Advantages, Challenges, and Program Updates
Is it worth it to badge up your products with the Amazon Climate Pledge Certification?
That’s probably what you’re asking yourself as Amazon continues to expand the number of certifications available to qualify for its Climate Pledge Friendly (CPF) program.
As you probably know, Amazon has been highlighting products with the “Climate Pledge Friendly” badges for eco-friendly items sold across its US and EU marketplaces to provide consumers with more sustainable and informed shopping choices.
Launched in September 2020, Climate Pledge Friendly is part of Amazon’s company-wide sustainability program called The Climate Pledge.
It helps shoppers seek out sustainable products by displaying certification badges from governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories on listings that meet the necessary criteria, allowing them to shop responsibly.
Amazon first rolled out its 19 Climate Pledge Friendly badges, including its in-house Compact by Design certification, in five countries in Europe last fall. The lineup has since expanded to 30 certifications, badging up a total of more than 200,000 products, as of December 2021.
Four New Certifications
In response to customers demanding more sustainable products, Amazon continues to expand its Climate Pledge Friendly badge system with the addition of four new third-party certifications.
“Customers want a way to make more sustainable and informed shopping choices, and Climate Pledge Friendly is ramping up its efforts to help customers know their purchases meet sustainability standards and are helping to preserve the natural world,” said Adam Werbach, Global Lead for Sustainable Shopping at Amazon.
These new certifications aim to provide badges for items across the beauty, household, and grocery sectors.
- US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice label. A badge for items and ingredients that have met the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) “Safer Choice” certification criteria for human and environmental health.
- EWG Verified. This label denotes that EWG verified products do not contain harmful chemicals.
- Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC). A badge for personal care ingredients and textiles that meet the strictest standards for social fairness, animal welfare, and soil health.
- Animal Welfare Approved. This certification guarantees that animals are raised on independent farms using sustainable farming practices.
Aside from partnering with external governing bodies to provide sustainable accreditations, Amazon has taken things a step further by creating its own certification, Compact by Design, which aims to identify products with a more efficient design.
Products that require less packaging and are more efficient to ship receive this type of certification. Slight differences such as removing excess air and water can make a product smaller and lighter, leading to significant carbon emission reductions.
Beyond the benefits to the environment and the potential sales boost a Climate Pledge badge might garner, adjusting your products to be Compact by Design could likely save you tons in Amazon size and weight fees by knocking you into a lower fees tier.
These updates are just some of many future additions that Amazon promises to make as consumers become more focused on making “green” buying decisions.
In fact, a new study from Empathy.co has shown that 35% of UK consumers want to buy from brands that source products ethically, treat employees fairly, and don’t abuse consumer data. Additionally, 31% prefer brands that are perceived as “green” and utilize eco-friendly packaging in their deliveries while 37% try to order within the UK to minimize their carbon footprint.
And even with lockdown restrictions being lifted, almost half of customers will continue to buy goods online and 30% said that ‘online’ will be their default option for shopping moving forward.
So, how do sellers go green and qualify for climate pledge badges? To get approved certifications, brands will have to submit their products to one or more of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly certifiers. These include Compact by Design, Fairtrade, Energy Star, Bluesign, EcoLogo, Carbon Trust, Global Recycled Standard, and more.
Advantages Of Amazon Climate Pledge Certification
So what’s in it for Amazon sellers and is it worth it? Climate Pledge Friendly products are labeled such in Amazon’s shopping results and at the top of the product details page.
They also appear in a dedicated sustainable products section, where customers can browse for natural, organic, and health-conscious items by category.
Aside from that, another benefit of going green is increased sales. Data from NYU Stern’s Center for Sustainable Business show that sustainability-marketed products delivered approximately $114 billion in sales in 2018, up 29% from five years ago. Moreover, 50% of Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) growth from 2013-2018 also came from these products, despite representing only 16.6% of the market. More importantly, sustainable products grew 5.6 times faster than their conventional counterparts.
New research by Trivium Packaging also shows promise. 74% of customers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging, and out of that 74%, almost 25% are willing to pay 10% more.
That said, it’s safe to say that customers do purchase products marketed as sustainable. And businesses that will flourish are those who welcome these changes and are eager to make the switch.
Climate Pledge Application Process
In July of 2021, when initially reporting on this, the application process was challenging. For example, there wasn't a form for applicants to fill out to receive a Climate Pledge Friendly badge directly from the certifier.
As of December 2021, Amazon has worked to smooth things out. According to Amazon's Climate Pledge Friendly Certification Guide, you can apply for certification in three different ways depending on the type of product you're selling:
1. From Certifiers Directly
You can apply from certifiers directly if your product is certified with:
Be sure to check out the guide to know the application process for each of these certifiers.
2. From Brands Directly (for Vendor Central sellers)
You can apply from brands directly if your product is certified with:
Amazon recommends getting in touch via Vendor Central to get started. Simply:
If you’re a Selling Partner, contact your account manager or email [email protected]
3. From Amazon
If you don’t see your desired certifier or certification, you can submit a certification request to Amazon.
How to Claim Your Badges?
Once your product is Climate Pledge certified, your certifier will add your product to the CPF page for you so you should see the badge appear on your product’s information page after Amazon receives this update. No need to make any changes to your item’s product information. However, if you don’t see your product on CPF, contact your certifier.
To determine if any of your products are eligible for Amazon's CPF program, use this CPF Certification Guide to find more information about each certifier and their requirements.
While Amazon’s green initiative holds promise for reaching a new type of customer, it has failed to leave a mark on sellers after the initial release. One reason is the complicated application process. For instance, there’s no form for applicants to fill out to receive a Climate Pledge Friendly badge directly from the certifier.
Sellers are instead required to create a case in Seller Central, provide proof of their certification, and lastly, request to receive the badge from there. Therefore, even if sellers are approved, they may still have a difficult time claiming their badges.
In other cases, however, Amazon has applied the sustainable product labels automatically. In a news article posted by Modern Retail, Charlie’s Soap website administrator, Ken Woodyard, said that the eCommerce giant “automatically applied the certification” to their products last year. He also added that he hadn’t seen any option to claim the badges through the product listing itself within Amazon Seller Central.
The retail media brand reached out to an Amazon spokesperson to shed light on this matter, who clarified that there’s no application process because the certification labels are applied automatically.
Amazon receives updates from its partner certifications to identify sustainable products. Once an item is Climate Pledge certified, the seller shouldn’t have to make any changes to that item’s product information on Amazon to include it in the Climate Pledge Friendly page. Additionally, the certifiers regularly update their list of sustainable Amazon products, so sellers only need to sit back and wait.
To determine if any of your products are eligible to display one of Amazon's Climate Friendly pledge badges, either for Amazon's Compact by Design or from one of its external partners, you can find more information about each certification and its requirements by contacting the appropriate certifier from this list.