Amazon is now letting its shoppers know about products that are environmentally friendly. The Seattle based tech giant recently gave more than 25,000 products in its marketplace labels that designated the products as “Climate Pledge Friendly“. This designation means that specific product met Amazon’s standards. The company seeks to have a carbon footprint of net-zero by the year 2040, which is a full ten years faster than the Paris Agreement. Amazon also is placing a large focus on those products which lower the carbon footprint in shipping. Read More »
One of the things Amazon has to deal with is the fact that it is much more eco-friendly overall to do any shopping in an actual store rather than having packages shipped somewhere. This fact is backed up by Environmental Science & Technology, which is a scientific journal produced by the American Chemical Society.
This study concluded that actually going to stores and getting items that are bought on a regular basis like shampoo, toilet paper and basic goods would regularly result in fewer emissions from greenhouse gases than using an online store. Another thing to consider is that customers often only purchase a few items online, and this means there is more waste on average for each purchase. Also, the faster a product is shipped means the emissions will be higher as well.
Highlighting eco-friendly products in the marketplace
Amazon knows this is a problem on a basic level and that it is fighting an uphill battle that it needs to take a proactive stance in changing. Thus, the company has now decided to work with 19 government agencies and other organizations to kickstart this recent initiative to place added emphasis on more sustainable products. Any of the products that are labeled “Climate Pledge Friendly” will have a certification from an appropriate agency.
These products are now searchable by category on Amazon’s extensive marketplace and the appropriate items are seen easily in search results on the platform. There is also more information about the product’s sustainability on its unique pages.
As far as the products that fit under this umbrella, there is a diverse assortment. There are home, fashion, beauty, electronics, and grocery products that fit into this designation. A number of well known brands have also qualified such as Kleenex, Charmin, HP and Crest among others.
Another thing the company is doing is working to make the packaging more eco-friendly. The effort to cut carbon emissions is being doing with another project, the Compact by Design initiative. Amazon will use less physical packaging on the products themselves as well as air and water inside of containers. Both of these actions are more environmentally friendly. Finally, Amazon will make an effort to offer more products that use waterless technology, like shampoo bars that were formerly water based.
Amazon hopes to meet its goals
Amazon has faced scrutiny in the past from those who say that the company has not done enough to implement eco-friendly policies. More than one thousand of the company’s employees protested the e-commerce leader’s lack of climate change policies with a walk off last September. CEO Jeff Bezos had promised just prior to this walkout that the company would meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Employees still went through with the walkout, however, which was part of a broader global climate protest organized by young activist Greta Thunberg. Amazon employees who were in charge of this walkout did maintain that Bezos’ promises were a step in the right direction, and this is another move towards achieving these ambitious goals.
It is increasingly important for companies like Amazon to consider their actions when it comes to handling climate change. Amazon has a unique role in all of this, especially since a large chunk of their business requires products to be shipped all over the world. As Amazon continues to grow and serve customers, it continues to mass more vehicles, planes, and technology that uses a great deal of energy. This growth certainly gives Amazon these unwanted side effects and the company will need to toe the line in doing everything it can to cut down on the impact it has on the environment.
This is not the first eco-friendly initiative the tech giant have taken. Just last year, Amazon said it would purchase 100,000 vans that were electric in an effort to further their climate pledge. Amazon has also started a $2 billion investment fund which helps companies who deal with decarbonization. Finally, the company recently announced the release of new chargers that have a “low power mode” in an attempt to reduce energy.
Amazon still has its share of critics who hope for even more
The tech giant still has its critics even from within. Some employees still think that Amazon is not doing enough to be eco-friendly. A group called Amazon Employees for Climate Justice is calling for the company to promise to reach zero carbon emissions as soon as 2030. This is even more of an ambitious goal than Bezos’ wish to beat the Paris Agreement by a decade.
One anonymous employee commented, “We thought when the Climate Pledge came out that Amazon was getting ready to lead on climate. It seems like there are other companies leading the way more than Amazon is.”
This employee is of course referencing a few other large companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Walmart who have each taken a number of actions to also fight climate change. Each one is also taking proactive measures that some say are more forward thinking than Amazon’s.
These latest initiatives should certainly help to lessen dissent at least for now, but the company knows it still has a long way to go. One of the things that many employees can take solace in with working at such a large company is the ability they have to be a proactive voice in the widespread movement to fight climate change. Customers can also do this now too in even just the most casual of ways while searching the Amazon marketplace for a product they want.