As one of the most successful and valuable companies in the world – even more valuable than Microsoft as of 2018 – Amazon has incredible market presence. It is one of the biggest household names and its logo and branding is immediately recognisable. With this in mind, it makes sense that Amazon would be one of the most influential companies of our time, which means it needs to be very careful about how its image is perceived throughout the world – and its impact on the world itself.
This month, an open letter signed by over 3,500 Amazon employees was published online, addressing Amazon’s action – or current lack thereof – against climate change.
The letter was addressed to Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, along with the company’s board of directors. The body of the letter dealt with Amazon’s potential to be pioneers for the climate change movement, and to make a real difference in this crisis.
The tech industry has had its fair share of public employee action, pushing back against their bosses on a range of issues, including Amazon’s previous decision to allow government figures to purchase facial recognition technologies. By making their plight available for all to see on the internet, the Amazon employees are making sure their voices are heard and that Amazon – with its strong internet presence and determination to keep loyal customers – cannot ignore their request.
The Amazon employees’ open letter has shone light on the involvement of Amazon with oil and gas industry giants, and has cited this as a contributing factor to the inadequate company protocol for climate change action. The employees call for new environmental goals for the company, particularly asking the directors to ensure that Amazon moves away from traditional fossil fuel consumption completely. They want the company to use its power and global influence to focus on tackling climate change, as well as making sure that Amazon is in the forefront of identifying solutions, as a role model for others.
In response to the open letter, Amazon’s representative has assured the media that the company has high standards of environmental initiatives, which it honours consistently. It claims that it continues to work on the reduction of the carbon footprint for the large number of shipping that is required by its customers. Amazon said that it considers itself as working towards being the most customer-focused company in the entire world. This would in turn require it to ensure its environmental considerations match this level of commitment.
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