One of the big scandals of the summer was the news that Amazon was destroying large quantities of products. The news – revealed by a British research program – became one of those viral issues that damage reputation, more at a time when there is increasing talk of sustainability and responsibility.
The investigation focused on what happened in the giant’s British logistics centers, in which those products that are not sold – for one reason or another – or those that are damaged and cannot be sold ended up in a system of destruction. The products became garbage.
The story has now reached Spain: an investigation by El Periódico has revealed that these practices are also carried out in the giant’s Spanish subsidiary. According to their accounts, thousands of products are destroyed every day in Spain, either because they have some defect or because it is more expensive to return them to the third party seller who sells them than to destroy them. Electronic products dominate the list, but they are not the only ones. According to El Periódico de España , clothing, cosmetics or food products are also destroyed.
Only from the centers of Madrid leave, according to this medium, about five daily trailers full of products to be destroyed. Amazon has told the newspaper that managing returns is “a challenge.” “Our priority is to resell, donate or recycle the returned items, in that order of priority,” they explained.
A reputational blow
Even so, the situation makes this news a major drag on public image and corporate social responsibility. Amazon, like so many other companies, has been joining green commitments over the last few years. They are commitments that seem incompatible with this constant destruction of products.
In addition, the giant’s own logistics network is sometimes to blame for the situation. The sources with which the medium has spoken point out that sometimes the damages are marked by the robots themselves that are responsible for moving material in Amazon’s storage centers.
To this must be added other practices that weigh down product management, such as returns fraud. Likewise, although Amazon makes headlines and is usually the one who attracts the most consumer attention, it is not the only company to carry out this type of practice. In EPE’s own analysis , from the waste management industry they make it clear that it is something “super normal”. Some luxury product brands outright destroy things when they don’t sell.
The fact that this practice is common will not stop the impact that this type of news has on Amazon’s corporate image. Consumers are increasingly sensitive to this type of situation and much more critical. Environmental awareness has been increasing in the last decade, but also the critical view of everything that is considered wasteful.