A chemical safety group has ranked Amazon poorly for its methods of controlling the presence of toxic chemicals in the merchandise it sells. Now Amazon is developing a plan to improve its standing amid higher ranked rivals like Apple, Walmart and Target.
Amazon.com Inc. is developing a plan to regulate the chemicals used by suppliers, but it still lags Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and other retailers in the push for greener products.
That’s the assessment of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families—a Washington-based coalition that runs a program called Mind the Store. Though Amazon is now developing chemicals procedures, the e-commerce giant fared badly in Mind the Store’s ranking, which tracks how well companies reduce the toxic chemicals in the products they sell and disclose their presence.
As Amazon’s share of retail sales grows, its corporate stewardship is coming under greater scrutiny. That’s raised pressure to evaluate its products—especially as rivals take a stand on the issue.
“Companies are seeing there’s a market advantage to demonstrating that they’re increasing the transparency of products and taking meaningful action to getting the worst of the worst chemicals out,” said Mike Schade, co-author of the report and Mind the Store’s campaign director.
For now, Amazon’s efforts to police the ingredients in its products are limited. It shuns certain “chemicals of concern” in some of its private-brand products, such as its Elements baby wipes, according to the report. Ty Rogers, a spokesman for the Seattle-based company, declined to comment.