Supply Chain Commitments
We evaluate our supply chain to identify the industries, countries and issues where we have the greatest opportunities to identify and address risks and have a positive impact on workers.
In the event that we identify an issue in our supply chain, we act quickly and prioritise solutions from the workers’ point of view. We work with industry partners to tackle systemic issues and implement programmes that support continuous improvement for our suppliers and workers. As a part of our due diligence efforts to identify, prevent and mitigate adverse impacts, we leverage internal and external data and guidance from external stakeholders, including industry experts, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations. We are committed to assessing our impact and focusing our efforts in the following key commitment areas.
Safe and healthy workplaces are a top priority for Amazon. We have global teams who partner with suppliers to increase worker awareness of safety issues, promote worker participation in their facility’s safety culture, and promote initiatives focused on the well-being of workers on issues that matter most to them.
Our suppliers must provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment; suppliers must, at a minimum, comply with applicable laws regarding working conditions. Additionally, we are committed to driving improvement in these key priority areas: (1) occupational safety, including adequate machine safeguarding and ensuring suppliers continually identify, evaluate and control physically demanding tasks to ensure that worker health and safety is not jeopardised; (2) emergency preparedness and response planning; and (3) sanitation and housing; if suppliers provide residential facilities for their workers, they must provide clean and safe accommodations.
We conduct on-site assessments of Amazon-branded suppliers to determine safety conditions throughout our business relationship. This includes assessments of protections such as adequate fire safety systems, sanitary dormitories and facilities, and adequate machine safeguarding. We require that these suppliers address material safety issues prior to beginning production with Amazon. Assessment results are reviewed regularly by the leadership of our Amazon-branded businesses, and corrective action plans are implemented with suppliers as needed.
In 2020, we expanded our work with the ILO’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme, a lean manufacturing programme focused on improving productivity and working conditions in small- and medium-sized manufacturers. At the onset of the pandemic, SCORE training helped factories plan their production schedule, reorganise production lines and implement guidelines for more social distance and increased safety. We worked with suppliers in India and China to provide them training and assistance in implementing improvement plans across five areas: workplace cooperation, health and safety, quality management, clean production and human resources. Through SCORE, we have provided training on workplace health and safety to 4,398 workers in our supply chain. To date, Amazon suppliers enrolled in SCORE training have completed 1,517 projects to improve workplace health and safety, drawing from the 1,219 improvement recommendations submitted by workers. So far, eight sites have achieved SCORE participation certificates from SCORE Academy, demonstrating they have integrated SCORE methodology into their policies and operations.
Freely Chosen Employment
We will not tolerate the use of forced labour in our supply chain. Our Supply Chain Standards prohibit all forms of forced labour and human trafficking; this includes charging workers recruitment fees, holding passports or personal documentation, and coercion to work via threats of deportation or contacting immigration authorities. During assessments of Amazon-branded suppliers, we track where workers migrated from and how much they paid in recruitment fees. If fees have been paid, we require the supplier to reimburse workers in full. Forced labour is a hidden crime that is hard to combat. We recognise that real progress in this space will only be achieved with collaborative action – by companies, governments and civil society – to spur system-wide change. Find out more about our approach to forced labour in our annual Modern Slavery Statement.
Amazon is currently working with several organisations to devise holistic approaches to combating forced labour:
- Polaris: Amazon supports Polaris, a non-profit that assists trafficking victims and survivors. Through the US National Human Trafficking Hotline, Polaris has identified and responded to more than 63,000 cases of human trafficking and labour exploitation since 2007. AWS works with Polaris to infuse cutting-edge technology into its infrastructure to accelerate the development of the largest known US data set on trafficking. Polaris uses that data to understand and improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how to prevent this abuse.
- Responsible Labor Initiative: The Responsible Labor Initiative is a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative focused on ensuring that the rights of workers vulnerable to forced labour in global supply chains are consistently respected and promoted.
- StolenYouth: Amazon partners with StolenYouth, a Seattle-based organization with the mission to end child human trafficking in the state of Washington through prevention, connecting victims to resources, and empowering survivors to pursue positive and productive lives. We support StolenYouth by providing both financial support and goods donations.
- Tech Against Trafficking: Tech Against Trafficking (TAT) is a coalition of companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology. Amazon sits on the TAT steering committee and has leveraged the expertise and resources of AWS to help scale tech solutions in the anti-trafficking field.
- Truckers Against Trafficking: We are an official corporate sponsor of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), an organisation dedicated to combating human trafficking in the trucking industry, and began incorporating TAT training modules into trainings for our internal fleet of drivers to teach them how to identify and respond to potential victims of human trafficking. As of January 2021, we have trained 100 % of Amazon employees who drive trucks.
- Thorn: Thorn, an organisation that builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, leverages AWS machine learning tools in their product Spotlight. Spotlight’s sophisticated machine learning capabilities save time for investigators by automatically flagging ads likely to represent at-risk children. Investigators can set customised alerts and search Spotlight’s constantly growing database of ads to aid in their investigations. Spotlight has helped identify more than 17,000 child sex trafficking victims.
- Unseen: We support the UK modern slavery helpline Unseen, investing in their efforts to provide immediate and long-term assistance to potential victims of modern slavery and to ensure the helpline’s continued growth. The helpline provides direct response and services to potential victims of modern slavery, as well as trainings and programming to support victims.
Gender equity is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation to a truly sustainable supply chain. Quality jobs for women translate to positive impacts for communities, and we are actively working to empower women to make their own decisions on health, finances and career development. Amazon partners with BSR’s HERproject, an initiative that brings together global brands, their suppliers and local partners to create and implement workplace-based interventions on health, financial inclusion and gender equality. Through our partnership with HERproject, we engage suppliers in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and India. As of 2021, we have reached nearly 12,000 women with HERproject programming, including training on health and financial skills, and building the capacity of workers and factory management to combat gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
In 2021, Amazon signed the Women Empowerment Principles, committing us to a set of principles established by the UN to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.
We are committed to working closely with suppliers, business partners and multi-stakeholder associations to monitor and promote continuous improvement in working conditions, including fair and on-time payment of wages. We have dedicated teams across the globe that work directly with suppliers to track and report performance against these standards.
Our suppliers are required to pay legally required compensation (including overtime and benefits) and we encourage them to continuously evaluate whether their workers earn enough to meet their basic needs and the needs of their families.
We require Amazon-branded suppliers in a number of regions to enrol in Better Work – a partnership between the International Labor Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, focused on improving working conditions, respect for labour rights and making the global garment sector more competitive. By working with factories and training workers on their rights, Better Work supports greater compliance with national labour laws and international labour standards.
We are launching in-depth research into fair wages within our Amazon-branded products supply chains, with a 2021 goal of identifying opportunities for future programming.
Our aim is to ensure that the manufacturing of our products does not cause unnecessary environmental harm. We are a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (Coalition), an industry-wide group of leading clothing and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organisations, academic experts and government organisations working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of clothing products around the world. We encourage our Amazon-branded suppliers to evaluate their practices using the Coalition’s Higg Index, a tool to help manufacturers measure the social and environmental performance of their facilities. We are committed to driving adoption of this assessment and helping our suppliers understand their environmental impacts. In 2021, Amazon established a goal to collect environmental performance data from 200 suppliers by the end of the year.