Our Responsible Sourcing Program focuses on suppliers of Amazon-branded products, consisting of Amazon Private Brands, Amazon devices, and a curated selection of brands exclusively sold in Amazon’s store. Through this program, we engage in robust supplier due diligence, prioritizing mechanisms that drive continuous improvement. We are committed to working with our suppliers to remedy issues and establish systems to prevent future issues. We expect our suppliers to consistently monitor and enforce our standards in their own operations and supply chain as well as make improvements to meet or exceed our expectations. We use independent auditors to verify supplier compliance with our Supply Chain Standards though regular on-site inspections and confidential worker interviews.
Our approach is based on a commitment to workers and to continuous improvement; we put the safety and interests of workers first. Suppliers are required to meaningfully participate in any investigation and take immediate action in the event that issues are found. An acceptable corrective action plan details the root cause of the issue and the steps, both short-term and long-term, supplier management will take to fix it. In most situations, we will support suppliers through the remediation process, but where a supplier refuses to remediate, we may choose to terminate the relationship. Failure to meet our standards has been a factor in our decision to terminate hundreds of suppliers.
Stage 1Supplier submits Amazon-approved audit of facility
Stage 2If issues are identified, Amazon will issue a request for a Corrective Action Plan
Stage 3Remediation of identified issues is tracked through follow-on verification audits
Step 4Once in production, supplier is audited on an ongoing basis
Step 5If a supplier refuses to remediate an issue, Amazon may choose to terminate the relationship
About Our Assessment Results
We assess our suppliers of Amazon-branded products across four main categories: 1) Labor, 2) Health and Safety, 3) Environment, and 4) Ethics. These categories are divided into subcategories, such as non-discrimination, emergency preparedness, hazardous substances, and transparency. Findings within each subcategory are flagged as High, Medium, or Low depending on the level of severity.
Amazon focuses on setting a high bar for new suppliers and refusing to go to production until suppliers remediate High level findings identified in our assessments. We recognize that some issues may take time to effectively remediate. For Medium level issues, we expect suppliers to show they are making meaningful progress toward remediation within a defined timeline. For Low level issues, we monitor suppliers for continuous improvement. We have dedicated teams based in key sourcing countries around the globe that work directly with our suppliers to identify solutions to challenging problems and promote open dialogue. We seek to create long-term relationships with suppliers who align with our values and are committed to constantly improving conditions for workers. Where we see trends in issues beyond individual suppliers, such as widespread health and safety deficits or industry-wide failures to responsibly protect migrant workers, we work to define regional or global strategies to address underlying systemic challenges.
We share our supplier assessment data to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and to contribute to industry-wide knowledge on complex and changing supply chain conditions. In 2020, we conducted 4,708 assessments to help us determine which suppliers to work with and, for those we do engage, to help us continually understand and improve those suppliers’ practices. We utilize three types of assessments:
- Pre-Production Assessments: Suppliers must submit an Amazon-approved assessment of their facilities before beginning production of Amazon-branded products (44% of assessments conducted in 2020 were Pre-Production Assessments).
- Ongoing Assessments: Suppliers must submit Amazon-approved assessments on an ongoing basis while producing Amazon products (36% of assessments conducted in 2020 were Ongoing Assessments).
- Verification Assessments: Where issues are identified, suppliers must develop a corrective action plan detailing actions to address identified issues, a long-term plan to prevent reoccurrence, and where necessary, undergo a follow-up assessment to ensure issues are properly remediated (20% of assessments conducted in 2020 were Verification Assessments).
Our assessment data reflects findings for suppliers evaluated in 2019 and 2020 and includes assessments of suppliers we no longer work with or with which we never began a business relationship. Assessments may have found more than one issue listed. We accept assessments completed by qualified independent audit firms based on our own assessment standards and those of industry associations, including Sedex (SMETA), amfori (amfori BSCI), and the Responsible Business Alliance; certification standard Social Accountability International (SA8000); and the Better Work program.
High and Medium Level Findings by Subcategory
(% of total assessments with issues)
|Freedom of Association||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Freely Chosen Employment||3.20%||8%|
|Humane Treatment||Less than 1%||1.40%|
|Non-Discrimination||Less than 1%||1%|
|Subcontractor and Next-Tier Supplier Responsibility||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Wages and Benefits||40.70%||47%|
|Worker Grievance/Complaint Mechanism||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Young Workers||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Hazardous Substances||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Pollution Management and Prevention||Less than 1%||3%|
|Health and Safety|
|Emergency Preparedness and Response||10.50%||12.90%|
|Machine Safeguarding||Less than 1%||Less than 1%|
|Sanitation, Dormitory, and Canteen||2.30%||1.80%|
Our assessment data helps us determine where to focus our efforts and resources, and provides insight into industry-wide challenges and systemic issues. For example, in 2020, we saw increased rates of findings in some categories primarily driven by pre-production audits (e.g., Freely Chosen Employment). We worked with suppliers to remediate these issues before going into production and did not see similarly high rates in verification audits. Increased findings with other issues (e.g., Industrial Hygiene) were driven by a need for supplier education where our standards exceed local law and industry practice. In other cases, the increased rate of findings in specific categories (e.g., Wages and Benefits) represents industry-wide challenges that require industry-level, long-term solutions. We recognize that we cannot address many of these systemic issues alone, and we are committed to engaging in industry-level interventions in order to drive improvement in working conditions.