Every day, we donate 50,000 items to help people in need
At Amazon, we’re committed to our customers and the communities in which we operate. When I started leading Returns and ReCommerce in 2017 I challenged my team to think of ways we could leverage our supply chain and operational scale for good. We set out to innovate quickly to help make investments in supporting our neighbours in need, and give a second life to as many products as possible to help reduce waste.
Supporting Amazon’s community initiatives and commitment to operating a sustainable business for our customers and the planet, we first identified an opportunity to adjust our logistics network to automatically donate eligible overstock and returned products from Amazon.com instead of sending these to be recycled or to landfills. I’m proud to say that these efforts have given hundreds of thousands of communities, families and people in countries around the world access to millions of critical items including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, France, Poland and Czech Republic. But we didn’t want to stop there.
Combining what we learned from our Amazon.com donations programs and a desire to provide the same solution to sellers using FBA, we then launched the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) Donations program last fall to help bring even more items to those in need, and minimise waste.
FBA Donations is an easy, automatic way for sellers using FBA to donate their overstock or returned items. The entire FBA Donations process is “hands off” for sellers—from coordination to delivery—we use our supply chain and operational expertise so that the right items get to the right charity partners to help more people to benefit, and give more products a second life.
Since its launch, FBA Donations has provided over 20 million products from sellers using FBA to charitable organisations around the world. In the U.S., we work with nonprofit Good360 and in the U.K. we partner with charitable organisations including, The Salvation Army.
Some of these donated items have included household appliances, tools, school supplies, children’s items, clothing, and more. They’ve helped support people that have been impacted by COVID-19, have special needs or disabilities, are seniors, veterans or immigrants, or in a low income household. Hearing from donation recipients and seeing how we’ve helped these charity partners is one of the most rewarding parts of my day.
I’m so proud of the support we’ve given to communities, families and the planet through this program, and I’m excited to share that we’ve now expanded the FBA Donations program to France. We are working with two charity partners, The French Red Cross and Secours Populaire to reach underrepresented and underserved communities, families, and people in need across the country.
We expect to donate hundreds of thousands of items in France alone next year.
Supporting those who need it most in the U.K.
In the U.K. we work with the Salvation Army Trading Company. This charitable organisation offers help and support to some of the most disadvantaged people across the country through 225 charity shops. These shops take-in donated items like clothes, shoes, handbags, household and kitchen items, and more, and then offers them at an affordable price. The items we’ve been able to donate have gone directly into these shops, and have helped raise funds for the charity to provide a wide range of vital services including support for people experiencing homelessness and delivering food parcels to struggling families as well as continue being a friendly face for those who need it most.
The generous support from Amazon during this time has enabled us to raise vital funds to support The Salvation Army’s work in changing lives, especially those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In the last few months we’ve seen some of our community hubs record more than a 170% increase in families having access to essential food parcels from The Salvation Army. Amazon’s support is incredibly welcome and has helped our front-line staff and volunteers to support those who need it most.
Giving back to communities and the planet
In addition to supporting communities around the world, we are also relentless in our pursuit to minimise waste, increase recycling, and provide options for products sold on our site to be reused, repaired, and recycled. FBA Donations, along with a number of other programs, helps to ensure that items in our logistics and supply chain network—whether unsold or returned—finds a second use. These efforts help build a circular economy by keeping material out of landfills and getting more helpful and critical items into the hands of people who need it most.
This program is one of many sustainability initiatives across Amazon, including goals such as The Climate Pledge, the company’s commitment to net zero carbon by 2040, and 100% renewable energy by 2025. The less material in landfills and more products being reused, repaired, or recycled means a smaller amount of greenhouse gases for the planet, and a positive impact on the planet and society.