In an incredibly short amount of time, Amazon has grown into one of the largest companies in the world. A large part of their success is credited to their vast product selection and rapid shipping times.
But if you focus on only buying products from ethical companies, you may be curious about Amazon’s ethical practices in its business structure.
Here is all the information I discovered regarding how ethical and sustainable Amazon’s massive business operation is!
Is Amazon An Ethical Company?
While Amazon has received backlash for employee and workplace conditions, Amazon does support ethical missions such as The Climate Pledge and to be 100% renewable by 2025. Additionally, Amazon has donated money to support racial equality, customers with disabilities, and STEM programs.
Keep reading to learn more about Amazon’s Climate Pledge and the company’s goals to become more environmentally conscious!
Does Amazon Treat Their Employees Ethically?
The reports current and former employees give on whether or not Amazon treats their employees ethically are very mixed.
The leading reasons Amazon employees like working for the company are high pay rates, good benefits, and schedule flexibility.
Amazon provides both full and part-time workers with competitive benefits, offering medical, dental, and vision coverage.
Additionally, the e-commerce leader offers tuition reimbursement, child adoption assistance, and opportunities to try different positions at the company.
Essentially, Amazon knows that without its employees, nothing would be possible. With that, providing their workers with high wages and benefits is an ethical practice.
On the negative side of the reviews, Amazon employees attest that they are treated more like robots than human beings. Amazon is very strict on maintaining employee productivity.
And if employees are not as productive as the company’s standards, they are usually let go without warning. Some Amazon employees feel the quotas they are given are unfair and almost impossible to reach.
With that, several former employees said that working at Amazon is better if you only do so temporarily.
Is Amazon A Sustainable Company?
In the past few years, Amazon has taken huge strides to become a more sustainable and environmentally conscious company.
In recent years, Amazon created The Climate Pledge, which includes several sustainability goals the company is striving to achieve.
Some of the goals that make up Amazon’s Climate Pledge include:
- 100% renewable energy by 2025
- Make 50% of shipments net-zero carbon by 2030
- Implement 100,000 electric vehicles by 2030
- Invest $2 billion to support the development of decarbonizing
- Invest $100 million in reforestation projects and climate mitigation solutions
The central goal Amazon has in terms of environmental sustainability is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
According to Amazon, reaching this goal will help the company become the Earth’s most customer-centric company.
With that, Amazon is working towards a net-zero carbon future that will impact the company’s entire supply chain.
What Ethical Practices Does Amazon Demonstrate?
In addition to their environmental practices, several other examples of Amazon demonstrate ethical practices.
Some of the ethical practices include supporting racial equality, offering employment opportunities, and making their business accessible to people with disabilities.
To show their support of racial equality, Amazon donated $10 million to social justice organizations that improve Black people’s and African Americans’ lives.
This donation was quickly followed by an employee matching program that helped raise an additional $17 million to these organizations in 2020.
Amazon understands that racial equality still has a long way to go. But they are committed to being part of the solution.
Investing In The Future:
Amazon also wants to support the next generation of leaders. With that, the company invested $50 million in computer science and STEM education programs.
These programs focus on inspiring and educating young adults from underrepresented communities to pursue a future in computer science.
Amazon works with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, women’s colleges, and tribal colleges to better reach young adults in underserved communities.
Catering To Disabilities:
Amazon believes their technology and services should be inclusive and accessible to everyone. With that, the company is inventing new experiences designed to support all customers, even if they have a disability.
Amazon received the 2019 American Foundation for the Blind Helen Keller Achievement Award for its leading accessibility features.
Does Amazon Sell Sustainably Sourced Products?
Amazon offers its customers a wide selection of sustainable products from 29 departments on its website.
To find environmentally conscious and sustainably sourced products, type “Sustainable Products” in the search bar on Amazon’s website.
From here, Amazon will provide a long list of products, from dishware to cleaning items.
If you are looking for sustainably sourced foods, Amazon also has a partnership with Whole Foods Market.
This partnership offers grocery delivery as quickly as two hours in select areas.
Is There Anything Unethical About Amazon?
When it comes to examples of Amazon being unethical, the majority of reports come from their international workplace locations.
For example, reports claimed that workers in Amazon warehouses located in China and the United Kingdom were paid well below living wages.
These articles stated that employees were working overtime hours above the legal limits and were not compensated correctly.
Additionally, an article published in the Guardian exposed harsh working conditions in Amazon warehouses located in the United States.
The article stated that employees were not compensated for workplace accidents and that the ambulances were called over one hundred times in three years at one warehouse fulfillment center.
In 2012, Amazon was also accused of avoiding paying taxes. Although there is little evidence to prove this fact true, some former customers boycotted the company because of it.
The last example of Amazon exhibiting unethical practices comes with its policy on using materials made from animals.
For example, Amazon does not prohibit the sale of fur, angora, merino wool, and silk, even though their production involves killing and exploiting animals.
For as big as the company is, Amazon does not display many unethical practices compared to other large-scale businesses.
What Are The Most Ethical Companies In The United States?
Although Amazon displays several examples of being a sustainable and ethical company, it did not make the list of the most ethical companies in the United States created by Ethisphere.
Amazon may not have made the list because of negative media attention about employees’ job satisfaction.
Several credible news outlets have published stories about an employee’s negative experience, gaining much attention. However, taking every article with a grain of salt is important.
Simply because one employee had a bad experience does not mean that is the case for every employee.
Amazon has taken and continues to take strides to become an ethical and sustainable company.
For example, the company implemented The Climate Project to cut down on carbon emissions and use renewable energy.
Additionally, Amazon continues their ethical practices when it comes to their customers and employees. Amazon employees are paid well above the national minimum wage and receive great benefits.
Investing in future STEM and computer science leaders, donating money to companies striving towards racial equality, and making their technology accessible to people with disabilities are other ethical practices by Amazon.