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Marketing and Comms
Two Years On, Amazon Lead Reflects on Success, Opportunities Within Climate Pledge Friendly Program

The retailer’s marketplace for more sustainable products now includes 300,000 products and 20,000 brands vetted through a range of well-known certifications.

In 2020, Amazon launched Climate Pledge Friendly (CPF) as a program not only to streamline access to the myriad items with sustainability certifications available through its stores, but to educate consumers on what actually constitutes a “more sustainable” purchase.

“A huge learning is that we’ve been able to confirm that this is something customers want,” Cameron Westfall, Head of Product and Engineering for CPF, told Sustainable Brands®.

The company reports that in 2021 it shipped more than 370 million CPF-labeled units to Amazon customers and found that the addition of the label provides an average 10 percent lift in page views.

“So, the demand is there; now, we just need to continue to scale and keep improving on our customer experience,” he added.

CPF now encompasses 300,000 products and 20,000 brands in the US.

Climate Pledge Friendly includes grocery, household, fashion, beauty and personal electronics products, among others — from brands such as Seventh Generation, Nestlé, Allegro Tea and Jabra. CPF products are clearly labeled in shopping results, have additional sustainability information on product pages and are featured in a dedicated section of the site.

Starting at certifications

Westfall explained that the foundation of CPF is in a range of certifications that allow for inclusions of a diverse range of products that meet sustainability standards. Amazon maintains a high bar for certifications in the CPF program, some of which are included in Amazon’s source commitments for its private brands. For example, the retailer is striving to source all leather for its Amazon Private Brands apparel and shoe products from more sustainable sources by the end of 2023 by sourcing from tanneries that meet the Leather Working Group's bronze-level award or higher.

Although the breadth of certifications is wide-ranging, Westfall does see opportunity for improvement.

“We primarily rely on third-party certifiers to qualify products for the program; but we have noticed some gaps where there isn’t a certification,” he says.

To address this, Amazon developed its own certifications, Compact by Design and Pre-Owned Certified. The former aims to identify products that have a more efficient design, focusing on the removal of excess air and water; while the latter is an initiative to offer more circular product choices through resale of certain goods such as electronics and tools.

Late last year, the company also launched Amazon Aware, which features a range of everyday household items — from apparel and bedding to cleaning supplies — all certified carbon neutral and earning additional certifications in the CPF program.

“If a product is more sustainable in some way, we want it to be easy for the customer to find; and we’re always looking to grow the selection, while preserving our trusted high bar,” Westfall noted.

Customer discovery and ease remains front and center

The next phase for CPF is to continue increasing the selection and the ability for customers to easily find and learn more about CPF products. Amazon is working towards this by allowing customers to filter for Climate Pledge Friendly products, adding the CPF label to show in product search results, and working with brands to build out content on their detail page to further tell their sustainability stories.

This past year, Amazon experimented with new ways to add unique selection to the CPF program; these include its first-ever Products for Tomorrow program — which provided $20,000 grants to small businesses creating innovative, sustainably-focused products. Winners of the grants will be featured in multiple Amazon storefronts this fall.

Additionally, the company launched rare/self — a new Amazon Fashion brand co-created with Yannik Zamboni, winner of Prime Video’s Making the Cut season 3. In lieu of traditional sizing, rare/self features an all-gender size curve; and every product in the assortment has third-party sustainability certifications featured in CPF.

CPF represents a multi-faceted approach for Amazon, especially as it continues to work towards its 2040 net-zero carbon emissions pledge.

“One of our key leadership principles is customer obsession,” Westfall asserted. “To be customer-obsessed for us means providing customers a wide selection at low prices and also doing business that is good for the planet.”