Appsolutely Necessary - Amazon's Climate Pledge
We had all been spending increasingly more time online anyway, until the pandemic made it the only way to buy both essentials and excesses. Ecommerce giant Amazon has seen a natural increase in their number of users ever since. If this trend continues, Amazon is projected to become the UK’s largest retailer by 2025. Last year, they made more than $108Billion in revenues, which was a 44% increase from the previous year. Keeping in line with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, specifically ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, Amazon aims to become the ‘Earth’s most customer-centric company’.
This strengthens their commitment to listing truly sustainable products that can be produced and/or consumed in ways that do not harm the planet. Central to that commitment, Amazon has launched a ‘Climate Pledge Friendly Programme’, under which it aspires to make sustainability accessible for its consumers. To that end, Amazon has partnered with 18 external certification programmes, which label products that meet their parameters of sustainability to help customers make ethical choices.
It has also made a targeted action plan to boost the sales of sustainable and ethical products. For household goods, it has not only implemented a Chemicals Policy and Restricted Substance List (RSL), but also joined the Retail Leadership Council (RLC) and the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3). Amazon has partnered with brands like Procter & Gamble, Tide, etc. to ensure that the packaging of their products is ecofriendly and recyclable.
In the ‘Food and Groceries’ sector, Amazon is trying to make it easy for customers to find a variety of options like free range, pasture-fed, organic and fair-trade groceries and also promoting products that do not endorse animal cruelty, abuse or neglect. It has also launched ‘Compact by design’, which is a new sustainability certification created to identify products that have a more efficient design and require less packaging. This will not only minimise wastage resulting from the products, but also the cost of transportation, which in turn will reduce their carbon footprint.
Recently, Amazon has faced criticism over the treatment of its employees and on how it has dealt with the criticism itself! Reports of unsafe working conditions in warehouses, lack of protection for employees and its antiunion policies have caused bit of an uproar. However, its ‘Climate Pledge Friendly Programme’ is a step in the right direction and sets out the highest standards for other corporate giants to follow. In the new normal, companies will have to become more transparent and walk the talk.