Protecting Natural Resources
We strive to source and use natural resources like water, raw materials, and ingredients in a responsible way across our business and supply chain. We’re also investing in conservation and restoration initiatives to support carbon emissions reductions, while protecting the natural world, wildlife habitats, and biodiversity.
We invest in land conservation and restoration initiatives to mitigate carbon emissions across our business and supply chain, and also to help preserve the natural world. In our AWS data centers, we are investing in projects to reduce our water footprint, use more sustainable sources such as recycled water and harvested rainwater, and put discharged water back into our communities.
We have a commitment to make AWS water positive by 2030: returning more water to communities and the environment than we use in our data center operations. Guided by our Supply Chain Standards, we are committed to responsibly sourcing raw materials and ingredients used in our Amazon Private Brands products across categories, including apparel, grocery, home, electronics, and more.
Nature-based solutions are conservation, restoration, and improved land management activities that increase carbon storage in areas such as forests, wetlands, peatlands, and grasslands. They have the additional benefit of helping to preserve the natural world by conserving wildlife habitats, protecting biodiversity, improving water quality, and reducing flood risk.
In our AWS data centers specifically, we’re investing in projects to reduce our water footprint, use more-sustainable sources such as recycled water and harvested rainwater, and put discharged water back into our communities. AWS has a commitment to be water positive by 2030, while working with nonprofits and public partners to support water access, availability, and quality.
Across our business, we strive to support responsible supply chains and contribute to growing circular economies.
For our Amazon Private Brands products, we’re working to enhance the certification and traceability of key raw materials and ingredients used. We participate in industry partnerships and working groups that drive greater adoption of sustainable and responsible practices.
As a retailer of animal-derived products, we recognize our responsibility to uphold animal welfare within our supply chain. We expect our suppliers to uphold the Five Freedoms framework for animal welfare, which mandates freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury, or disease; freedom to express normal behavior; and freedom from fear and distress.
We expect our suppliers to comply with all applicable laws and to take a zero-tolerance approach to animal cruelty, abuse, and neglect. We encourage suppliers to continually improve their animal welfare standards and practices, and to work toward recognized animal welfare certifications or industry guidelines that include welfare provisions. For information about animal welfare at Whole Foods Market, see our Meat Department Quality Standards.
Amazon and Whole Foods Market are committed to sourcing fresh and frozen beef from regions with low deforestation risk or with full supply chain traceability in our grocery Private Brands in North America and Europe by the end of 2025.
For our Grocery Private Brands selection in North America and Europe, we are committed to sourcing cocoa that is certified against sustainability standards by Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, Fair Trade USA, or other independently verified third-party schemes (such as Cocoa Horizons) by 2025.
Our Grocery Private Brands selection in Europe already meets these standards. All 365 by Whole Foods Market-brand chocolate bars, chocolate chips, and baking chocolate are certified by Fair Trade USA.
For our Grocery Private Brands selection in North America and Europe, we are committed to sourcing coffee that is certified against sustainability standards by Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, or Fair Trade USA by 2025.
Our Grocery Private Brands selection in Europe already meets these standards, while most of the North American selection is certified. All Whole Foods Market and 365 by Whole Foods Market-packaged coffee is ethically sourced and certified according to an approved third-party certification, including Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade USA, or Fair Trade International.
We source all cotton for Amazon Private Brands apparel products from more-sustainable sources. We define more-sustainable as sourced from recycled materials, from farms certified as producing organic cotton, or through the Better Cotton Initiative.
Amazon is committed to sourcing cage-free eggs in our grocery Private Brands whole shell egg products in North America and Europe. In 2022, we expanded our cage-free shell and liquid eggs commitment to apply to our entire section in North America, three years ahead of schedule. At Whole Foods Market, all shell and liquid eggs sold in our dairy cases and used in our kitchens and bakeries in the U.S. go beyond cage-free and are audited to one of four production systems to meet Whole Foods Market’s Animal Welfare Standards for Laying Hens.
We’re striving to source all leather for our Amazon Private Brands apparel and shoe products from more-sustainable sources by the end of 2023. To achieve this, we will source from tanneries that meet the Leather Working Group’s Bronze-level or higher.
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers
We source all man-made cellulosic fibers—including rayon, viscose, lyocell, and modal—for our Amazon Private Brands apparel products from more-sustainable sources. We use the nonprofit Canopy’s tools and reports to help avoid fibers sourced from endangered forests, endangered species’ habitats, or other controversial sources.
Amazon uses palm oil certified against sustainability standards in our Private Brands food and nonfood grocery products in North America and Europe. In a small number of cases, palm oil credits may be used to cover small volumes and complex derivatives. We revisit these cases annually with applicable suppliers and agree on plans to transition to physically certified palm oil where possible. In addition, all 365 by Whole Foods Market-brand food items containing palm oil, palm kernel oil, palm fruit oil, and palm shortening are produced using sustainable oil products. Whole Foods Market is committed to expanding this sourcing standard to nonfood items under its exclusive brands.
In addition to complying with the European restrictions on the use of gestation crates, Amazon is committed to sourcing gestation crate-free pork by 2025 in our Grocery Private Brands fresh pork products in North America. At Whole Foods Market, all pork sold in the Meat Department is also crate-free and certified by the Global Animal Partnership—a nonprofit alliance of producers, retailers, animal advocates, and scientists that certifies producers’ animal welfare practices to more than 100 animal welfare standards. See Whole Foods Market’s Meat Department Quality Standards for more information.
We’re increasing the use of recycled fabrics in Amazon Private Brands apparel products, including moving from conventional to recycled polyester, and launching products made from innovative recycled fibers.
Amazon Grocery Private Brands offers wild-caught and farmed seafood that is certified or rated against sustainability criteria and can be traced back to the source. This applies to fresh or frozen single-ingredient products as well as to any product in which seafood makes up more than 5% or is in the top three ingredients. All fresh and frozen seafood in the Whole Foods Market Seafood department must be Responsibly Farmed or sustainable wild-caught (including frozen and breaded options, appetizers, smoked seafood and seafood dips). This applies wherever the seafood is sourced. Canned tuna must be sustainable wild-caught and traceable to the boats.
We are working with a third-party advisor to further analyze soy used in our complex supply chain and will share more information by the end of 2023.
For our Grocery Private Brands selection in North America and Europe, we are committed to sourcing tea that is certified against sustainability standards by Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International, or Fair Trade USA by 2025. All 365 by Whole Foods Market tea is certified by Fair Trade USA or Rainforest Alliance.
Wood, Paper, and Pulp
In North America and Europe, Grocery Private Brands are committed to sourcing paper products such as paper towels, toilet paper, and facial tissue that are certified against sustainability standards, or as recycled by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. All 365 by Whole Foods Market paper products are either made from 100% recycled materials or certified by FSC.
We are conducting further analysis of the paper packaging used in our grocery Private Brands and will share more information by the end of 2023.
Part of our commitment to quality is avoiding chemicals of concern in our products that can affect human health and/or the environment. We define chemicals of concern as those chemicals that:
- Meet the criteria for classification as a carcinogen, mutagen, or reproductive or other systemic toxicant; or
- Are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic.
We use leading science and customer feedback to prioritize which chemicals of concern to focus on based on product type, customer concerns, and the availability of safer alternatives.