The Attac and Friends of the Earth associations as well as the Union Syndicale Solidaires denounced in a report on Sunday the social and environmental impact of the online distribution giant Amazon, which for its part refuted this “misleading” information, to a few days of “Black Friday” promotional operations.
“The world according to Amazon is not viable”, write in a report compiling different data the three organizations.
They criticize in particular the “very heavy environmental impacts” of the company, whose boss Jeff Bezos has promised that it would achieve carbon neutrality in 2040.
Among the practices pointed out, rapid delivery “a source of greenhouse gas emissions” and the destruction of unsold goods.
Attac, Friends of the Earth and Union Syndicale Solidaires, who intend to transform “Black Friday” into “black day for Amazon” via “dozens of actions” in France, also denounce a lack of transparency of Amazon on its carbon footprint.
“We refute this misleading information which contains many factual errors and baseless speculations,” Amazon responded to AFP.
“55.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018”
The organizations crossed “public data and estimates” to get an “order of magnitude” for Amazon’s data storage business. According to their calculations, it generated “55.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018, the equivalent of Portugal’s emissions”.
Jeff Bezos announced on September 19 the initiative “The Climate Pledge”, a campaign to achieve ten years in advance the climate commitments of the Paris agreement.
“We recently made a strong commitment to achieve the Paris Agreement target 10 years earlier, in 2040 rather than 2050. This commitment includes a $ 100 million investment in reforestation and an order of 100,000 delivery vehicles, fully electric, the largest order for electric delivery vehicles ever – to remove carbon emissions, “detailed Amazon.
The associations also accuse Amazon of concealing a large part of its turnover in France for tax reasons.
Massive use of precarious contracts
“Not only does this have negative impacts on the State’s tax revenues, but it helps strengthen Amazon’s dominant position vis-à-vis its competitors, who pay more taxes in proportion to their activity,” commented Raphaël Pradeau, spokesperson for Attac, quoted in a press release.
On the employment side, the report’s authors deplore the massive use of precarious contracts, “especially during the holiday season” at the end of the year.
In France, the former Secretary of State for Digital Mounir Mahjoubi on Friday accused Amazon of having “destroyed 7,900 jobs” in the territory.
“Amazon pays all taxes payable in France and in all the countries where it is present. With more than 9,300 permanent jobs in France by the end of the year, we have become an employer major and our marketplace has made it possible to create tens of thousands of additional jobs within the small and medium-sized companies that sell on our site “, defended the group.