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Appsolutely Necessary: Amazon’s Climate Pledge


Written by envoPAP team

30th June 2022

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We had all been spending increasingly more time online anyway, until the pandemic made it the only way to buy both essentials and excesses. E-commerce giant Amazon has seen a natural increase in their number of users ever since. In the last financial year, it made more than $468 Billion in global revenue, which was a 22% increase from the $386.1 Billion earned in 2020 in spite of a global supply chain crisis. If this trend continues, Amazon is projected to become the UK’s largest retailer by 2025. Keeping in line with the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ of the United Nations, specifically ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, Amazon aims to become ‘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.

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  • https://www.aboutamazon.co.uk/news/sustainability/amazon-launches-climate-pledge-friendly-in-europe

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 eco friendly 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. 

Not too long ago, Amazon had 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 anti-union policies have caused a 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. It could be argued that the biggest corporation on the planet has the biggest corporate responsibility to meet the United Nations SDGs.

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  • https://unemg.org/our-work/supporting-the-sdgs/the-un-sustainable-development-goals/

In a similarly named initiative, The Climate Pledge by Amazon is a global initiative that mobilises companies that pledge to reduce their carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2040, a full decade earlier than the stipulation of the UN Paris Accord. envoPAP was one of the earliest signatories to the pledge, which currently has in excess of 315 companies all over the world. 

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