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Since 2020, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly program has helped customers discover and shop for more sustainable products. We asked Amazon's Adam Werbach how the program began, what the company has learned, and his vision for the program’s future.
Shaw’s annual sustain[HUMAN]ability® Leadership Recognition
recognizes organizations working on innovative projects and initiatives that
support the wellbeing of people and the planet. In 2019,
Amazon co-founded and became the first signatory of
a commitment to be net-zero carbon across its business by 2040, 10 years ahead
of the Paris Agreement. As a continuation of its efforts, in 2020, Amazon
introduced its Climate Pledge
to help customers discover and shop for more sustainable products, while
encouraging its selling partners to prioritize sustainable product creation.
Climate Pledge Friendly products have earned one of several third-party
recognized by Amazon or by its own Compact by Design certification.
And the retail giant just announced that it aims to follow suit for shopping
sustainability with its physical stores, as well: The latest Amazon Fresh
location, in Seattle, is the world’s first grocery store pursuing Zero
Carbon certification from the International Living Future
interviewed Adam Werbach — Global Lead of Sustainable Shopping at Amazon —
to find out more about how the Climate Pledge Friendly program began, what
Amazon has learned, and his vision for the program’s future.
AW: Of all the customers who shop online today, about
half prioritize and consider
sustainability when making purchase decisions. As a company obsessed with
customers, it was one reason we were inspired to launch the Climate Pledge
Friendly program to help shoppers find more sustainable products. The program
makes it more convenient for shoppers to discover more sustainable products; and
it’s an opportunity and incentive for sellers to showcase their products more
visibly to customers.
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AW: Just over a year since its launch, the program is continuing to grow. We
now partner with 39 trusted third-party certifications — including Rainforest
Alliance, EWG, Cradle to Cradle Certified and Fairtrade
— all of which are key to helping customers identify products that have a strong
record of being more sustainable. With Climate Pledge Friendly, we’re doing the
hard work on behalf of our customers — putting scientific rigor behind
identifying the most credible standards, and building customer trust through
We also developed our own certification, Compact by
Design — which certifies items, such
as a Dove Beauty Bar, that remove the use of excess air and water or require
less packaging, ultimately making them more efficient to ship. We recently
announced that the program has surpassed a major milestone — certifying more
than 200,000 shoppable products from over 10,000 brands across beauty, wellness,
apparel, tech, home goods and more.
Brands that have products with sustainability certifications that are part of
the Climate Pledge Friendly program have shared that the visible badging on
product pages has impacted their sales positively. For example, since becoming
certified in September 2020, Seventh Generation shared that its marketing
for Climate Pledge Friendly-certified products delivered more than 60 percent
higher click-through rates, more than 140 percent higher new-to-brand purchase
rates, and a more than 40 percent reduction in cost-per-purchase for its
Post-purchase studies are showing positive signals in terms of customer support,
switching behavior and repeat-purchase behavior, with customers switching to
participating brands and purchasing them again.
AW: Although we have made great strides in growing the program to date, we
are actively working to continue to expand the selection of products and
certifications. Customers tell us that they are not able to find Climate Pledge
Friendly options in all categories where they expect to find these products; so
we take that as an opportunity to challenge ourselves every day to move faster,
because we have a responsibility to both our customers and the planet.
We are inspired by the partnerships with certifiers and brands, as we work with
them hand-in-hand to showcase more sustainable products and promote more
sustainable purchases by consumers. Certifiers wake up every day and try to
figure out how customers can use their purchasing power to create good in the
world. We’re proud to support them.
AW: This is just the beginning. With the continued growth of certifiers and
our expanded catalogue of over 200,000 products and counting, we are hopeful
that we can provide even more options for customers interested in shopping more
sustainably. We will continue to seek opportunities to expand Climate Pledge
Friendly across new categories and in new countries, growing awareness of the
program and educating customers on the importance of preserving the natural
This article is part of a series recognizing the second slate of organizations
to be honored by Shaw’s sustain[HUMAN]ability® Leadership Recognition
Program. The nine organizations selected for this year’s recognition program
have displayed tremendous effort and progress to support the wellbeing of people
and the planet amid the unprecedented challenges of 2020. To read more about the
other organizations recognized by Shaw, visit the landing page for this blog series.
Published Mar 17, 2022 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 12pm GMT / 1pm CET
Kellie Ballew is the VP of Global Sustainability for Shaw Industries Group, Inc. — a global provider of sustainable floor coverings and the world’s largest carpet manufacturer. A 25-year company veteran, Kellie has a long history of partnering with Shaw leaders to leverage market insights and technical expertise to inform, influence, and support business decisions.
This article, produced in cooperation with the Sustainable Brands editorial team, has been paid for by one of our sponsors.