Amazon has accomplished some amazing feats. As business owners ourselves, we admire how the company has scaled to such dizzying heights. They can seemingly do anything.
And that’s why we optimistically believe they’ll soon learn how to solve their massive carbon emissions problem. But in the meantime–while we await progress– we can no longer sell our product on the platform in good faith.
Effective immediately, Unwrapp’d is not available on Amazon.
Amazon released its sustainability report yesterday and disclosed that their carbon footprint spiked 15% last year. For a company already responsible for outsized carbon emissions, 15% is not a small number.
It means they emitted 51.17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. Which is equivalent to:
• 13 coal-burning power plants running for a year
• 17.4 million tons of landfill waste
That second number is the reason why we have decided to pull Unwrapp’d Energy Bites off Amazon. The visual of that much landfill waste (which does not even account for the actual physical items and the packaging that gets discarded by the customers) is clearly in conflict with our mission.
Maria & I started Unwrapp’d to simplify healthy eating and help solve the food industry’s single-use plastic crisis. We envisioned an energy bar alternative that uses versatile packaging that can easily be recycled, used over and over again in at-home reuse, and/or participate in our “closed loop” returnable jar system. In short, we exist to create a healthy product with better taste and less waste.
But this mission does not exist in a vacuum.
And we cannot honestly say we’re doing our best when every item we sell on Amazon goes to funding more of their runaway growth.
The Money Amazon Made From US
We are not delusional. We know we are a small company whose exit from the marketplace will not make a dent in anything Amazon does. But, we’re transparent in all that we do, so let’s take a look at how we even contributed to the problem in the first place.
We were set up on Amazon under their “Seller Fulfilled” offering. Meaning we fulfilled all of the orders ourselves. This allowed us to maintain control of most of the process and steer clear of Amazon Prime (yes, wildly convenient, we know, but hard on the planet). We were also able to control the shipping materials and packaging, which meant we could do cool stuff like this to be more sustainable.
The alternative is to sell via what is known as “Fulfilled by Amazon” where Amazon controls the entire process. With this approach, Amazon warehouse employees pick, pull and ship orders. Meaning we would not have had the option to ship in reused boxes or use sustainable shipping filler versus the plastic bags of air you commonly see in your Amazon orders.
Despite opting for “Amazon lite” and fulfilling the orders ourselves, we still had to pay Amazon. There was a monthly $40 charge for being on the marketplace plus they took a double digit percentage of every Unwrapp’d jar purchased. So, all in all, Amazon would be profiting tens of thousands from our sales this year and not hundreds or millions.
First, we applaud Amazon for making their carbon footprint and emissions problem known. We know it’s a sensitive subject for fast-growing companies to discuss. We truly hope this is the first step to seizing the opportunity in front of them to solve the problem and become leaders in sustainability.
Second, if you were getting your Unwrapp’d through Amazon, this doesn’t necessarily mean this is permanent. We will continue to monitor Amazon’s operations and, if things improve, we could be back. In the meantime, we have some tremendous sustainable e-commerce channels here for you:
- Our very own online shop (services entire US).
- Infinity Goods Delivery, a zero waste, online grocery delivery in the Denver metro area.
- Compost Colorado, a zero waste partner with both a delivery service and a physical store front.
- Bubble Goods, a health food e-commerce platform that encourages sustainable shipping practices from its vendors.
- Coming next month, a NEW zero waste e-commerce partner in Boulder.
It is truly inspiring to be a Colorado company with a focus on sustainability right now. The companies mentioned above are setting the bar high, and we could not be more proud to be part of their marketplaces.
Co-Founder & CEO