Amazon

Company Score

-1.84
Industry Retailing
Country United States
Year Added 2018
Impact Ratings 1315
Impact Notes 19
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

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.

Gender Equality

Amazon Saheli - An initiative run by Amazon India to support Women entrepreneurs

Profile Abhishek
Icon time Tue May 5th, 2020 at 10:24am

Amazon Saheli, an initiative started by Amazon India in November 2017, works in partnership with social organizations such as Self Employed Women Association (SEWA), and Impulse Social Enterprise among others1The Saheli store is a dedicated storefront on Amazon.in to display women entrepreneurs' products and facilitate to sell their products to thousands of Amazon customers across the country. The storefront offers the women entrepreneurs and artisans who work with these social organizations access to the Amazon India marketplace and logistical infrastructureThe e-marketplace model is an avenue for women entrepreneurs to benefit from the fast-growing digital economy6.

Gender Equality

Recruitment bias case and gender inequality within male-dominated Amazon.com

Profile adriana
Icon time Mon May 4th, 2020 at 9:23am

One of the biggest companies in the US, Amazon.com is not really fairing well in the terms of equal employment opportunity. With its 674,000 employees worldwide, they proudly advertise that 5 out 10 independent board members are women 1. However, there have been a lot of setbacks and hindrances in hiring women.