‘Climate Pledge Friendly’: Amazon opens virtual aisle for more sustainable products

Amazon has become the latest retailer to signpost more sustainable products, launching a 'Climate Pledge Friendly' filter for shoppers in Europe.

Products from small, independent businesses will be listed, as well as products from corporate giants like Unilever 

Products from small, independent businesses will be listed, as well as products from corporate giants like Unilever 

The feature will enable consumers to filter out beauty, fashion, grocery, household and office products, as well as electronics, which purport to have a lower environmental footprint. Only products which have met certain sustainability certifications will be included.

Certifications which Amazon has classed as eligible for the filter include the EU Ecolabel, which is based on circular economy principles of durability, recyclability and ease of repair, and the German Blue Angel label, which takes a life-cycle approach. Products certified by these bodies either have a built-in sustainability purpose or are simply lower in impact than the average item in their respective categories. On the former, the ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ filter shows Unilever’s refillable Cif cleaner and Seventh Generation toiletries. On the latter, listings include HP’s printer ink cartridges and PCs made using recycled plastic content.

Some 40,000 items have been added to the selection in the first instance. Customers will be able to shop using the feature from Wednesday (28 October). In addition to featuring the products in the dedicated filter, Amazon will promote them clearly in all related search results and add additional sustainability-related information to product pages.

“It’s fantastic to see Amazon helping to make sustainable shopping easier and more accessible for consumers,” Fairtrade International’s chief executive Darío Soto Abril said. “I look forward to seeing it launch in Europe, and hope it encourages even more brands to source more sustainably and certify their products so we can continue to drive positive impact that benefits farmers, workers and our shared environment.”  

Amazon has named the filter after its own global long-term sustainability strategy. Announced last year following pressure from employees, who wanted the e-commerce giant to set bolder and more concrete climate plans, the strategy is headlined by a 2040 net-zero commitment. Amazon opened the strategy commitments to other businesses and has received support from the likes of Best Buy and Siemens.

The announcement from Amazon comes shortly after Selfridges announced plans to change its ‘Buying Better’ labelling scheme and to rename the initiative ‘Project Earth’. It covers organic materials, local production, water-saving methods and cruelty-free products, among other topics.

Tackling packaging

To coincide with the launch of the ‘Climate Pledge Friendly’ filter, Amazon has launched a new sustainability standard which can be applied to products that are more efficient in their design – both in terms of using less material and packaging and being more compact to ship.

The standard is called ‘Compact By Design’ and will be externally validated by a third party. It is being rolled out in the EU and UK, to begin with.

“At scale, these small differences in product size and weight lead to significant carbon emission reductions,” Amazon said in a statement.

The e-retailer is notably striving to make half of its global shipments ‘net-zero compatible’ by 2030. It has previously invested in box ‘grouping’ services and a ‘ship in your own container’ offer to cut back on packaging and make logistics more efficient.

Sarah George



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