Amazon Launches Climate Label to Help Customers Make Greener Choices
The world's largest online retailer is making it slightly easier for customer to make eco-conscious choices.
Amazon announced Wednesday that approximately 25,000 products will receive a "Climate Pledge Friendly" designation to guide customers toward products that are helping the retail giant meet its commitment to be carbon neutral in 20 years, as Reuters reported.
Amazon noted that the label will apply to a broad range of products. In a press release, the company said, "Climate Pledge Friendly selection includes grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics products, as well as items from a range of other categories — from brands including Seventh Generation, Burt's Bees Baby, and HP Inc. Climate Pledge Friendly products are clearly labeled in shopping results, have additional sustainability information on the product page, and are featured in a dedicated section of our store."
Amazon has been under increasing pressure from its own employees who have risked their own careers to speak out against the company's climate policies. The Seattle-based company has an enormous carbon footprint due to its commitment to speedy deliveries, its transportation emissions and its data centers, as Reuters reported.
A paper in Environmental Science & Technology, a scientific journal published by the American Chemical Society, found that going to a physical store actually has a lower carbon footprint than shopping on Amazon. That's due to the fact that people tend to buy just a few items online. When they go to a store, they are more likely to stock up and reduce the need for further trips. Also, the demand for faster shipping leads to inefficient packing and delivery routes, as CNN reported.
Environmental activists and people working to make delivery systems more environmentally friendly gave a lukewarm reception to Amazon's announcement and expressed concern that the label was a bit of "green washing."
"Some of the language is a little bit deceiving," said Alexis Bateman, director of the MIT Sustainable Supply Chains Initiative, as The Seattle Times reported. "Not to minimize the value of animal welfare, fair trade or fair wages." He added that just because a company offers fair wages does not mean it is eco-conscious or reducing its carbon footprint.
"That said, the fact that Amazon is doing anything in this space is just awesome, because when Amazon acts, then the pressure will be diffused across every actor that sells on their platform and is in competition with them, the biggest retailers and e-tailers of the world," Bateman added.
Other activists echoed the sentiment, viewing the label as a burden passed on to the consumer when the company could share the environmental impact of all its products or cut ties with companies that are not eco-conscious.
"While Amazon's sustainable shopping site is a good first step, it's not the level of ambition needed," said Jenny Ahlen, director of EDF+Business, a branch of the Environmental Defense Fund, in a blog post, as The Seattle Times reported. "Shoppers might be able to look through products with certifications, but what about the hundreds of thousands of other products sold on Amazon that don't have certifications. How will shoppers know what their impacts are?"
- Employees Are Fighting for Climate Change at Work - EcoWatch ›
- Amazon's Carbon Footprint Rises 15% as Company Invests $2 ... ›
- Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion to Fight the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Budweiser Re-Labels As Climate-Friendly Beer - EcoWatch ›
- 13 Eco-Labels to Look for When Shopping - EcoWatch ›
By Brett Wilkins
One hundred seconds to midnight. That's how close humanity is to the apocalypse, and it's as close as the world has ever been, according to Wednesday's annual announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group that has been running its "Doomsday Clock" since the early years of the nuclear age in 1947.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Scientists Discover New Population of Endangered Blue Whales ... ›
- Endangered Blue Whales Make 'Unprecedented' Comeback to ... ›
- Endangered North Atlantic Right Whale Calves Spotted Off Coast ... ›
- Only 366 Endangered Right Whales Are Alive: New NOAA Report ... ›
By Yoram Vodovotz and Michael Parkinson
The majority of Americans are stressed, sleep-deprived and overweight and suffer from largely preventable lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Being overweight or obese contributes to the 50% of adults who suffer high blood pressure, 10% with diabetes and additional 35% with pre-diabetes. And the costs are unaffordable and growing. About 90% of the nearly $4 trillion Americans spend annually for health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and mental health conditions. But there are new lifestyle "medicines" that are free that doctors could be prescribing for all their patients.
Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.
- Guardian/Vice Poll Finds Most 2020 Voters Favor Climate Action ... ›
- Climate Change Seen as Top Threat in Global Survey - EcoWatch ›
- The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation ... ›
By Tara Lohan
Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.
A monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on common milkweed on Poplar Island in Maryland. Photo: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program, (CC BY-NC 2.0)