Coastwide
Roll Call

US - Amazon faces activism, rising tide of 'environmental justice'

Amazon and other large companies are under pressure to reevaluate business operations that critics say concentrate pollution in communities of color, an issue gaining focus on the national stage under the Biden administration.

Amazon and other large companies are under pressure to reevaluate business operations that critics say concentrate pollution in communities of color, an issue gaining focus on the national stage under the Biden administration.

Environmental justice, a social movement that focuses on equality in the distribution of environmental benefits and burdens, is emerging as a corporate sustainability issue. Share-owning employees at Seattle-based Amazon have organized around it and are taking their case to fellow investors focused on environment, social and governance issues.

“The conversations about climate justice impacts on vulnerable communities are at a fever pitch that they haven’t been before,” said Stacey Sublett Halliday, a lawyer at Washington, D.C., firm Beveridge & Diamond, who advises companies on social responsibility. “These conversations are starting to intertwine in ways that can result in a combination of reporting obligations that bring [environmental justice] into the mix.”

Halliday, who worked at the EPA during the Obama administration, said in an interview that federal and state attention to environmental justice along with activism after the police killed George Floyd in Minneapolis last year can no longer be ignored.


Read more.