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Amazon broadens 'Climate Pledge Friendly' badge system in the US and Europe

Packages on shelves in a brick-and-mortar store where customers can receive products from Amazon.com
Jonathan Weiss

Amazon has expanded its climate-friendly certification for products listed on its online retail sites in Europe and the U.S., announcing four more green badges covering chemicals, organic products, animal welfare and human health in a bid to enable more sustainable shopping choices.

The retail and tech behemoth first launched its "Climate Pledge Friendly" badges for qualifying items sold on its platforms across five European countries last autumn, a move which has since expanded to encompass more than 75,000 products across both Europe and the U.S.

The certification badges initially indicated whether goods have met one or more of 27 third party sustainability certifications, but this week Amazon said another four certification bodies officially had joined the scheme, providing climate-friendly badges for products across the grocery, household and beauty sectors.

A label denoting whether products and ingredients have achieved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "Safer Choice" criteria for both human and environmental health has been added, as has an EWG Verified label on chemical safety for manufacturers committed to using safer ingredients, according to Amazon.

A Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC) certification badge for food, textiles and personal care ingredients demonstrating that farms and products meet high standards for soil health, animal welfare and social fairness also will be carried on qualifying products, the tech giant said.

And, an Animal Welfare Approved food label has been added to verify that animals have been raised on more sustainable, independent farms, with no hormones, animal byproducts and confinement used during their lives.

Products eligible for Climate Pledge Friendly labels are identified in shopping results, have additional information about the certifications that make the product Climate Pledge Friendly, and are featured in a dedicated section of Amazon's web store, the firm explained.

"Customers want a way to make more sustainable and informed shopping choices, and Climate Pledge Friendly is ramping up its efforts to help customers know their purchases meet sustainability standards and are helping to preserve the natural world," said Adam Werbach, global lead for sustainable shopping at Amazon. "We are excited to add EWG Verified, EPA Safer Choice, Regenerative Organic Certification, and Animal Welfare Approved to the Climate Pledge Friendly program's trusted third-party certifications, which allow customers to discover and shop even more Climate Pledge Friendly brands and products." 

It follows recent criticism of Amazon — including from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson — over reports from ITV that the company has been destroying millions of items of unsold stock in the U.K. every year. In response, Amazon has insisted it is working towards a goal of zero product disposal, and that at present no items are sent to landfill in the U.K.

The announcement builds on a series of major green commitments from the company over the past couple of years, including its pledge last year to reach net-zero emissions by 2040, plans to switch its road fleet to zero emission vehicles, and a goal to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030, a feat it expects to achieve five years ahead of schedule in 2025.

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