Amazon.com Challenged to Protect Its Threatened Rainforest Namesake

Campaign by NGO Amazon Watch urges the company to lead the way in protecting the Amazon rainforest

Amazon Watch

For more information, contact:

Paul Paz y Miño, +1.510.281.9020 x302 or paz@amazonwatch.org


Oakland, CA – Amazon Watch launched a campaign today on calling on e-commerce giant Amazon.com to take real action to stop destruction of the biome after which CEO Jeff Bezos named his company. Amazon Watch, as part of its ongoing work to stop Amazon destruction, is pressuring Amazon.com to speak out about the importance of protecting the Amazon rainforest, cut its use of Amazonian crude oil, and invest in vehicles powered by renewable energy.

"While creating an urban rainforest as part of its Seattle headquarters is a lovely gesture for employees that pays homage to the beauty, biodiversity, and calm of tropical forests, Amazon.com must not ignore the fact that its namesake is under threat," said Leila Salazar-López, Amazon Watch's Executive Director.

The Amazon rainforest faces alarming rates of deforestation, driven largely by agribusiness and industrial development, including oil drilling in its remote western corners. Real Amazonians – indigenous peoples who have called the region home for millennia – are risking their lives to protect their ancestral territories and this globally important ecosystem for our collective benefit.

"Expanding oil drilling in the heart of the Amazon hurts indigenous communities and vital ecosystems that support life not just for those of us in Ecuador, but for the entire global climate system. U.S. corporations need to take responsibility for the harm they're causing both in the Amazon and around the world," said Carlos Mazabanda, Amazon Watch's Ecuador Field Coordinator.

Amazon Watch, an environmental and human rights organization that has partnered with indigenous peoples and organizations for decades, recently commissioned research that tracked Amazon crude imports to the United States as part of its End Amazon Crude campaign. A subsequent report, Stop Fueling Amazon Destruction, demonstrated that around 60 percent of crude oil exports from the Amazon come to the United States, and much of Amazon-derived fuel is consumed by companies with large transport footprints, including Amazon.com.

Amazon.com is one of the world's largest retailers, ships millions of packages around the world every day, and prides itself on innovation – including expanding its own vehicle fleet.

Yet it has shown a dearth of leadership on sustainability, particularly Amazon rainforest protection. Amazon Watch's repeated attempts to reach Amazon.com sustainability representatives on the company's use of Amazon crude resulted in only one generic email response. Not only that, Amazon.com has failed to publish a sustainability report, disclose its carbon footprint, and develop transparent and time-bound plans to decrease the greenhouse gas footprint of its supply chain.

Amazon Watch's new campaign is not the first one to target Amazon.com for its lack of social and environmental responsibility. "Amazon.com's continued lack of transparency is indicative of a company that has not taken responsibility for the impact its rapidly expanding operations are having on the planet," said Gary Cook, Senior Campaigner for Greenpeace. Greenpeace has targeted Amazon Web Services for its heavy reliance on fossil fuel to run its power hungry data centers.

"The company needs to step up and take responsibility for its environmental footprint, and acting to protect the Amazon is an important place to begin," said Zoë Cina-Sklar, Amazon Watch's End Amazon Crude Campaigner. "The continued silence from Amazon.com on the importance of protecting the real Amazon rainforest, while benefiting from the brand of the Amazon rainforest is unacceptable."

Share & Comment

Related Multimedia

Features

Yes, I will donate to protect the Amazon!

"The work you do is vital, and I am happy to support it."
– Charlotte R. A.

DONATE NOW

Together we can defend the Amazon!

DONATE TODAY ×