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How sustainable is Amazon ?

Amazon & sustainability


Amazon
Dont buy Click here for score rapport: 1 out of 42

Sustainability summary

Amazon has achieved the E-label, because only a little information is published about a policy on sustainability. It is hard to see the effort Amazon is making on sustainability. Therefore, more policy and transparency is needed.

Brand owner: Amazon Inc.
Head office: Seattle, WA, United States
Sector: Webshops
Categories : 
Free Tags: Books, Electronics, Kindle

What's your sustainability news about Amazon?

Amazon sustainability score report

Last edited: 14 April 2016 by Bianca F.
Last reviewed: 14 April 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 20
1. Is there a policy for the brand to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Amazon implements several measures to reduce climate emissions, such as energy efficiency measures. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations'? Amazon has not disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its own operations. Source
3. Has the brand (company) already reduced or compensated its absolute 'own operations' carbon footprint by at least 10% in the last 5 years? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 2. Source
4. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Amazon doesn't communicate up to date target reductions for its greenhouse gas emissions. Source
5. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? As of April 2015, approximately 25% of the power consumed by Amazon's global infrastructure came from renewable energy sources. Until end of 2016 its intended to realize 40%. Furthermore, Amazon mentions a long-term goal to use 100% renewable energy, but doesn't specify a target year. Source
6. Are 100% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 5. Source
7. Is the overall average Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) of the data center(s) below 1,4? Amazon doesn't provide information about the PUE of the data center. Source
8. Is the average utilization ratio of its used data centers higher than 20%? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 7. Source
9. Has the webshop disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of all transport to and from the consumer (=including returns)? Amazon has not disclosed any absolute information on its climate footprint from transport to and from the consumer. Source
10. Has the webshop reduced the absolute carbon footprint of all transport from and to the consumers? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 9. Source
11. Has the webshop reduced the average carbon emissions per package as send out to consumers? Amazon runs several initiatives including 'Frustration-Free Packaging', 'Environmentally Friendly Packaging' and the 'Packaging Feedback Program'. But, Amazon doesn't specifically report on average climate emissions per package sent to consumers, so any reduction is unknown. Source
12. Does the webshop offer consumers the option to send their orders 'climate neutral' through credible carbon compensation programs? Amazon doesn't specify whether this option is offered to its costumers. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices. Source
13. Does the webshop send at least 5% of the order volume as 'climate neutral'? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 12. Source
14. Does the webshop send at least 10% of the order volume as 'climate neutral'? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 12. Source
15. Does the webshop send at least 25% of the order volume as 'climate neutral'? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 12. Source
16. Does the webshop send at least 50% of the order volume as 'climate neutral'? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 12. Source
17. Does the webshop take concrete policy measures to reduce the return rate? Amazon doesn't disclose any reporting on measures to reduce their return rate or any return figures. Source
18. Has the webshop achieved a return rate of 25% (for clothing and shoes 50%) at highest? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 17. Source
19. Has the webshop achieved a return rate of 20% (for clothing and shoes 40%) at highest? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 17. Source
20. Has the webshop achieved a return rate of 15% (for clothing and shoes 30%) at highest? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 17. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

0 out of 13
1. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material footprint that includes packaging materials? Amazon doesn't publish its annual material footprint, including packaging materials. Source
2. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? Amazon runs several initiatives including 'Frustration-Free Packaging', 'Environmentally Friendly Packaging' and the 'Packaging Feedback Program'. But, Amazon doesn't disclose comprehensive data in terms of volume or any reduction targets. Source
3. Has the webshop reduced the average weight of packaging material per shipped package? Amazon does discuss the elimination of excess packaging through its several environmental friendly packaging initiative. But, results in terms of reduction rates are not specified. Source
4. Does at least 80% of the total use of carton for shipping boxes originate from environmentally responsible sources, such as recycled paper or FSC certified carton? Most Amazon orders are shipped in corrugated containers which on average contain 43% recovered fiber content. Further reporting on i.e. use of FSC of PEFC certified paper materials isn't specified. Source
5. Does at least 85% of the total use of carton for shipping boxes originate from environmentally responsible sources, such as recycled paper or FSC certified carton? See remark for environmental policy question 4. Source
6. Does at least 90% of the total use of carton for shipping boxes originate from environmentally responsible sources, such as recycled paper or FSC certified carton? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 4. Source
7. Does at least 95% of the total use of carton for shipping boxes originate from environmentally responsible sources, such as recycled paper or FSC certified carton? See remark for environmental policy question 4. Source
8. Does all the used carton for shipping boxes originate from environmentally responsible sources, such as recycled paper or FSC certified carton? See remark for environmental policy question 4. Source
9. Does the webshop use environmentally preferable tape, or no tape at all for all the shipping boxes? Amazon does not specifically discuss whether it uses tape, or if the tape it uses is made of environmentally preferable materials. Source
10. Does the webshop have a policy to increase the assortment of environmentally preferred products, such as organic food, FSC certified paper for books and furniture, or progressive environmental standards for the production of clothing and electronics? Amazon Green' is a section of the US site where customers can browse Amazon's entire green product selection, which are products that meet US sustainability rating systems. However, a specific policy to increase the assortment of such products is not mentioned. Source
11. Has the brand already achieved clear milestones in expanding the environmentally preferred assortment? Amazon doesn't specify whether clear milestones in expanding the environmentally preferred assortment are realized. Source
12. Does the webshop offer consumers independent information about the sustainability credentials of products in the assortment? Amazon doesn't clearly mention independent information about sustainability credentials. Source
13. Does the webshop have a tool to filter out the environmentally preferred brands and products? With 'Amazon Green', consumers can browse environmentally preferred brands and products. However, this section cannot be found or easily searched from the homepage, and is only available for the USA. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

0 out of 9
1. Has the brand a policy to increase the 'fair' assortment of products such as fairtrade food, FSC certified paper for books and furniture, or progressive labour standards for the production of clothing and electronics? Although Amazon offers a number of fair trade products, there is no clear policy to increase the company's 'fair' assortment of products. Source
2. Has the brand already achieved clear milestones in expanding the 'fair' assortment? See remark for labor conditions policy question 1. Source
3. Does the webshop offer consumers independent information about the sustainability credentials of products in the assortment? Amazon doesn't clearly mention independent information about sustainability credentials. Source
4. Does the webshop have a tool to filter out the 'fair' brands and products? With 'Amazon Green', consumers can browse environmentally preferred brands and products. However, this section cannot be found or easily searched from the homepage, and is only available for the USA. Source
5. Has the webshop disclosed all labour standards and code of conducts for permanent staff and temporary staff specially in distribution centers and at the shipping companies? Amazon does publish its Code of Conduct, which specifies some labor standards for its employees, but doesn't mention specific standards for permanent or temporary staff. Source
6. Has the webshop a concrete policy to work with a minimum percentage of permanent staff? Amazon's Code of Conduct does not have a specific policy to work with a minimum percentage of permanent staff. Source
7. Is the percentage of permanent staff in the distribution centers higher than the sector average? Amazon doesn't disclose the percentage of employees in distribution centres with permanent contracts or how this compares to the sector average. Source
8. Has the webshop set a maximum to the daily walking distance for workers in the distribution centers? Amazon doesn't specify a maximum daily walking distance for employees in its distribution centers. Source
9. Has the webshop complaint procedures available for all staff (hired and temporary) and does the webshop yearly disclose the results through its website? Within its Code of Conduct, Amazon specifies procedures for inquiries and reporting violations. However, Amazon doesn't report the results of these reporting procedures. Source