Amazon has announced a new program to donate unsold items to British charities including Barnardos, Newlife (which helps disabled and terminally ill children) and the Salvation Army. The program, Fulfillment by Amazon Donations, was launched after reports earlier this year that millions of items from Amazon warehouses were being sent to landfill and incinerators.
Previously, the default option for third-party sellers no longer wishing to pay the fee for Amazon to store their unsold goods was for the items to go to landfill or an incinerator. Now, the default option is for items to be donated to charity.
The initiative will also operate in the US, where donations will go to Good360 who will then pass the items to non-profits in their network.
Amazon has not been the only company to implement corporate social responsibility ('CSR') initiatives which combine environmental sustainability and supporting those in need. There has also been an increasing trend in distribution of unsold food from cafés and supermarkets.
Through the Greggs Foundation, Greggs stores regularly donate unsold food to charity. Similarly, Pret A Manger's associated charity, Pret Foundation, partners with charities throughout the UK to deliver unsold food to hostels and charities that support the homeless.
On a larger scale, In Kind Direct distributes consumer goods from a range of companies to charities in both the UK and abroad. Products the charity has distributed include household items, hygiene products, toys, office supplies and clothing.