Environmental, social and tax consequences of Amazon’s operations analysed in a report by Attac, Friends of the Earth and Solidaires

Press release, 24 November 2019

On Sunday 24 November, a few days before Black Friday, Attac France, Friends of the Earth France and the Trade Union Solidaires jointly publish a report on the online retail giant Amazon : « Environmental, social and tax impunity : immersion into the world of Amazon ».

Discover the executive summary of the report and our demands here.

Supported by figures and data, this study highlights the disastrous consequences of Amazon’s activity in terms of taxation, ecology, working conditions and impact on local communities.

The report contains the results of the calculations carried out by the three organisations’ teams on Amazon’s tax evasion and climate impact, while the company has just published its first carbon footprint, which appears to be significantly underestimated. Moreover, its first green commitments have not been fulfilled.

« Amazon engages in massive tax evasion which, according to our estimates, means that it can conceal 58% of its turnover generated in France. Not only does this have negative impacts on the state’s tax revenues, it also helps strengthen Amazon’s dominant position vis-à-vis its competitors, who pay more taxes in proportion to their business activity », commented Raphaël Pradeau, spokesman for Attac, quoted in a statement.

For Alma Dufour from Friends of the Earth, « By selling more than 15 billion products worldwide and generating the equivalent of Portugal’s annual emissions just for its data storage activities, Amazon is the transnational company with the most severe impact on the climate. Jeff Bezos is simply lying to the general public by saying that Amazon can comply with the Paris agreement without reducing product sales and without stopping delivery by air ».

This study also includes the first facts about Amazon’s economic impact on local communities in which the company is operating. For instance, the first figures provided for the United States show that for every job created by Amazon, 2 jobs are lost in the small business sector.

Finally, with supporting evidence, this report reveals how Amazon’s presence is changing working conditions across the entire distribution and delivery sector and how the company is innovating at the expense of its workers.

« Amazon is expanding its presence in France by employing mainly people with short-term contracts, especially temporary workers, who are wearing themselves out in huge warehouses that are increasingly automated and will need fewer and fewer jobs to operate, » notes Didier Aubé from Solidaires.

The release of this report comes at a time when Amazon is facing a significant increase in citizen actions and struggles that expose its misdeeds, resulting in inspiring victories that are presented in the report.

Following the appeal « Against Amazon and its world » issued by personalities such as Ken Loach, Alain Damasio, Priscillia Ludosky, economists, trade unionists, ecologists, yellow vests, booksellers and publishing houses, on 29 November dozens of actions will be held all over France to turn Black Friday into a « Black day for Amazon ».