Amazon.com

Audible, Ring, Whole Foods, Twitch
Washington
Cloud & Data Storage, Retailing, Software and Services

Corprate Bias Ratings

Risk Level:

Rating - Danger
High Risk

By complying with Human Rights Campaign's controversial demands, Amazon increases the risk of dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. The company covers transgender-related medical costs for its employees and their children and provides specific sexual orientation and gender identity-based benefits. It also uses sex and gender ideology criteria in employee recruitment, vendor selection, marketing, and philanthropic support. Amazon forces employees to undergo multiple ideological trainings and uses its reputation, corporate funds, and political influence to support controversial sex and gender ideologies, organizations, and legislation. Amazon provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion. The company has removed conservative content from its store and from Amazon Web Services. It has banned books and censored Parler, an online free-speech platform. Amazon is a signatory of the Business Roundtable's 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism and is committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. Amazon uses both its corporate reputation and its corporate funds for ideological purposes. For these reasons, Amazon receives a High Risk rating.

Criteria
Risk Level
Rationale
Corporate Weaponization
Criteria

Has denied service to customers, suppliers, or vendors due to their political views or religious beliefs OR corporately boycotts, divests, or sanctions regions, people groups, or industries.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon received a score of 100 on the 2023 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a political stakeholder group. The company recruits employees based on sexual identity issues. The company discriminates against vendors that do not promote divisive sex and gender policies, indicating it prioritizes sexual issues over merit (1)(2). Amazon stopped selling Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally due to the book’s portrayal of transgenderism (3). Amazon Web Services removed the free speech-focused social media platform Parler’s web presence over concerns of “violent speech,” just as Parler was growing among conservatives (4). Amazon has also hindered the release of documentaries by or about black conservatives, namely Clarence Thomas (Created Equal was removed from the Amazon Prime streaming service) and Shelby Steele (What Killed Michael Brown was delayed without reason) (5). Amazon also has banned other conservative books, such as Alex Berenson’s book on COVID-19 lockdowns, which was “accidentally” banned (6). Amazon suddenly removed Matt Walsh’s previously best-selling children’s book from its online retail store (7). Amazon declined to run paid ads for Matt Walsh’s What is a Woman book as well, stating that “we don’t allow content that appears to infer or claim to diagnose, treat, reverse or question sexual orientation” (8). Amazon’s new “inclusion policy” sets benchmarks for casting, including “30% white women and non-binary people, 20% men from underrepresented races and ethnicities, 20% women and non-binary people from underrepresented races and ethnicities,” indicating that the company bases its hiring practices on identity politics rather than merit (9). Amazon-owned Twitch is a Select Partner of the Global Disinformation Index, which has withheld advertising funds from conservative news outlets (10)(11).

Criteria

Charitable giving (including employee matching programs) policies or practices discriminate against charitable organizations based on views or religious beliefs.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon’s HRC CEI rating indicates the company will not donate to non-religious charities unless they embrace controversial sexual identity policies (1)(2). Amazon does not have an employee matching program but does donate through AmazonSmile, a program that has labeled Christian groups like Alliance Defending Freedom as hate groups (3). Amazon retired its AmazonSmile program in February 2023 (4). Amazon claims to work with 28,000 faith-based nonprofits through their Amazon Business reduced rates for charities but continues to work with the SPLC to allow certain nonprofits and not others selectively (5).

Criteria

Employment policies fail to protect against discrimination based on political affiliation/views and/or religion.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company forces employees to attend multiple, controversial trainings on gender identity, sexual orientation, transgender issues, and divisive racial ideology. The company provides gender transition guidelines for its employees and a specific benefits guide with a comprehensive explanation of transgender services funded by the company (1)(2).

Corporate Governance and Public Policy
Criteria

Uses corporate reputation to support ideological causes and/or organizations hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company agrees to allow a controversial stakeholder group focused on sexual identity issues to dictate marketing or advertising strategy (1)(2). By doing so, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Amazon supports various ideological causes, including increased minimum wage and police reform legislation (3). Amazon has joined the Business Coalition for the Equality Act and opposed various state and local legislation intended to protect parental rights, girls’ sports, bathroom facilities, and gendered spaces (4)(5). Additionally, Amazon publicly referred to laws like Georgia’s voting integrity law as an effort to disenfranchise black voters (6). Amazon opposed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which would prohibit teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to kids in K-3rd grade (7). CEO Andy Jassy is a member of the Business Roundtable and Former CEO Jeff Bezos signed its 2019 Statement on the Purpose of Corporation, which promotes stakeholder capitalism over traditional obligations to shareholders and customers (8)(9). Amazon is a Ceres Network Member, committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2040 (10)(11). Amazon backed off its commitment to have 50% of its shipments net zero by 2030 (12)(13).

Criteria

Uses corporate funds to advance ideological causes, organizations, or policies hostile to freedom of expression.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon provides a benefits package for employees which covers travel/lodging costs for an abortion (1)(2)(3). Amazon’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company covers transgender related costs for its employees and their children, including paid short-term leave, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, chest surgeries, genital surgeries, medical visits and lab monitoring, travel and lodging. Additionally, the company has pledged philanthropic support of at least one organization or event that promotes sex and gender ideology (4)(5). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company increases health care costs and risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Amazon funds many ideological groups hostile to freedom of expression like the American Civil Liberties Union and Black Lives Matter, and the company is a Platinum Sponsor of the HRC (6)(7). In fact, Amazon has pledged over $100 million to the Black Lives Matter movement and related causes (8)(9). Amazon is a copper sponsor of Out & Equal (10).

Criteria

Uses corporate political contributions for ideological, non-business purposes.

Risk Level
Rationale

Amazon’s HRC 2023 CEI rating indicates the company publicly advocated for controversial sex and gender ideology through local, state or federal legislation or initiatives (1)(2). By allowing a political stakeholder group to dictate operations, the company risks dividing employees, alienating customers and harming shareholders. Amazon donated to the CA LGBTQ Caucus and Equality California (3)(4).

All links were last accessed and all information was updated on:
February 22, 2024

Company reports are intended for educational use only. Full Disclaimer

Voting History

Date
ESG Category
Proponent
Summary of ResolutionMgmt RecTotal Vote % in Favor
5/31/23EnvironmentalSisters of St. Francis Charitable TrustAditional Direct Methane MeasurementAgainst36.40%
5/31/23EnvironmentalMeyer Memorial TrustReport on Plastics Under SCS scenarioAgainst25.30%
5/31/23EnvironmentalAnna Marie LylesLitigation Disclosure Beyond Legal and Accounting RequirmentAgainst9.10%
5/31/23EnvironmentalSteve MilloyAdditional Carbon Capture and Storage and Emissions ReportAgainst5.20%
5/31/23EnvironmentalAndrew BeharGHG Reporting on Adjusted BasisAgainst18.40%
5/31/23SocialUnited SteelworkersEnergy Transition Social Impact ReportAgainst16.60%
5/31/23EnvironmentalLegal & General Investment Management America, Inc.Report on Asset Retirment Obligations Under IEA NZE ScenarioAgainst16.00%
5/31/23GovernanceKenneth SteinerReduce Executive Stock Holding PeriodAgainst2.20%
5/31/23EnvironmentalBahnsen Family TrustEstablish a New Board Committee on Decarbonization RiskAgainst1.60%
5/31/23GovernanceOxfam AmericaTax Reporting Beyond Legal RequirementAgainst13.60%
5/31/23EnvironmentalMercy Investment ServicesAdditional Report on Worst-case Spill and Response PlansAgainst13.30%
5/31/23EnvironmentalFollow ThisEstablish a Scope 3 Target and Reduce Hydrocarbon salesAgainst10.50%
5/24/23GovernanceJing ZhaoEstablish Board Committee on Public PolicyAgainst6.30%
5/24/23GovernanceAdrian Dominican SistersReport on Content and Product Removal/RestrictionsAgainst10.20%
5/24/23GovernanceMissonary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – United States ProvinceReport on Tax TransparencyAgainst17.60%
5/24/23GovernanceOxfam America, Inc.Requesting an Alternative Director Candidate PolicyAgainst18.30%
5/24/23EnvironmentalEric and Emily Johnson and Mercy RomeReport on Climate LobbyingAgainst23.50%
5/24/23GovernanceJames McRitchieRequesting an Amendement to Bylaws to Require Shareholder Approval for Certain Future AmendementsAgainst11.50%
5/24/23GovernanceAFL-CIOReduce Executive Pay DisparityAgainst6.50%
5/24/23EnvironmentalPETAReport on Animal Welfare in Supply ChainAgainst5.60%
5/24/23SocialAnne Bartol ButterfieldReport on Gender/Racial PayAgainst29.00%
5/24/23EnvironmentalThe George Gund FoundationReport on Packing MaterialsAgainst31.80%
5/24/23GovernanceSHAREAssess/Report on Adherence to ILO/UN Trade Union StandardsAgainst34.60%
5/24/23GovernanceTulipshare Ltd.Report on Warehouse Working ConditionsAgainst35.20%
5/24/23GovernanceHarrington InvestmentsReport on Customer Use of Certain TechnologiesAgainst37.20%
5/24/23GovernanceNational Legal and Policy CenterReport on Content Removal RequestsAgainst1.60%
5/24/23SocialNational Center for Public Policy ResearchAnalysis of Costs Associated with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ProgramsAgainst83.00%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Use of Facial Recognition Impact on Human RightsAgainst0.25%
5/25/22EnvironmentalN/A - UndisclosedReport on Retirement Plan Options Related to Climate GoalsAgainst8.72%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Charitable DonationsAgainst2.69%
5/25/22GovernanceSteven MilloyLimit Shareholder Rights for Proposal SubmissionAgainst1.50%
5/25/22GovernanceN/A - UndisclosedAdopt Policy to Nominate more Director Candidates Than Board SeatsAgainst0.81%
5/25/22EnvironmentalArjuna CapitalReport on Low Carbon Business PlanningAgainst10.50%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Worker Health and Safety Racial & Gender DisparitiesAgainst12.71%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Tax Transparency in Line with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)Against17.35%
5/25/22GovernanceBernie J. PaffordRemove Executive Pay PerquisitesAgainst21.80%
5/25/22GovernanceOxfam America, Inc.Adopt Policy to Include Hourly Employees as Director CandidatesAgainst22.15%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Concealment Clauses Assessing Risks of Employee HarassmentAgainst24.65%
5/25/22SocialUnitarian Universalist Assoc.Report on Political Contributions and ExpendituresAgainst26.70%
5/25/22EnvironmentalFollow ThisSet GHG Emissions Reductions Targets Consistent with Paris Agreement GoalAgainst27.10%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Racial and Gender Pay GapsAgainst28.65%
5/25/22EnvironmentalAndrew BeharReport on Plastic ProductionAgainst36.50%
5/25/22SocialSHARE (Sharehldr Assoc for Research & EducReport on Freedom of Association and Human RightsAgainst38.57%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Customer Due Diligence Related to Product Use Effect on Human RightsAgainst39.99%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on Warehouse Working ConditionsAgainst43.74%
5/25/22SocialN/A - UndisclosedReport on LobbyingAgainst47.03%
5/25/22EnvironmentalAs You SowReport on Packaging Materials and Reduction of Plastics UseAgainst48.62%
5/25/22EnvironmentalChristian Bros. Investment Svcs.Report on Senario Analysis Consistent with International Energy Agency's Net-zero by 2050Against51.00%

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