When I started leading the Amazon Returns and ReCommerce teams 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, make investments to support our neighbors 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 items 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 the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, France, Poland, and Czech Republic millions of critical items. But we didn’t stop there.
Combining the learnings from our Amazon.com donations programs and a desire to provide the same solution to sellers using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), we launched the FBA Donations program last fall, to help bring even more items to those in need and minimize waste. FBA Donations is an easy, automatic way for sellers using FBA to donate their overstock or returned items. The entire process is “hands off” for sellers—from coordination to delivery. We use our supply chain and operational expertise to ensure the right items get to the right charity partners to help more people and give more products a second life.
Since its launch, FBA Donations has provided more than 20 million products from sellers using FBA to charitable organizations around the world. 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, immigrants, or in a low-income household. Hearing from donation recipients and seeing how we’ve helped is so rewarding.
I’m proud of the support we’ve provided 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 vulnerable communities in the U.S.
In the U.S. our charity partner is Good360—a nonprofit that works with retailers and consumer goods companies to source products, and then distributes them through a network of nonprofits to reach people in need. We are one of their biggest suppliers of donations helping to bring critical items to low-income households, foster families, individuals with special needs or disabilities, seniors, veterans, immigrants, and more.
Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360 shared the following with us: “Amazon product donations are crucial in our ability to serve and support vulnerable communities in the U.S. The wide variety of high-quality goods that we receive from Amazon allows Good360 and our network of nonprofit members get critically needed items into the hands of millions of people who really need them. These donations have been even more important in the face of the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19.”
While there are many stories I can share about working with Good360, a favorite is from one of their nonprofit partners, Circle of Caring Friends, located in Seattle. This nonprofit serves individuals, families, and groups experiencing hardships to help get them get back on their feet. Some of the items we donated earlier in the year were sorted into Mother’s Day care packages. Those packages were distributed to elderly mothers in a senior care facility who were unable to be with their loved ones during the holiday. It was so incredible to know that we made a difference in these women’s lives.
Giving back to communities and the planet
In addition to supporting communities around the world, we are also relentless in our pursuit to minimize 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—find 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 them most. Less material in landfills and more products being reused, repaired, or recycled means less greenhouse gases being emitted, and a positive impact on the planet.
The FBA Donations 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.