Amazon

Amazon.com is the second largest online U.S. retailer of consumer electronics with revenue of $61 billion in 2012, yet offers no comprehensive electronic waste take-back options for the vast majority of electronics it sells.

In 2013, As You Sow filed a shareholder proposal asking Amazon to explore ways it can provide its customers with take-back of used electronics.

We withdrew the proposal in exchange for a series of in-person meetings with company management to discuss the feasibility of crafting a policy on used electronics recycling. One of the meetings will include representatives from NGOs to educate the company about a range of related issues including commitments made by brands and other retailers, U.S. state laws and international laws, and the nuances of e-waste certification programs.

The Amazon.com website says “we're constantly looking for ways to further reduce our environmental impact,” yet there’s no option for consumers who have end-of-life materials to safely and conveniently recycle them through Amazon.com.

The company does offer a poorly promoted recycling service for its Kindle product, but not for the myriad other kinds of electronics it sells online.

By contrast, Dell Inc. provides shipping labels and offers free recycling for all products it sells. Customers may also drop off computer equipment in any condition at more than 2,000 participating Goodwill store locations. Electronics retailer Best Buy takes back a wide variety of electronics for free and Staples and Office Depot also offer take back. Best Buy has collected and recycled 180 million pounds of electronics in the last three years.

Read more about our engagements with Amazon below.

Consumer Packaging 2017

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

BE IT RESOLVED THAT: Shareowners of Amazon.com request that the board of directors issue a report at reasonable cost, omitting confidential information, assessing the environmental impacts of continued use of foam packing materials, including quantifying the amount that could reach the environment, and assessing the potential for increased risk of adverse health effects to marine animals and humans.

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2017 Engagements

Electronic Waste 2016

STATUS: Blocked by Company at SEC

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Amazon.com’s Board of Directors prepare a report, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential information, on the company's policy options to reduce potential pollution and public health problems from electronic waste generated as a result of its sales to consumers,  and to increase the safe recycling of such wastes.

Filing Documents

Electronic Waste 2013

STATUS: Withdrawn; Company will address

In 2013, As You Sow filed a shareholder proposal asking Amazon to explore ways it can provide its customers with take-back of used electronics. We withdrew the proposal in exchange for a series of in-person meetings with company management to discuss the feasibility of crafting a policy on used electronics recycling.

Filing Documents

Related 2013 Engagements