Climate Pledge Friendly: Amazon Debuts 25,000 Sustainable Products Filter To Woo Conscious Consumers
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Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, has launched a new platform to “make it easy” for users to shop for sustainable products on its website. Called the Climate Pledge Friendly category, the dedicated section will see more than 25,000 products that have been verified by one or more sustainability certifications. The move comes as the e-commerce giant faces mounting criticism over its questionable commitment to the environment given its core business model that extolls one-click overconsumption and its punishing of employee activism over the company’s lack of climate action.
The Climate Pledge Friendly label will be appearing on over 25,000 products on Amazon’s new sustainable section, signifying that these items bear one or more of the 19 sustainability certifications, which includes 18 external independent schemes like Cradle to Cradle and Bluesign, and Amazon’s own “Compact by Design” certification. Compact by Design identifies products that have a more efficient design, such as removal of excess air and water and less wasteful packaging.
Products in the category range from groceries and household goods to fashion, beauty and electronics. Among some of the brands listed include eco-friendly bath and beauty label Faith in Nature and sustainable cleaning and personal care brand Seventh Generation. The new platform was first launched in the U.S. last month, and is now being rolled out in France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. with more markets to come.
“Climate Pledge Friendly is a simple way for customers to discover more sustainable products that help preserve the natural world,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. “We’re incentivising selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations.”
The e-commerce giant’s latest move is a part of the company’s wider commitment to achieve net-zero carbon by 2040. It also recently launched a new initiative called the Climate Pledge Fund, a US$2 billion fund dedicated to sustainable technologies and services to help the company achieve its goal.
Climate Pledge Friendly is a simple way for customers to discover more sustainable products that help preserve the natural world.Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon
Amazon’s ramping up of its environmental campaigns is no doubt aimed at allaying widespread criticism over its poor climate record. Earlier this year, Bezos announced that he would commit US$10 billion of his personal wealth to an Earth Fund, which merely represented a fraction of his enormous US$130 billion net worth at the time, which has since surged to US$145 billion since the pandemic began. It also contradicts direct decisions from Amazon to fire employees for speaking out against the company’s lucrative dealings with fossil fuel firms.
On top of its anti-sustainability reputation, Amazon has come under another crisis in recent months over poor working conditions, lack of hazardous pay and inadequate protections for its warehouse workers during the pandemic, despite the boost in Bezos’ personal fortune due to rising online sales amid lockdowns. The scandal has prompted the high-profile resignation of Tim Bray, an engineer and vice-president at Amazon’s Web Services arm, who described the firings of employee activists as “chickenshit”.
Lead image courtesy of Pascal Rossignol / Reuters.