Ecommerce giant Amazon’s eco-friendly ‘Amazon Aware’ range, which includes women’s and menswear, has been accused of greenwashing.
The product range faced the accusations after it was discovered to have been made up to 5,000 miles away and delivered in single-use plastic, according to the Telegraph.
The newspaper’s report detailed how the plastic used to wrap the items can only be recycled at large supermarkets. Furthermore, all but one of the items, recycled toilet paper, were made in other countries, including three pairs of socks costing £17.80 which were made in Pakistan.
The online retailer launched ‘Amazon Aware’ in March last year in an effort to offer customers more-conscious and sustainable choices.
A company spokesperson said: “We approached Amazon Aware with two goals in mind, to give millions of customers access to everyday essentials across apparel, home, beauty and more, which also have third-party certifications from our Climate Pledge Friendly program and to build knowledge, materials and other innovations that improve the products sold in our stores.”
The retailer claims that all Aware products are certified as carbon neutral and feature certifications that are part of the Climate Friendly Pledge program.
These certifications include well-known schemes such as Fairtrade, the Rainforest Alliance and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
However, research from UK consumer choice company Which found that while many of the third-party certifications Amazon relies on when awarding the label are well established and reputable, their assessments often applied to just one aspect of a product’s sustainability.
For example, while some coffee products are labelled as Climate Pledge Friendly due to their Rainforest Alliance certification, some include hard-to-recycle coffee pods. While the contents of the packaging are covered by the certificates, the packaging does not.
In 2022, Amazon took several steps towards achieving its Climate Pledge goal of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2040.
In July, the company began rolling out its first fully electric delivery fleet in the US. Shortly after in September, the company announced a partnership with Plug Power to provide enough hydrogen annually to power 30,000 forklifts or 800 heavy-duty trucks. This all happened alongside the announcement that its California-based fulfilment centre is on track to become the first logistics facility in the world to achieve Zero Carbon Certification.
However, a company sustainability report also highlighted an 18% increase in overall emissions, which prompted questions from Amazon whether it was the right metric to track.
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