In July 2019 Ethical Consumer contacted Amazon.com for information on its environmental reporting. No response was returned, and the Amazon Sustainability section on its website was viewed.
The website included pages on Amazon Web Services, and packaging. Under Responsible Sourcing it discussed 'Effective Management and Disposal of Hazardous Substances'. Under Circular Economy it stated, "To encourage our customers to recycle their Amazon devices, we offer free shipping for this purpose."
On its page about Amazon Web Services it stated "AWS exceeded 50% renewable energy usage for 2018.” It listed 6 Amazon Solar and 3 Amazon Wind projects, and stated, "Once complete, these wind farms, combined with AWS’s previous renewable energy projects, are expected to generate more than 2,700,000 MWh of renewable energy annually".
It stated that it had a commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage, but this target was not dated.
The packaging page stated the packaging was 100% recyclable, but not that it was recycled itself. No information was found on the environmental impacts of its electronic products, or textiles used in its clothing.
On its 'Sustainability Question Bank' webpage there was some discussion about water usage in its data centres, and transportation of items, including its Shipment Zero vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030. It stated that "To track our progress on this journey and as part of an overall commitment to sharing our sustainability goals, we plan to share Amazon’s company-wide carbon footprint, along with related goals and programs, later this year."
Ethical Consumer did not consider Amazon to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts.
Overall Amazon received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for Environmental Reporting.
www.amazon.co.uk (4 February 2019)