Spotlight on The Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly Badge
June 28, 20212 min read
I noticed a new badge appearing on some of the Gnarly Joe® products I sell on Amazon and decided to investigate. After all, it's nothing I've applied for, and Amazon didn't send notification that this was happening, so it was a pleasant surprise.
It transpires that this badging is to do with a reasonably new Amazon directive, in which they're helping customers to make more informed choices about shopping for environmentally sustainable products.
To achieve this directive, Amazon have partnered with trusted third-party certifications, and created their own certification (namely: Compact by Design) to highlight products that meet sustainability standards and help preserve the natural world.
As an example, Compact by Design identifies products that, while they may not always look very different, have a more efficient design. Without excess air and water, products require less packaging and become more efficient to ship. At scale, these small differences in product size and weight lead to significant reductions in carbon emission.
To qualify for Compact by Design, products must have best-in-class “unit efficiency”. Amazon calculate item package dimensions, item weight, and the number of units to assess the unit efficiency of a product (unit is defined as the total amount of product in the container they are evaluating). This is standardised across a product category, i.e. fluid ounces in in Health & Beauty products, such as typical Gnarly Joe® products.
Unit efficiency is calculated as (cubed volume per unit) x (weight per unit). This metric allows Amazon to calculate the volume and weight utilisation for the number of units a product delivers. In this equation, a lower unit efficiency value means a more efficient design.
For example, a concentrated >Face Serum< can deliver the same number of units in a smaller volume and weight than a non-concentrated face moisturiser, resulting in a better unit efficiency.
To set thresholds, Amazon and Compact by Design, calculate unit efficiency across items in a product category. They then set these thresholds to recognise the most efficient products within each product category. Products with a unit efficiency better than the category threshold qualify for Compact by Design, and are awarded the title of Climate Pledge Friendly.
It's very rewarding to discover all this, because I always felt I put far too much thought into packaging and efficiency; things that the majority of customers quite understandably wouldn't be aware of. It's good to get a small and discreet pat on the back every now and again, don't you think?