Amazon, the world’s number one eCommerce store, announced on Wednesday that it is discontinuing its charity donation program, AmazonSmile. This will be effective in the coming weeks so the company can “focus its philanthropic giving to programs with greater impact.”

Say goodbye to AmazonSmile

According to the letter sent to AmazonSmile customers, the eCommerce platform explained the program “has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped.”

Amazon further added, “With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.”

It was in 2013 when AmazonSmile was launched. Through this program, Amazon would donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to the shopper’s charitable group of their choice. According to the official website of AmazonSmile, over one million charities have benefited from this donation program. 

A spokesperson also said those charities had received $500 million, with the average yearly donation being less than $230. 

By February 20th, Amazon will “wind down” AmazonSmile. 

“We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters,” Amazon stated.

The charities that will be impacted by the end of AmazonSmile will receive a one-time donation worth three months of what they got last 2022, Amazon further noted. Charities, however, will still be able to receive donations until the program fully ends.

After the end of AmazonSmile, the online store said charities can still create wish lists customers can shop to support the organization.

Massive layoffs

This announcement followed Amazon starting its biggest round of layoffs, affecting around 18,000 employees. 

Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in a message to the company’s employees earlier this month, “Amazon has weathered uncertain and difficult economies in the past, and we will continue to do so. These changes will help us pursue our long-term opportunities with a stronger cost structure.”

Amazon leading companies buying wind, solar power

Meanwhile, in other Amazon news, technology firms like Amazon are leading the charge in companies purchasing wind and solar power. 

According to a report published Wednesday by the American Clean Power Association, Amazon together with Facebook’s parent company Meta and Alphabet’s Google make up the top three corporate buyers of wind and solar energy.

The report further said Amazon had contracted 12.4 gigawatts of clean wind and solar energy in the United States through September last year, while Meta had contracted 8.7 gigawatts and Google, 6.2 gigawatts. 

Those procurement totals are since the first time these three companies have announced they were purchasing solar and wind power last decade.

The technology sector is, without a doubt, outpacing other sectors in purchasing clean power. However, this has been increasing across all industries. From 2012 to 2022, the amount of solar and wind energy purchased by companies increased by around 73 percent per year. It passed one gigawatt in 2015, eight gigawatts in 2018, and almost 20 gigawatts in 2022.

This switch is not only driven by a vision to save the planet from climate change. The price of clean energy has been falling steadily. The report continued that the cost dropped 71 percent for wind energy and 47 percent for solar energy during the previous decade.

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