Amazon was incorporated in 1994 and is headquartered in the US. Amazon.com is a leading online shopping platform, offering websites in about 35 countries and shipping to 130 countries. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the largest cloud computing providers, available in 30 geographic regions worldwide. Next to this, Amazon manufactures electronic devices, such as e-readers and speakers, and provides audio and video streaming through Amazon Prime.
Amazon supports digital inclusivity for women and girls through its partnership with Girls in Tech, a global non-profit focused on encouraging women and girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The company also reports its indirect economic impact in the US.
Amazon supports digital skills through its Amazon Future Engineer programme, focused on teaching introductory computer science and coding skills to students from underrepresented communities. It also has several programmes to teach tech skills, such as the AWS re/Start programme, which prepares jobseekers for careers in cloud computing.
Amazon follows industry norms by monitoring and responding to cybersecurity threats and making its information security management certificate public. It supports child online safety by providing parental control in the use of its services and partnering with national and international authorities on child safety.
Amazon’s commitment to open source initiatives and standards is evident through its participation in standards organisations and in several open source projects, and its collaboration with universities on open source topics. Further, the company supports the tech start-up ecosystem through a venture capital fund, and it supports solutions for environmental sustainability through The Climate Pledge Fund. The company supports start-ups founded by persons from underrepresented groups – specifically women, and people from black, Hispanic and LGTBQ+ communities – through its Black Business Accelerator and AWS Impact Accelerator. Moreover, the Amazon Sustainability Data Initiative (ASDI) provides publicly available and free access to important scientific data for researchers, scientists, and innovators around the world to advance their work on sustainability-related research.
The company does not disclose the number of its employees with disabilities. Nor does it describe how it creates an inclusive workplace for people with disabilities. Amazon also has an opportunity to contribute to programmes that focus on providing universal and affordable access to digital technologies. The company reports its indirect economic impact in the US, but it should also disclose how the economic value it generates is distributed among stakeholders globally and the income taxes it pays and employment in its main markets.
The company has an opportunity to enhance its contribution to skills development by supporting initiatives for teaching digital skills that can be used in non-tech careers. Furthermore, it can provide disclosure of participation numbers for its existing digital skills programmes.
Amazon has an opportunity to demonstrate support for inclusive, diverse and ethical innovation by reporting the number of women working in tech roles at the company, the locations of its R&D facilities and how it considers ethics in its R&D activities.
Core Social Assessment
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Amazon commits to respecting human rights and the ILO core labour rights. The company also requires that its business relationships commit to respecting most of the ILO core labour rights. However, it does not require its business relationships to commit to respecting the right to collective bargaining. The company identifies and engages with stakeholders whose human rights could be impacted by its operations. It also has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. Additionally, the company discloses a process to identify and assess salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships.
Amazon publicly commits to respecting worker health and safety, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. The company does not disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers in its direct operations to work more than the regular and overtime hours. Amazon does, however, require its business relationships to limit the working week to 60 hours including overtime, but it does not require suppliers to limit the regular working week to 48 hours. Amazon discloses a minimum wage for its operations in Canada, the UK and the US. However, the company does not disclose whether this minimum wage is enough for an employee and their family to maintain a decent standard of living. As a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles, Amazon commits to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and provides information on employee numbers in different employee categories by gender. It has an opportunity to also provide employee figures for more indicators of diversity, such as age group.
Amazon has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. It also has a grievance mechanism for stakeholders to raise concerns and complaints on the topic. The company does not disclose any relevant information in relation to tax, such as a global tax strategy or its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions. Furthermore, Amazon has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures