On 05/07/2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Amazon.com Inc, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change.
Ethical Consumer was looking for the company to satisfy the following criteria in its public statements and reports:
1.a For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.
1.b For the company to have relevant sector-specific policies in place.
1.c For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have a policy to avoid investing in fossil fuels.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company).
3. For the company to go some way towards reporting its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
Small companies (annual turnover below £10.2 million) were only required to meet part 1 in order to receive a best rating. Small companies that did not directly meet any criteria would receive a middle rating if they were offering an environmental alternative.
Companies of any size whose core focus was related to climate change mitigation were also only required to meet part 1 for a best rating and would receive a middle rating even if they did not directly meet any criteria.
The company discussed the company’s efforts in relation to carbon emissions, renewable energy, transportation, energy use at fulfilment centres and offices, sale of sustainable products and the circular economy. This was considered to constitute an adequate discussion of its climate impacts.
1.b No sector-specific policies were relevant.
1.c The company was not found to be involved in particularly damaging projects.
2. The company reported its annual scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2020 to be :
Scope 1: 9.62 mtCO2e
Scope 2: 5.27 mtCO2e
3. The company reported on some scope 3 emissions as follows:
It reported 45.75 mtCO2e for 2020, which included "Amazon-branded product manufacturing, use phase, and end-of-life"
4. The company had a target in line with international agreements: : to reduce emissions to zero by 2040.
Overall, Amazon.com Inc received a Best Ethical Consumer rating for carbon management and reporting and did not lose marks in the Climate Change category.
Amazon corporate website sustainability section (5 July 2021)