Update: kudos to Amazon, they joined the Science Based Target initiative in June 2020. Hooray!
As a working mom, I’m awfully dependent on Amazon Prime. I actually would have been happy to consider Bezos my benevolent retail master, serving up hair gel, swim caps, last minute birthday gifts and light fixtures right to my door until the end of time. But, last week the board stonewalled 7,000+ employees who asked Amazon to do something simple: report publicly on their carbon emissions and set a plan to reduce them. It wasn’t actually a big ask and the response to it was disheartening. It’s a bridge too far for this social justice warrior. I’m out.
Amazon has stated that their sustainability program is customer-first with programs like frustration-free packaging, and clean energy for their data centers. These are both great programs, though their timelines and disclosures are not as stringent or complete as they could be. What’s made Amazon a real laggard on corporate sustainability is their lack of transparency. A good sustainability program by its very nature includes disclosures on everything from energy consumption to workplace injury rates. That’s for a few reasons: disclosures help outside stakeholders compare apples to apples between competitors, understand the true scope of the challenge a company faces, determine materiality or the core issues that are of utmost importance for a company to address, and drive improvements. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Most of all, carbon emissions, which directly influence climate change, THE defining issue of our time. Continue reading “Why I’m Breaking Up with Amazon”