Mary Hanbury 9 hrs ago
Jeff Bezos may have pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, but critics are slamming the billionaire for not making changes closer to home first and reducing the amount of packaging used to send out Amazon parcels.
“Could he please start with his ridiculous packaging that he leaves on our doorstep??? Perhaps the amazon delivery could collect the significant waste left behind,” one Amazon shopper wrote on Twitter.
“If #Bezos wants to do something for the world, he can start with his excessive packaging. Amazon shipping is the most wasteful of any retailer out there. Is junking up the world with plastics part of #BezosEarthFund?” another wrote.
Bezos announced his $10 billion pledge in an Instagram post on Monday. The money will be donated via a new initiative called the Bezos Earth Fund.
Related video: More about Bezos’ pledge (provided by CNBC)
Amazon has frequently been called out for its tendency to use large amounts of packaging to send out small items and there are numerous posts documenting this habit on social media with shoppers sharing images of giant boxes used to house one relatively small item:
@AmazonUK You just delivered to me a slim 1m long boom pole in this massive 1.5x1m box! Gobsmacked by this shocking waste of resources on a planet that is already suffocating. As a huge contributor to packaging waste how can you justify this? #amazon #packaging #waste pic.twitter.com/saC5pwBArg
— matt pelly (@mattpelly) December 15, 2017
@amazon you’ve gotta be kidding me with this packaging!!!! What a collosal waste. pic.twitter.com/08hPhOVFbX
— Samantha (@SamCo2889) February 16, 2020
Ordered 3x peelers from @AmazonUK last night (because it was a minimum order quantity)… So why did you have to pack them in 3 separate pieces of packaging?! #excessivepackaging #packingwaste #amazon #waste pic.twitter.com/0U1ThOqMU5
— Rob O’Hagan (@Rob_OHagan) February 16, 2020
@amazon you should probably look into whoever is in charge of packaging. All this box for 1 tiny little pack of lightbulbs the size of a AAA battery. I get boxes like this all the time. Imagine the profits going to waste here. pic.twitter.com/X1NIm3EeN3
— Justin (@flik623) February 11, 2020
In some cases, Amazon customer service agents have responded to customer’s complaints on Twitter, saying that they will look into it:
@amazon you guys must really hate the environment. This is ridiculous. A huge box for a tiny bottle of nail polish? The packaging probably cost more than the nail polish. How do you make money? This should be your corporate initiative this year. Reduce packaging waste. pic.twitter.com/saD3Lz7QD8
— Apextroll (@Apextroll2) July 23, 2019
A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on this.
Bezos said that the $10 billion will be used to fund the work done by scientists, activists, and NGOs among others “to help preserve and protect the natural world.”
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” he wrote on Instagram. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.” The grants will be issued from this summer onward.
His announcement comes after mounting pressure from Amazon employees to do more to fight climate change as one of the world’s largest retailers.
In January, more than 350 employees signed a petition that called out the company’s climate change practices and urged Bezos to invest more money into fighting this cause rather than putting it toward his space exploration company, Blue Origin, for example.
“Amazon, the Earth is our only home. Spend more money on fighting Climate Change than on space exploration!” one Amazon employee wrote in the Medium post, which was reported by Business Insider’s Isobel Hamilton.
© Justin Sullivan / Getty
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Nearly 40 cents out of every retail dollar Americans spend online now go to Amazon—the company commands a full 4% of U.S. retail as a whole. Three-quarters of a million workers earn a living through Amazon, and more than 100 million Prime subscribers consider Amazon their online home base. Although they’ve long enjoyed free two-day shipping, Prime members now also get a massive library of entertainment, e-books, grocery services, cloud storage, and gaming. The early investors who bought into the company when it first went public rode a wave of nearly unprecedented growth—those who made an initial investment of just $1,000 are now millionaires. Amazon is ranked among the five biggest corporations in America, and its founder is the richest human being on Earth. It’s responsible for starting a trend that cracked the foundations of traditional retail and changed the way things are bought and sold. Former giants like Sears and Toys “R” Us have crumbled under the pressure of e-commerce, a revolution that Amazon stoked more than any other single entity—but it wasn’t always that way. When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in his garage in 1994, the company he launched wouldn’t be profitable for years to come. It was part of an avalanche of new tech startups riding a wave of new and uncertain technology—most of them would quickly go bust. It started with an idea to let people browse and buy books from their computers instead of going into physical bookstores and choosing from the limited selection they found inside. It was a revolutionary idea, and Amazon soon became the world’s biggest bookstore. Then it became the “Everything Store.” Later it became a wealth-generating machine, with tentacles reaching everywhere from electric vehicles and cloud computing to production studios and grocery stores. It’s heavily scrutinized and controversial—plans to open new headquarters recently sparked both ferocious bidding wars and fierce political blowback at the same time. Stacker compiled a list of key moments in Amazon’s history and its current business from a variety of sources. Here’s a look at the events that turned an online bookstore into a global conglomerate and a self-made entrepreneur into the world’s richest man.
From the dawn of e-commerce in 1994 to today, Amazon evolved from an online bookstore to a global corporate powerhouse.