Business Essentials for Professionals


A Dedicated 'Eco-Friendly' Shopping Platform Launched In Europe By Amazon

A Dedicated 'Eco-Friendly' Shopping Platform Launched In Europe By Amazon
In order to better guide consumers in the United Kingdom and other European countries to look for household products that have sustainable credentials, a completely new and dedicated “eco-friendly” shopping platform has been launched by Amazon.
In order to help consumers pick products on their environmental merits, certificates from schemes such as Fairtrade International and the Carbon Trust will be carried with more than 40,000 items on the new platform which range from plastic-free solid shampoo bars to organic children’s clothing.
Criticism for its use of excessive cardboard and other packing materials have been levelled against the largest e-commerce company of the world. Last year the company launched a new-style packaging that could not be recycled which drew severe criticism.
The company’s impact on the environment will be reduced thanks to the new scheme, Amazon said.
A dedicated section of the website and shown in shopping results will show the products that will also carry a badge and a special logo from at least one of 18 independent certification schemes. The product page will carry additional sustainability information on the products.
And in order to encourage brands to design products that can aid in reducing carbon emissions by increased efficiency and better packaging, its own externally validated certification, Compact by Design, has also been created by Amazon. The Cif ecorefill, a concentrated cleaning spray refill that helps people reuse their spray bottles, is among those who have already been certified under this scheme.
After having been launched in the United States in September, the platform is being rolled out in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain this week.
This new platform will help Amazon to stick to its wider commitment of achieving the Paris Agreement goals 10 years early and become a net zero carbon company by 2040.
For the millions of product categories that Amazon ships within Europe every year, the 40,000 badged products was just “a tip of the iceberg”, pointed out environmental campaigners.
“Amazon sells millions of products and this latest initiative covers just a tiny fraction of the total. By certifying only a limited range of goods, Amazon is implicitly admitting that the rest of its business model isn’t up to scratch. The environmental and climate crises we are facing demand more than token gestures and piecemeal action,” said Will McCallum, senior campaigner at Greenpeace UK.
Discovery of more sustainable products on the Amazon platform will be possible for customers because of the new platform, said Doug Gurr, Amazon UK manager.
“With 18 external certification programmes and our own new certification, we’re incentivising selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations,” he said.
The initiative as welcomed as “a small step in the right direction” by Friends of the Earth’s head of policy, Mike Childs, who however also added that a long journey ahead remained for Amazon before it can be actually called a green company.
“Will greener products appear higher in searches? And other products be labelled as climate-unfriendly?” he said. “Ultimately we need legally binding standards and regulations to ensure all products meet the very highest environmental standards, and that every company plays its part in building a greener, fairer future for us all.”

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc