Amazon

Company Score

-1.94
Industry Retailing
Country United States
Year Added 2018
Impact Ratings 1672
Impact Notes 21
SDG Covered 8 out of 17

Amazon.com is an American multinational technology company headquartered in USA. Amazon is the world's largest online marketplace, AI assistant provider, and cloud computing platform. It distributes downloads and streaming of video, music, and audiobooks. Amazon Publishing is its publishing arm, it also has a film and television studio, Amazon Studios, and a cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services. It produces consumer electronics including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo devices. Amazon acquisitions include Ring, Twitch, Whole Foods Market, and IMDb. Amazon employs 750,000 people worldwide.

Read about Amazon and its impact below.

Impact notes

Climate Action

Amazon increased its 2019 air freight flights by 38% in 2020, ignoring its CO2 reduction promises

Profile lennachaim
Icon time Thu Oct 22nd, 2020 at 2:51pm

The global aviation industry is responsible for 2% of all human CO2 emissions, the equivalent of 915 million tonnes of gas in 20191, and is growing to represent 22% of the emissions in 20502. The coronavirus pandemic significantly lowered the aviation industry's revenue and set a new opportunity to reevaluate its efforts to address the climate emergency when it comes to CO2 emissions3

Decent work and Economic Growth

Amazon is accused of employing school children and making them work overtime

Profile Abdul Waseem
Icon time Fri Aug 28th, 2020 at 2:36pm

Globally around 152 million children between the age of 5 and 17 are deprived of their childhood because of child labor practices1. Almost 73 million children work in hazardous conditions, and nearly 22,000 child laborers die at work annually1.

Good Health and Well-being

Amazon is contributing to the decrease in both the quality and quantity of human interactions, necessary for a healthy life, on a daily basis

Profile fatimahusain
Icon time Wed Jul 22nd, 2020 at 11:51am

Social interaction is a critically important contributor to good health and longevity.5 Social isolation is on a par with high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise or smoking as a risk factor for illness and early death.5 People who are chronically lacking social contacts are more likely to experience elevated levels of stress and inflammation.5 Contemporary innovations have significantly reduced the need for human-to-human exchanges, favoring time and cost-efficient, non-human alternatives.2

Decent work and Economic Growth

Amazon fails to deliver on its position of offering women equal pay

Profile santhur
Icon time Wed Jun 3rd, 2020 at 3:50pm
Despite the persistent story that the gender pay gap is steadily closing in the Global North, in many countries, the gap is, in fact, widening1;p96. For example, in the EU, women earn 16% less per hour than men (with considerable differences between Member States)2. The drivers of this are sectoral segregation, share of unpaid to paid work, glass ceilings and outright discrimination2. Several regional and global conventions & regulations exist to combat the issue, through e.g., the International Labour Organisation (ILO)3 and the UN through three Sustainable Development Goals (5, 8 & 10)4. Nevertheless, the issue persists, and employers regularly downplay the issue.

The Amazon group positions itself as a champion of gender equality5. However, Amazon has a smudged track record of first claiming to provide equal pay between genders6,7,8, and then being confronted with evidence to the contrary6,7,11. The discrepancy often comes down to the definition of 'pay gap'11,13,14, and which departments and pay classes are included in analysis. As Amazon is a multinational company, with distinctly different situations across countries and departments, let's look at Amazon UK, where the gender pay gap ranges from 2% to 40% between departments9. Amazon UK reports a pay gap of 6.1%, but a closer look at the 2017 data9 shows that the average is greatly influenced by male-dominated low paying warehouse jobs, and in most departments, women get paid significantly less than the men9,10,11. Amazon is not always worse than the UK average employer in this regard, but their insistence on being better than they are ruins their 'OK' record.

As apparent from the several news stories & reports above, Amazon fails to deliver on its position that it provides women with equal opportunities and pay. In conclusion, it seems that the company cherry-picks statistics that are favourable to its narrative as a company that is close to closing the gender wage gap6,11.

Good Health and Well-being

Amazon cuts healthcare benefits for part-time Whole Foods employees

Profile elanaw
Icon time Tue May 12th, 2020 at 6:15am

Last September, Amazon announced that it is cutting healthcare benefits to all part-time employees at Whole Foods Markets. This comes less than a month after CEO Jeff Bezos signed a statement pledging to invest in workers, providing important benefits and fair compensation. With the US now struggling under the COVID19 Pandemic, this may now have bleak repercussions1.