We wish Amazon would unveil "naked" shipping to crush cardboard waste

Monday, December 30, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

It's getting hot in here... So take off all your packaging. Billions of packages shipped each year means billions of tree-made cardboard boxes. Since Amazon launched "The Climate Pledge," a goal to meet the Paris Climate Agreement 10 years early, we wish it would offer naked shipping.

Think outside the box... To get net zero carbon by 2040, Amazon needs to spend money. It's ordered 100K electric delivery vans and is investing $100M in planting trees. Amazon already offers Prime shipping, "Now" 2-hour shipping, and "No-rush" shipping. Time to add "naked" shipping to the mix:

  • No box within a box: Reduce the number of boxes by letting certain packages get shipped in their native packaging (just slap on a label).
  • Incentivize it: Give customers $1 off to "go naked." That's because it saves Amazon money (the boxes) and helps achieve its Climate Pledge.
  • Set an example: Naked isn't always appropriate — A Rolex needs the anonymity of a brown box. But with customers craving "naked-eligible" $1-off items, producers may make their native packaging naked-friendly, (like Tide already has).

Carbon neutrality isn't profit neutrality... Most economists agree that greenhouse gases pollute, but most governments don't tax/limit them like they do other pollutants. That means Amazon is voluntarily taking care of Mother Earth with its Climate Pledge. Here's how it could affect profits:

  • Negatively: Amazon already pays 85 workers to optimize packaging. Now it's got to pay for the $1 naked incentive and for a potential increase in stolen/damaged items.
  • Positively: Sustainability commitments can create brand love (we see you, Patagonia). Preventing trees from getting sawed down to box toilet paper can build customer loyalty.