Most major companies have embraced the power of CSR to drive brand affinity while also effecting tangible positive social and environmental impact, but some corporations remain conspicuously absent from the CSR landscape. Amazon.com, dubbed by its own hometown as a "corporate scrooge," is one of those companies notably turning a blind eye to demands for CSR. But now, the online retail giant may be changing its tune.
This week, the company announced the launch of AmazonSmile, a new website that activates a 0.5% donation to charity every time consumers shop. The site, which offers an identical user experience to the original website, allows shoppers to donate a portion of their total purchase price to one of more than 1 million charitable organizations. Almost all products are eligible, with the exception of digital products, such as Kindle books. AmazonSmile also does not cap donation amounts, so the more consumers buy, the larger the donation.
As one of the largest online retailers, AmazonSmile stands ready to contribute a staggering amount of funds to charities. And although this is to be applauded, here at Prove Your Purpose we can't help but hope this is Amazon's first step toward a more robust approach to CSR. Currently, the company has no CSR report, does not disclose GHG emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project and was given an "F" by Greenpeace in a number of categories, according to The Guardian. Acknowledging and beginning to address its numerous CSR issues? Now that'd be something to smile about.
What do you think of AmazonSmile? Let us know on Twitter using #ConeCSR.