Amazon’s new Climate Pledge Friendly program is looking to advance sustainable shopping, and it’s tapping into sustainable textile leaders to do it.
The e-commerce giant launched its new program Wednesday, which will make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products — those products will have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications.
Amazon’s program rolled out with 25,000 vetted products, which will now come with a Climate Pledge Friendly label. The products were certified in partnership with third-party standard-setting bodies such as Bluesign Technologies, Textile Exchange, the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Fair Trade USA.
As part of the initiative, Amazon also announced its own design-focused certification called “Compact by Design,” an externally validated certification that will identify products with more efficient designs, like those that weigh less and require less packaging, and could ultimately contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions.
“Climate Pledge Friendly is a simple way for customers to discover more sustainable products that help preserve the natural world,” Amazon founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “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.”
Climate-friendly spans product categories such as fashion, beauty, household, grocery and personal electronics products, including brands like Burt’s Bees Baby, Honest Co., Seventh Generation and HP Inc. Those with the special seal are clearly labeled in shopping results, with shoppers having the option to select the feature from a drop-down search.
The textile community is having a heyday, already seeing spikes in membership and a range of industry collaborations like the recent “Fashion Conveners” alliance unfolding in the last month. Visibility on Amazon, which counts some 150 million Prime members worldwide, could accelerate the respective certifications’ familiarity among consumers.
From Textile Exchange alone, The Climate Pledge Friendly recognized a number of certifications like the Recycled Claim Standard, Global Recycled Standard, Organic Content Standard and the Responsible Wool Standard.
“Amazon’s high bar for choosing certifications align with Textile Exchange’s commitment to rigorously and transparently certify consumer products,” said Textile Exchange director of standards Ashley Gill. “Amazon’s new program will encourage brands and manufacturers to manufacture and source more sustainably, get certified, and grow their product selection.”
Separately, Bluesign ceo Jill Dumain said, “This cooperation solidifies Bluesign’s reputation as a leading global verification organization. When consumers shop for more sustainable products on Amazon, they can now benefit from the Bluesign product verification, which focuses on chemical safety for consumers and workers, as well as on environmental impact reduction.”
If the timing seems similar it’s because last Climate Week (an annual international summit on climate held in New York City) Amazon announced its Climate Pledge, posing quicker ambition to even the global, legally binding roadmap set forth by The Paris Agreement. Six signatories, including Mercedes-Benz and Verizon, have signed on to date, committing to net-zero carbon emissions across their businesses by 2040.
Business leaders across the board are starting to come to terms with the financials of climate change.
Climate change-related issues were reported to cost a staggering $304.2 billion a year. The cost is determined by an extensive report from the United Nations Environment Programme’s Financial Services Initiative unearthed from 2001, based on research from thousands of scientists.
Wildfires still rage in parts of California as the U.S. crosses the somber milestone of 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, both indicative of a warming climate; each is considered added fodder for the Seattle-based company’s ambitious actions this year.
In June, Amazon also revealed its Climate Pledge Fund, with $2 billion put up to fund companies that will serve to transition the world to a low carbon economy. A month later, Amazon signed onto CanopyStyle’s sourcing pledge to reduce, and eventually eliminate, rayon and viscose sourced from ancient and endangered forests, among other feats.
Last year, Amazon’s net sales increased 22 percent, with its total carbon footprint increasing 15 percent during the same period.
“While still early days, our 2019 carbon intensity metric is 122.8 grams of CO2e per gross merchandise sales, down 5 percent year over year from 128.9 grams of CO2e per dollar in 2018,” the company’s 2019 sustainability report noted.
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