In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Amazon’s website for a palm oil policy. The company owned a number of brands producing both food and cosmetic products with palm oil-derived ingredients. The mass production of palm oil has relied on the destruction of rainforests, which has wide ranging impacts including contributing to climate change, as well as loss of biodiversity and human rights.
The company was not found to be a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
The following statement was found relating to the company’s use of palm oil: “As of 2021, we use sustainably certified palm oil in all Amazon Private Brands food products in North America and Europe. In a small number of cases, palm oil credits may be used to cover very small volumes and complex derivatives. We revisit these cases annually with applicable suppliers and agree on plans to transition to physically certified sustainable palm oil where possible."
While this was a start, the company did not give further detail as to its palm oil policies or practices. As it was a large sized (over £100m turnover) company but did not list all mills and producer groups/parent companies (refiners), Amazon received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for Palm Oil Policy and Practice and lost a mark in the Palm Oil category.
Amazon corporate website sustainability section (5 July 2021)