Amazon is strongly committed to conducting its business in a lawful and ethical manner, including engaging with suppliers that are committed to the same principles.
These standards set out Amazon's expectations for suppliers of goods and services. We require suppliers in our manufacturing supply chain and suppliers supporting Amazon's operations to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct ("Supplier Code"), which is detailed below. In order to ensure these standards are cascaded throughout our supply chain, Amazon also expects our suppliers to hold their suppliers and subcontractors to the standards and practices covered by our Supplier Code. Our products must be manufactured and services provided in a manner that meets or exceeds the expectations of Amazon and our customers as reflected in our Supplier Code.
Here are some of the key areas we focus on:
- The right to legal wages and benefits
- Appropriate working hours and overtime pay
- Prevention of child labor or forced labor
- Fair and ethical treatment, including non-discrimination
To ensure that our policies and programs incorporate internationally recognized human rights standards, we conduct formal benchmarking with industry and multilateral groups to design, operate, and continually improve our risk assessment and audit program. Audit and assessment results are reviewed regularly by the senior leadership of the appropriate business and corrective action plans are implemented with suppliers as needed.
We partner closely with our suppliers to drive continuous improvement in working conditions. We train our suppliers on the standards and conduct required by our Supplier Code. Where appropriate, we use independent auditors to verify compliance, including confidential worker interviews. We may also, where appropriate, use industry association audits and other mechanisms to verify information. We regularly assess suppliers to monitor continued compliance and improvement; many sites are assessed multiple times a year, including for follow-up assessments to address specific findings. Amazon may terminate its relationships with any supplier that violates our Supplier Code or does not cooperate during assessments.
Assessments may include:
Upon completion of an assessment, a supplier must promptly provide a detailed remediation plan for each issue identified. Amazon tracks remediation closely and conducts follow-up assessments for significant issues. Between assessments, Amazon employees meet with supplier managers to discuss open issues and remediation progress.
Supplier Code of Conduct
Guiding Principle. Our suppliers’ business and labor practices must comply with all applicable laws, as well as the requirements and principles of this Supplier Code. Suppliers must comply with the standards of this Supplier Code even when this Supplier Code exceeds the requirements of applicable law.
Child Labor. Amazon will not tolerate the use of child labor. Our suppliers must engage workers whose age is the greater of: (i) 15, (ii) the age of completion of compulsory education, or (iii) the minimum age to work in the country where work is performed. Furthermore, workers under the age of 18 must not perform hazardous work. Amazon supports the development of legitimate workplace apprenticeship programs that comply with applicable laws and this Supplier Code.
Involuntary Labor, Human Trafficking, and Slavery. Our suppliers must not use forced labor - slave, prison, indentured, bonded, or otherwise. Our suppliers must not traffic workers or in any other way exploit workers by means of threat, force, coercion, abduction, or fraud. Working must be voluntary, and workers must be free to leave work and terminate their employment or other work status with reasonable notice. Workers shall not be required to pay recruitment, hiring, or other similar fees related to their employment; our suppliers must bear or reimburse to their workers the cost of any such fees. All fees and expenses charged to workers must be disclosed to Amazon and communicated to workers in their native language in advance of employment. Amazon also expects our suppliers to hold their third-party labor agents or brokers to the standards and practices covered by this Supplier Code.
Our suppliers must not require workers to surrender government issued identification, passports, or work permits as a condition of working, and our suppliers may only temporarily hold onto such documents to the extent reasonably necessary to complete legitimate administrative and immigration processing. Workers must be given clear, understandable contracts regarding the terms and conditions of their engagement in a language understood by the worker. Suppliers must ensure that each of its staffing or recruiting agencies comply with this Supplier Code and with the more stringent of the applicable laws of the country where work is performed and the worker’s home country.
Safety and Health. Our suppliers must provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment, and suppliers must, at a minimum, comply with applicable laws regarding working conditions and with the standards below.
- Occupational Safety. Suppliers must educate workers on safety procedures and also control worker exposure to potential physical safety hazards by implementing physical guards, barriers, and/or engineering and administrative controls. Workers must be informed and receive appropriate education in advance if they will be working with (or otherwise exposed to) hazardous or dangerous conditions or materials. In addition, workers must be given appropriate personal protective equipment and educated and trained on the proper use of such equipment. Suppliers must manage, track, and report occupational injuries and illnesses.
- Physically Demanding Work. Suppliers must continually identify, evaluate, and control physically demanding tasks to ensure that worker health and safety is not jeopardized.
- Emergency Preparedness and Response. Suppliers must identify and plan for emergency situations and implement and train their workers on response systems, including emergency reporting, alarm systems, worker notification and evacuation procedures, worker training and drills, first-aid supplies, fire detection and suppression equipment, and unblocked exit facilities.
- Machine Safeguarding. Suppliers must implement a regular machinery maintenance program. Production and other machinery must be routinely evaluated for safety hazards.
- Sanitation and Housing. Workers must be provided with reasonable access to clean toilet facilities and potable drinking water. If suppliers provide a canteen or other food accommodations, they must include sanitary food preparation, storage, and eating accommodations. If suppliers provide residential facilities for their workers, they must provide clean and safe accommodations. In such residential facilities, workers must be provided with emergency egresses, reasonable and secure personal space, entry and exit privileges, reasonable access to hot water for bathing, adequate heat and ventilation, and reasonable transportation to and from work facilities (if not reasonably accessible by walking).
Wages and Benefits. Our suppliers must pay their workers in a timely manner and provide compensation (including overtime pay and benefits) that, at a minimum, satisfy applicable laws. Suppliers must provide to their workers the basis on which workers are being paid in a timely manner via pay stub or similar documentation. Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure are not permitted.
Working Hours. Except in unusual or emergency situations, (i) suppliers must not require a worker to work more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, and (ii) each worker must be entitled to at least one day off for every seven-day work period. In all circumstances, working hours must not exceed the maximum amount permitted by law.
Anti-discrimination. Conditions of working must be based on an individual’s ability to do the job, not on personal characteristics or beliefs. Our suppliers must not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, political opinion, pregnancy, marital or family status, or similar factors in hiring and working practices such as job applications, promotions, job assignments, training, wages, benefits, and termination. Suppliers must not subject workers or applicants to medical tests that could be used in a discriminatory manner.
Fair Treatment. All workers must be treated with respect and dignity. Our suppliers must not engage in or permit physical, verbal, or psychological abuse or coercion, including threats of violence, sexual harassment, or unreasonable restrictions on entering or exiting work and residential facilities. Workers must be free to voice their concerns to Amazon or its auditors, and allowed to participate in the Amazon audit process, without fear of retaliation by supplier management.
Immigration Compliance. Our suppliers may only engage workers who have a legal right to work. If suppliers engage foreign or migrant workers, such workers must be engaged in full compliance with the immigration and labor laws of the host country.
Freedom of Association. Our suppliers must respect the rights of workers to establish and join a legal organization of their own selection. Workers must not be penalized or subjected to harassment or intimidation for the non-violent exercise of their right to join or refrain from joining such legal organizations.
No Bribery. Our suppliers may not engage in bribery with anyone for any reason, whether dealings with government officials or the private sector. This includes offering, promising, giving, or accepting anything of value to obtain or provide undue or improper advantages to anyone for any reason. Our suppliers must not induce Amazon employees to violate our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
Anti-Corruption. Suppliers must comply with applicable anti-corruption laws, including the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the United Kingdom Bribery Act, and never bribe a government official on Amazon's behalf. Suppliers may not offer, give, or promise anything of value, either directly or indirectly, to government officials to encourage them to act improperly or to reward them for doing so. Prohibited payments can take many forms including, but not limited to, cash or cash equivalents, gifts, meals, and entertainment. Any questions regarding the applicability of this provision or exceptions to this provision must be directed to the Legal Department of Amazon.
Whistleblower Protections. Suppliers must protect worker whistleblower confidentiality and prohibit retaliation against workers who report workplace grievances. Suppliers must create a mechanism for workers to submit their grievances anonymously.
Management Systems. Suppliers must adopt a management system to ensure compliance with applicable laws and this Supplier Code and to facilitate continual improvement.
Management Accountability and Responsibility. Suppliers must have designated representatives responsible for implementing management systems and programs that oversee compliance with applicable laws as well as this Supplier Code. Senior management must routinely review and assess the quality and efficiency of the management systems and programs. Amazon also expects our suppliers to hold their suppliers and subcontractors to the standards and practices covered by this Supplier Code.
Risk Management. Suppliers must establish a process to identify the environmental, health, safety, and ethical risks associated with their operational and labor practices. In addition, management must develop appropriate processes to control identified risks and ensure regulatory compliance.
Training. Management must maintain appropriate training programs for managers and workers to implement the standards in this Supplier Code and to comply with applicable legal requirements.
Communication and Worker Feedback. Suppliers must clearly and accurately communicate and educate workers about Amazon policies, practices, and expectations. Amazon may require suppliers to post this Supplier Code in a location accessible to their workers (translated into the appropriate local language(s)). In addition, Amazon encourages suppliers to partner with us to implement a process to assess workers' understanding of the standards and practices covered by this Supplier Code.
Documentation and Records. Suppliers must create, retain, and dispose of business records in full compliance with applicable legal requirements along with appropriate confidentiality to protect privacy.
Environment. Our suppliers must comply with applicable environmental laws. Amazon encourages our suppliers to implement systems that are designed to minimize the impact on the environment by the supply chain system, the production process, and the products themselves.
- Environmental Permits and Recordkeeping. Suppliers must obtain and keep current all required environmental permits, approvals, and registrations and follow applicable operational and reporting requirements.
- Effective Management and Disposal of Hazardous Substances. Suppliers must effectively identify and manage the safe handling, movement, storage, and disposal of chemicals and other substances that pose a threat to the environment, including providing workers with appropriate training on the safe-handling and disposal of hazardous substances. Suppliers must also monitor and control wastewater or solid waste generated from operations before disposing in accordance with applicable laws. In addition, suppliers must characterize, monitor, control, and treat regulated air emissions before discharging in accordance with applicable laws.
- Continuous Improvement. Amazon encourages our suppliers to continuously improve and reduce waste. Amazon welcomes suggestions and feedback from its suppliers to improve Amazon's own operations and processes.
Conflict Minerals. Amazon is committed to avoiding the use of minerals that have fueled conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country. We expect suppliers to support our effort to identify the origin of designated minerals used in our products.
Corrective Action. Suppliers’ compliance with this Supplier Code is subject to Amazon’s review, including third-party auditing of work and residential facilities and conducting confidential worker interviews. Suppliers must be transparent and provide prompt access to their facilities, records, and workers during any audit. We require suppliers to promptly provide a detailed remediation plan and take corrective actions for deviations from this Supplier Code, and Amazon will track suppliers’ remediation efforts. Amazon may (without liability) terminate its relationships with any supplier found to be in violation of this Supplier Code, including for denying prompt access to our auditors.
Amazon Chemicals Policy
Amazon strives to be earth’s most customer-centric company. We are committed to developing high-quality and affordable Private Brand products that customers love. 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: 1) meet the criteria for classification as a carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive, or other systemic toxicant; or 2) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. We strategically prioritize which chemicals of concern to focus on based on product type, customer concerns, and the availability of safer alternatives.
The baseline list of chemicals of concern included on our first Restricted Substance List (RSL) identifies the chemicals that we seek to avoid in Amazon-owned Private Brand Baby, Household Cleaning, Personal Care, and Beauty products in the U.S. This policy is in addition to applicable local legal requirements and associated compliance plans. It will be expanded to additional brands, product categories, and geographies over time.
Reduce Usage of Chemicals of Concern: Amazon encourages manufacturers to phase out potentially hazardous chemistries and adopt green chemistry alternatives, such as those defined in U.S. EPA’s Safer Choice Safer Chemicals Ingredients List,  which can reduce impacts to human health and the environment. We began our reformulation efforts towards this goal with Private Brand formulated products because we have the most control over how these products are developed.
Enable Transparency: Our transparency efforts are grounded in the belief that Amazon should provide customers with information that helps them make informed purchasing decisions. Our goal is to make product health and sustainability data as easy for customers to access and interpret as price and customer reviews. This is why we are working on website features that will make it easier for customers to access comprehensive information about product ingredients and third-party certifications. We hope that making this information more readily available for customers will encourage additional brands to move away from potentially hazardous chemistries in their products and adopt safer chemistries.
Implementing our First Restricted Substance List
Our initial RSL is available here and will apply to all consumer Private Brand Baby (shampoo, lotion, wipes), Household Cleaning (all-purpose, kitchen, and bathroom cleaners), Personal Care (shampoo, sanitizers, moisturizers), and Beauty Products (make-up). It is based on the leading science and customer feedback, and includes a baseline list of chemicals of concern that all brands should work to phase out and eliminate. In particular, it focuses on paraben preservatives, formaldehyde donor preservatives, phthalate solvents, nonylphenol (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE) surfactants, Toluene, and Triclosan. The set of RSL chemicals will be reviewed and updated periodically. Our brands have and will continue to develop even more restrictive RSLs for their businesses. Amazon has developed mechanisms to drive product formulation improvements and policy compliance with our suppliers.
Enhance Transparency with Customers and Stakeholders
Amazon pioneered Customer Reviews because we are committed to providing customers with information that helps them make informed purchasing decisions. Recent innovations include Amazon Pages, which allow brands to tell their story directly to customers, and the A+ Enhanced Marketing Content on detail pages, which allows brands to explain product features and benefits to customers. This information can include the steps they are taking to ensure that their product selection is safe and healthy, with the backing of a robust set of guidelines to maintain a high-bar of content quality to only include factual, easily verifiable, and objective information. To provide additional information on physical packaging, Amazon developed 2D codes through our Transparency service that are retailer agnostic and available to all brands. These codes can link to information about the products, their product supply chains, and any third-party certifications they have received.
To further our commitment to transparency, in 2019 Amazon will continue to work on additional product category RSLs under this Chemicals Policy, and work to achieve fuller ingredient disclosure on its Private Brand product detail pages.
Promote Third-Party Certifications
Amazon has begun work on features that will make it easier for customers to discover, identify, and purchase products with safer formulations and sustainable attributes. This work will include making safer chemistry third-party product sustainability certifications such as Safer Choice, Made Safe, Green Seal, and Cradle to Cradle more prominent.
Join Retail Sector Safer Chemistry Initiatives
We have joined the Retail Leadership Council of the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3) and the Beauty and Personal Care Products Sustainability Project (BPC). Amazon supports the retail sector’s collaborative effort to encourage national brands to use safer formulations and produce more sustainable products.