Amazon’s sustainable stamp of approval

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Amazon’s sustainable stamp of approval

By Dan Ochwat - 09/23/2020

Amazon is making it easier to find sustainably produced and more compact-sized products on its site, stamping items with a “Climate Pledge Friendly” badge and dedicating a page to brands that are certified to match this pledge.

The new section includes Amazon own brands and national brands in such categories as grocery, household items, fashion and beauty products, personal electronics, and more. To earn the badge and placement on the page, Amazon has partnered with various third-party organizations to certify a product. For example, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a nonprofit focused on products that support a circular economy and if that organization has found products that fit its certification it will get the Climate Pledge Friendly designation.

“Cradle to Cradle certification provides a framework for product optimization based on the principles of designing with safe and healthy materials, using clean renewable energy and water, celebrating diversity, and eliminating the concept of waste,” said William McDonough, co-founder of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “We love that Amazon is making it simple for customers to find sustainable products. Amazon’s new program will expand our reach and enable us to empower more brands to deliver safer and more sustainable products for the circular economy.”

Another way to earn a Climate Pledge Friendly badge is by Amazon recognizing products that are in more efficient packaging. Amazon deems them “Compact by Design,” and some of the items may not look very different but they are packages that are more efficient to ship which significantly reduces carbon emissions.

In all, there are around 18 different certifications that can get products a badge. Some Amazon own brands found in the new dedicated section include Happy Belly foods, Amazon Elements vitamins and more.

National brands are working closely with Amazon too on its certified products. Seventh Generation from Unilever North America, for example, is offering a Compact by Design-certified super-concentrated laundry detergent that uses 60% less plastic and 50% less water than the standard 100-ounce laundry bottle, enabling significant energy and material savings. The company said if every household in the U.S. bought one bottle of Easy Dose ultra-concentrated laundry detergent instead of Seventh Generation's conventional 100-ounce laundry detergent, it could save 220,000 tons of CO2 every year, equivalent to not driving 540 million miles.

Mrs. Meyer's multi-surface concentrate is another Climate Pledge Friendly product that has earned the Compact by Design certification. It is a concentrated formula designed to eliminate excess water, with one 32-ounce bottle able to make more than 16 gallons of cleaning solution. 

“Climate Pledge Friendly is a simple way for customers to discover more sustainable products that help preserve the natural world,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “With 18 external certification programs and our own Compact by Design certification, we’re incentivizing selling partners to create sustainable products that help protect the planet for future generations.”

Fabian Garcia, president of Unilever North America, which produces other products like Love Beauty Planet and Dove, said, “Amazon’s initiative will drive scale and impact for more sustainable consumption by helping customers easily discover products that are Climate Pledge Friendly and encourage the manufacturers to make their products more sustainable. Unilever is committed to delivering products that provide the best experience for consumers while reducing the impact that our products and our operations have on the environment.”

The Climate Pledge Friendly initiative supports Amazon’s commitment to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The company has already committed to reaching 100% renewable energy by 2025, ordered over 100,000 fully-electric delivery vehicles, and plans to invest $100 million in reforestation projects around the world. Amazon also launched the Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion fund to back visionary companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy.