hires are helping customers who depend on us to meet their critical needs. We know that many people around the world have suffered financially as jobs are lost or furloughed. We are happy to have them on our teams until things return to normal and either their former employer can bring them back or new jobs become available. We’ve welcomed Joe Duffy, who joined after losing his job as a mechanic at Newark airport and learned about an opening from a friend who is an Amazon operations analyst. Dallas preschool teacher Darby Griffin joined after her school closed on March 9th and now helps manage new inventory. We’re happy to have Darby with us until she can return to the classroom.
Amazon is acting aggressively to protect our customers from bad actors looking to exploit the crisis. We’ve removed over half a million offers from our stores due to COVID-based price gouging, and we’ve suspended more than 6,000 selling accounts globally for violating our fair-pricing policies. Amazon turned over information about sellers we suspect engaged in price gouging of products related to COVID-19 to 42 state attorneys general offices. To accelerate our response to price-gouging incidents, we created a special communication channel for state attorneys general to quickly and easily escalate consumer complaints to us.
Amazon Web Services is also playing an important role in this crisis. The ability for organizations to access scalable, dependable, and highly secure computing power—whether for vital healthcare work, to help students continue learning, or to keep unprecedented numbers of employees online and productive from home—is critical in this situation. Hospital networks, pharmaceutical companies, and research labs are using AWS to care for patients, explore treatments, and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in many other ways. Academic institutions around the world are transitioning from in-person to virtual classrooms and are running on AWS to help ensure continuity of learning. And governments are leveraging AWS as a secure platform to build out new capabilities in their efforts to end this pandemic.
We are collaborating with the World Health Organization, supplying advanced cloud technologies and technical expertise to track the virus, understand the outbreak, and better contain its spread. WHO is leveraging our cloud to build large-scale data lakes, aggregate epidemiological country data, rapidly translate medical training videos into different languages, and help global healthcare workers better treat patients. We are separately making a public AWS COVID-19 data lake available as a centralized repository for up-to-date and curated information related to the spread and characteristics of the virus and its associated illness so experts can access and analyze the latest data in their battle against the disease.
We also launched the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative, a program to support customers working to bring more accurate diagnostic solutions to market for COVID-19. Better diagnostics help accelerate treatment and containment of this pandemic. We committed $20 million to accelerate this work and help our customers harness the cloud to tackle this challenge. While the program was established in response to COVID-19, we also are looking toward the future, and we will fund diagnostic research projects that have the potential to blunt future infectious disease outbreaks.
Customers around the world have leveraged the cloud to scale up services and stand up responses to COVID-19. We joined the New York City COVID-19 Rapid Response Coalition to develop a conversational agent to enable at-risk and elderly New Yorkers to receive accurate, timely information about medical and other important needs. In response to a request from the Los Angeles Unified School District to transition 700,000 students to remote learning, AWS helped establish a call center to field IT questions, provide remote support, and enable staff to answer calls. We are providing cloud services to the CDC to help thousands of public health practitioners and clinicians gather data related to COVID-19 and inform response efforts. In the UK, AWS provides the cloud computing infrastructure for a project that analyzes hospital occupancy levels, emergency room capacity, and patient wait times to help the country’s National Health Service decide where best to allocate resources. In Canada, OTN—one of the world’s largest virtual care networks—is scaling its AWS-powered video service to accommodate a 4,000% spike in demand to support citizens as the pandemic continues. In Brazil, AWS will provide the São Paulo State Government with cloud computing infrastructure to guarantee online classes to 1 million students in public schools across the state.
Following CDC guidance, our Alexa health team built an experience that lets U.S. customers check their risk level for COVID-19 at home. Customers can ask, "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?" or "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?" Alexa then asks a series of questions about the person’s symptoms and possible exposure. Based on those responses, Alexa then provides CDC-sourced guidance. We created a similar service in Japan, based on guidance from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
We’re making it easy for customers to use Amazon.com or Alexa to donate directly to charities on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, including Feeding America, the American Red Cross, and Save the Children. Echo users have the option to say, "Alexa, make a donation to Feeding America COVID-19 Response Fund." In Seattle, we’ve partnered with a catering business to distribute 73,000 meals to 2,700 elderly and medically vulnerable residents in Seattle and King County during the outbreak, and we donated 8,200 laptops to help Seattle Public Schools students gain access to a device while classes are conducted virtually.
Although these are incredibly difficult times, they are an important reminder that what we do as a company can make a big difference in people’s lives. Customers count on us to be there, and we are fortunate to be able to help. With our scale and ability to innovate quickly, Amazon can make a positive impact and be an organizing force for progress.
Last year, we co-founded The Climate Pledge with Christiana Figueres, the UN’s former climate change chief and founder of Global Optimism, and became the first signatory to the pledge. The pledge commits Amazon to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early—and be net zero carbon by 2040. Amazon faces significant challenges in achieving this goal because we don’t just move information around—we have extensive physical infrastructure and deliver more than 10 billion items worldwide a year. And we believe if Amazon can get to net zero carbon ten years early, any company can—and we want to work together with all companies to make it a reality.
To that end, we are recruiting other companies to sign The Climate Pledge. Signatories agree to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions regularly, implement decarbonization strategies in line with the Paris Agreement, and achieve net zero annual carbon emissions by 2040. (We'll be announcing new signatories soon.)
We plan to meet the pledge, in part, by purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian—a Michigan-based producer of electric vehicles. Amazon aims to have 10,000 of Rivian’s new electric vans on the road as early as 2022, and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030. That’s good for the environment, but the promise is even greater. This type of investment sends a signal to the marketplace to start inventing and developing new technologies that large, global companies need to transition to a low-carbon economy.
We've also committed to reaching 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030. (The team is actually pushing to get to 100% by 2025 and has a challenging but credible plan to pull that off.) Globally, Amazon has 86 solar and wind projects that have the capacity to generate over 2,300 MW and deliver more than 6.3 million MWh of energy annually—enough to power more than 580,000 U.S. homes.
We've made tremendous progress cutting packaging waste. More than a decade ago, we created the Frustration-Free Packaging program to encourage manufacturers to package their products in easy-to-open, 100% recyclable packaging that is ready to ship to customers without the need for an additional shipping box. Since 2008, this program has saved more than 810,000 tons of packaging material and eliminated the use of 1.4 billion shipping boxes.
We are making these significant investments to drive our carbon footprint to zero despite the fact that shopping online is already inherently more carbon efficient than going to the store. Amazon’s sustainability scientists have spent more than three years developing the models, tools, and metrics to measure our carbon footprint. Their detailed analysis has found that shopping online consistently generates less carbon than driving to a store, since a single delivery van trip can take approximately 100 roundtrip car journeys off the road on average. Our scientists developed a model to compare the carbon intensity of ordering Whole Foods Market groceries online versus driving to your nearest Whole Foods Market store. The study found that, averaged across all basket sizes, online grocery deliveries generate 43% lower carbon emissions per item compared to shopping in stores. Smaller basket sizes generate even greater carbon savings.
AWS is also inherently more efficient than the traditional in-house data center. That’s primarily due to two things—higher utilization, and the fact that our servers and facilities are more efficient than what most companies can achieve running their own data centers. Typical single-company data centers operate at roughly 18% server utilization. They need that excess capacity to handle large usage spikes. AWS benefits from multi-tenant usage patterns and operates at far higher server utilization rates. In addition, AWS has been successful in increasing the energy efficiency of its facilities and equipment, for instance by using more efficient evaporative cooling in certain data centers instead of traditional air conditioning. A study by 451 Research found that AWS’s infrastructure is 3.6 times more energy efficient than the median U.S. enterprise data center surveyed. Along with our use of renewable energy, these factors enable AWS to do the same tasks as traditional data centers with an 88% lower carbon footprint. And don’t think we’re not going to get those last 12 points—we’ll make AWS 100% carbon free through more investments in renewable energy projects.
Leveraging scale for good
Over the last decade, no company has created more jobs than Amazon. Amazon directly employs 840,000 workers worldwide, including over 590,000 in the U.S., 115,000 in Europe, and 95,000 in Asia. In total, Amazon directly and indirectly supports 2 million jobs in the U.S., including 680,000-plus jobs created by Amazon’s investments in areas like construction, logistics, and professional services, plus another 830,000 jobs created by small and medium-sized businesses selling on Amazon. Globally, we support nearly 4 million jobs. We are especially proud of the fact that many of these are entry-level jobs that give people their first opportunity to participate in the workforce.
And Amazon’s jobs come with an industry-leading $15 minimum wage and comprehensive benefits. More than 40 million Americans—many making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—earn less than the lowest-paid Amazon associate. When we raised our starting minimum wage to $15 an hour in 2018, it had an immediate and meaningful impact on the hundreds of thousands of people working in our fulfillment centers. We want other big employers to join us by raising their own minimum pay rates, and we continue to lobby for a $15 federal minimum wage.
We want to improve workers' lives beyond pay. Amazon provides every full-time employee with health insurance, a 401(k) plan, 20 weeks paid maternity leave, and other benefits. These are the same benefits that Amazon's most senior executives receive. And with our rapidly changing economy, we see more clearly than ever the need for workers to evolve their skills continually to keep up with technology. That's why we’re spending $700 million to provide more than 100,000 Amazonians access to training programs, at their places of work, in high-demand fields such as healthcare, cloud computing, and machine learning. Since 2012, we have offered Career Choice, a pre-paid tuition program for fulfillment center associates looking to move into high- demand occupations. Amazon pays up to 95% of tuition and fees toward a certificate or diploma in qualified fields of study, leading to enhanced employment opportunities in high-demand jobs. Since its launch, more than 25,000 Amazonians have received training for in-demand occupations.
To ensure that future generations have the skills they need to thrive in a technology-driven economy, we started a program last year called Amazon Future Engineer, which is designed to educate and train low-income and disadvantaged young people to pursue careers in computer science. We have an ambitious goal: to help hundreds of thousands of students each year learn computer science and coding. Amazon Future Engineer currently funds Introduction to Computer Science and AP Computer Science classes for more than 2,000 schools in underserved communities across the country. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer also gives 100 four-year, $40,000 college scholarships to computer science students from low-income backgrounds. Those scholarship recipients also receive guaranteed, paid internships at Amazon after their first year of college. Our program in the UK funds 120 engineering apprenticeships and helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue technology careers.
For now, my own time and thinking continues to be focused on COVID-19 and how Amazon can help while we’re in the middle of it. I am extremely grateful to my fellow Amazonians for all the grit and ingenuity they are showing as we move through this. You can count on all of us to look beyond the immediate crisis for insights and lessons and how to apply them going forward.
Reflect on this from Theodor Seuss Geisel:
"When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you."
I am very optimistic about which of these civilization is going to choose.
Even in these circumstances, it remains Day 1. As always, I attach a copy of our original 1997 letter.
Jeffrey P. Bezos
Founder and Chief Executive Officer