Ethical Consumer buyers` guide to cosmetics and toiletries

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Ethical Consumer buyers` guide to cosmetics and toiletries
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17
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No palm oil policy (July 2009)
A search was made Sustainabl
of the Walmart website (www.walmartstores.
e forestry
com) on 8th July 2009.
No policy
on palm oil could be found.
Wal-Mart
policy
did notfor climate
Walmart received for
negative
marks
(2008)impact on
respond change,
the company’s
to a request
endangered species
and
habitat destruction,
were all results
The
company’s
policywhich
byaECRA
of unsustainable in
palm
oil production.
oilthe
is used
in
vast in
websitePalmon
November
sustainable
Ocober
contacted,
(www.walm
2008,
array of consumer
products. (ref:
4) stated
Global
123 had
artstores.cosourcing of 2008 meat.
Forest
that Wal-Mart
wood.
& Trade
It said
admitted
m),
Pollution &ofwebsite,
Toxicsthis commited
Network
to selling
had joinedwhen viewed concerned Sea Shepherd
where coated with Teflon
in July
public
whale
had been
Sold children’s clothes
(May
2007)
the company
the WWF’s and to
its wood
2008.
and/or
legal
withhold to contact
urging
furniture
to completing
The ASDA websiteand
waswell-manag
visited in
May 2007
found According
to
their custom.the Wal-Mart its members dolphin
was and was
to the
the company
an assessment
and the
ed. Once
website
be selling children’s
clothes coated with
Teflon.coming
Chemicals
(ref: 12)
fromsuch
and unknown was commited
to complain,
Sale of
and
as Teflon, belonging
to the “non-stick” familythis
of assessment
perfluorinated whther it
meat not
also eliminate
sources
to eliminating
was Wal-Mart
was completed,
labelled
chemicals (PFCs)
had beenwood
classified
as cancer-causing
by the
within
did not
as free
their environmen
wood
five
for the
from forests
range
comapny’s respond to
US Environmental
Agency
and hadyears.
been The
found in from illegal
or organic
values. Protection
a request
commitmen
tal, socio-econ
animal
of critical
ECRA including
a wide range
of species
bears,
dolphins company
and
by ECRA
(2008)
t to stocking welfare
sustainable
considered polar omic,
importance would could
biodiversity
humans worldwide.
Environmental
campaigners
had called for
organic policy. No suchin October 2008
sourcing
this
due to com) be found on
many
or free
be a positive
the company’s
wood
of wood. toespecially
policy,
or landscape
when
PFCs to be
replaced
with
alternatives
in clothing
range
andsafer
nor any
FSC
considered it was viewed
paper-base However,
step towards
certified,
website meat, poultry
and othermark
consumer
products.
PFCs such
as Teflon the
were
used in
d products
(www.walm or eggs
and therefore
company
the from factoryit likely that in November
in this and
that
many school trousers
skirts to givethethem durability
and are still
the company 2008.
artstores.
category.
farmed
As
company were not labelledsold
animals.
was selling a result, ECRA
frequently labelled “non-iron”.(ref:
(ref:229)
5)
received
Middle ECRA rating for environmental report (August
(ref: 3)
as People
meat products
a negative
No policy
for reduction of harmful chemicals (2008)
2008)
Animal
Human
to a request made by ECRA in October
In May/June 2009, ECRA contacted Asda and a copy of the Wal-Mart did not respond
Conflict Rights
Animal s on its policies for dealing with harmful
company’s environment report was requested. The company did 2008 for information
Testing
In May Diamond Survey
Worst
2007 Amnesty
its products. A statement naming three priority
not respond. On 8th July 2009, a search of the company website chemicals inECRA
Results
a report
2009)
rating
Internation (May 2007)
entitled
for animal
by Wal-Mart in 2006, was
was made. Under the section “Sustainability”, information chemicals of concern, identified
not
“Conflict
According
doing
al
testing
in
enough.”
about the company’s environmental activities was found. The found on the company’s
Diamonds,and Global
to the FAQwebsite (www.walmartstores.com)
policy
co.uk,
Witness
The report
Asda were
(Septembe
UK
viewed
section
2008. The
document
stated that Wal-Mart had
worked
section contained at least 2 future, dated, quantified targets. November
released
was
on 4th
mentioned jewellery retailers
testing
of the ASDA
r
leading
September
the wesite
suppliers
and developed
a timeline
for the
eradication of
No evidence of independent verification of the section could with
retailers. based on findings
in this
still
funds
website,
adhere
2009, date was
report.
The report
stated However,
researchof concern.
from a
givenwww.asda.
nor any
to
be found. The website had a copyright date of 2008 and the these
“ASDA noASDA
stated
this chemicals
questionna
into
was against
are not the industry’s
was implemente
is againstwas
on furtheralternatives
research the company
undertaking
to
effective
section text appeared to be current. No mention of the issue of information
minimal that “although
ire sent
animal
year rolling
more needs
.” However animal
in preventing system
to
most companies
dchemicals.
testing
i.e.
other
harmful
ECRA
did
not
consider
this
to
the business being dependent, at the time of writing, on customer identify
rule
through
of
relevant
it did not
self regulation,
and no longer to be done
and the
the
information
fixed
demonstrate
any real commitment
reduction
car use, could be found. Although the section covered several Naturewatc
company to athe
state how policy
fuel conflict.”by industry trade in blood
cut-offof chemicals
these
did
. ASDA products,
and pesticides
in the company’s
as such,date
it received
environmental aspects, there was no mention of pesticides and company
Adsa itselfleaders to ensure diamonds,
h Compassio
supply
or five had and other measures
was also notand
and
any additional
no policy
that diamonds
a negativesold
markbranded
in this category.
(ref: not
3) endorsed
nate Shopping
other agricultural impacts that occur as a result of producing household
taken failed to disclose
on
of any
in the
jewellery its company to combat
goods for the company, therefore the company was not deemed testing
cosmetics,
productsand fine
Guide.
Water pollution
(2004)
2008
conflict its auditing
website
trade association
their products made by
toiletries, In addition
diamonds.
to have a reasonable understanding of the main environmental rating
and
According
to an article posted
on Sustainablemedicines
Business (www.
companies
the
It
s. (ref: it was not a
for animal
on animals.
Dropped
impacts of its business. The company was given ECRA’s middle sustainablebusiness.com)
member
13)
which
titledASDA
‘Wal-Mart:
Every Day Low...
and
testing
Factory
According from Norwegian
received were toactively
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 1)
Wal-Mart hadpolicy.
been accused
(ref: 7) of indifference
farming
ECRA’s evidence to
to issue
SaleImpact,’
pension
of factory
worst
that
pesticides and fertilisers were escaping into waterways
from Earth magazine, 71 (November fund
Poor independent rating on CSR in supermarkets
According
(2006)
farmed
Wal-Mart
Norway
2006)
gardening
products turkey
stored unprotected in its car parks. It was
(November 2006)
to ‘Supermark
Standard’
had announcedof Indonesia’s
systematic Stores from
(2006)
finedpublished
$3.1 million inets2004
by the US Environmental Protection
Ethical Performance November 2006 reported that Asda received
& Farm
violations its Governmen
in 2006,
Down
that
15)
by the
Animal (ref: 6)
over 90%
for Clean
water
Act violations.
t Pension it was dropping
a poor rating (rated as a ‘D’) in a report by the National Consumer
of human
Compassio
Welfare
farmed.Agency
Fund
rights
In addition,of the turkeys
n in World - Raising
Workers
Council on supermarkets’ progress on corporate responsibility.also
The
and labour for “serious,
the majoritysold by ASDA Farming the Workers’ ’ Rights
rights”.
rating covered supermarkets progress on CSR factors including: intensively reared.
Trust
(ref:
Factory
& Resources
(ref: 10) of ducks sold were intensively According rights abuses
commitment to stocking seasonal food and organics, sustainable Habitats
Accordingfarmed chicken
by ASDA
in Banglades
to a story
sourcing policies and attempts at cutting waste. (ref: 2)
were website (www.busin
to ‘Supermark (2006)
dated 9
the Standard’
October h (October
buying
Voters say no toets
Wal-Mart (March 2004)
essweek.co
school
2008)
2008 on
published
Trust in
& Farm
Climate Change
uniforms
conditions
The Ecologist reported
that voters
from Inglewood in Los Angeles
the
m),
Animal
2006,
intensively
Policy on stocking local produce (October 2008)
over 90% by the Compassio Welfare
at a factory that were Wal-Mart had BusinessWeek
had voted in
March
2003 not to let Wal-Mart build
a store inSweatFree
their
made
been
of the
n in World - Raising in
maximum farmed.
Wal-Mart did not respond to a request made by ECRA in October
Communiti in Bangladesh under extreme accused
chickens
The report
neighbourhood.
According
to thesold
Ecologist, Wal-Mart
to
Bangor,
of
stocking
Farming wanted
es, an anti-sweats. The
of floor
sweatchop
2008 for details on its policy towards stocking locally produced
who conducted
stated
the
report
ASDA
build theguideline
store on a piece
of land theby
size
of nearly 20 football
space,
maximum
were to factory. The
which
food. ECRA searched the company’s website (www.walmartstores.
of 38kg that ASDA
interviews hop activist came from
report
pitches, yetexceeded
didn’t see the
need
for an environmental
impact finish
study the
had
birdstated
group
with over
chickens
per-metre-s set a to
com) in November 2008 and found a page entitled ‘Locally
Grown of 34kg bird-per-m the governmen
that
based
stand
public hearings.
The Ecologist said localsquared
voted 61 to 39
per for Wal-Mart’s
wereorbred
justlocally
etre-square
orders they worked 90 workers from
Products’, which stated that Wal-Mart noted that buying
t guidelines
hours
6 weeks. cent
to grow
were frequently
up
under
against
the
project.
(ref:
227)
to
as
d
19
punishmen
of
quickly
tight deadlines; hour
CIWF
of a Allegedly,
grown produce was “a hot marketplace trend”. However,and
no figures
they suffered
shifts
argue
so they floor space. Broiler
subject
that of
sustainable
fishing policy (2006)
reached
were made
to verbal t for arrivng
some
their
were given for the percentage of Wal-Mart’s salesAccording
accounted Announcement
painful
which
bones
late to
was even workers earned abuse and
According toand
the crippling
March
2006could
issue ofslaughter
ENDS Report,
Wal-Mart
were ‘fast-growi
work;
for by local produce. ECRA also downloaded a document
withto CIWF,
in $24
not keep
and
the majority
as little kickings or
per month. less than
that it waslameness
implementing
a pace
policy on sourcing
ng’ announced
the title “Wal-Mart makes national commitment toAnimal
buy locally had
strains.
of chickens
(ref: 16) the country’s as $20 each beatings.
Lawsuitthat
a result.
(ref:
of sustainable
fish.
wasassaid
to have claimed
per month,
legal minimum
Rights
grown produce”, but again, this contained no figuresSea
for sales and
10)The companysold
over Banglades
According
by American
Shepherd within three to five years all fish in North
ASDA stores
would
wage of
set no targets to increase sales of local produce. ECRA
did not Boycott
to an
h working
According
news
in line with Marine Stewardship Council
guidelines,
website article dated
(5 March
conditions
to the be sourced
consider that this constituted a real commitment to
encouraging
accessed
16th August
New
a lawsuit
Sea Shepherd
2004) ASDA would be following
(2006)
and
that UK subsidiary
suit after
on
had been Nation, nation.ittef 2006
sales of locally produced products, and as a result
company
forthe
Conservati worst supermarket inFund
a boycott 12th being
on
March
taken
thisinarea
by
California
2004, the country’s
received a negative mark in this category. It hadthemselves
been noted by
aq.com, the Bangladesh
of Wal-Martnamed
with internation against out by the
the societyon Society
i
was said to cover frozen
and
Internation in August
storesThe announcement
environmental campaigners that the issue of ‘food
-ofthetheirGreenpeace.
chainmiles’
had been website, in supplier
al labour Wal-Mart, for
untilfish
al Labour 2006
called
37%wild-caught
fresh
no mention
was made of operations
theybut
shares
distance travelled by a product from supplier todolphin
consumer -Seiyu
had Ltd,
calling
had
have chosenfactories in standards and alleged non-complRights
in the
either
meat.
or convinced
outside
the USA
and Japanese
UK. (ref:
228)divested
Bangladesh
its own
2
that labour to use US
iance
It said
Code of
supermarke
. The organisatio
it to stop
alien
that the
Conduct
rights
selling
recently
t hearing
US Environme
campaignetort law for
n
whale
and Gender in Bangladesh
rs could the suit on was said to
inquire hired a researcher
ntal Investigatio
the
if they
not be
discrimina . (ref: 17)
3
to call
sold whale
guaranteedgrounds
According
n Agency
tion lawsuits
or dolphin 202 Seiyu
a fair
to information
(March
meat, and retail outletshad huffingtonp
to to oppose ost.com), datedon the Huffington2009)
of the
202 stores
a class
23 March
and 2 million
Post website
action
(www.
female lawsuit. The 2009, Wal-Mart
employees lawsuit
involved was trying
who claimed
Betty Dukes
the company
had
ASDA
Owned by Asda Group Ltd
Asda Group Ltd, Corporate Social Responsibility, Asda, ASDA
House, Southbank, Great Wilson Street, Leeds, LS11 5AD,
England
Asda Group Ltd is owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, PO Box 1039, Bentonville, Arkansas,
72716-8611, USA
Wal-Mart Stores Inc also owns ASDA Extra Special chocolate
[O]
Environment
Environmental Reporting
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Copyright notice: © Ethical Consumer Research Association Ltd. Not-for-profit organisations may normally reproduce without charge any of the material appearing in Ethical Consumer,
providing that all such material is credited and providing that written permission has been sought prior to publication. No
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Cosmetics & Toiletries
© Okea | Dreamstime.com
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
Special Report on
Cosmetics & Toiletries
W
elcome to our Special Report on Cosmetics & Toiletries. Over the following pages we’ll provide you with all you need to
know to help you make the most ethical choices across most of the products you’re likely to find in your bathroom.
We’ve produced score tables and best buy information for eight products listed below. We’ve also got heaps of
information on the usual issues you’d expect to find such as corporate profiteering and problem ingredients. But, as you’ll see from the
tables, there are a host of truly environmental alternatives available, so finding ethical products should be relatively easy.
Score Tables and Best Buys
Other Issues
Toiletries:
Fluoride or non-fluoride toothpaste page 15
• Toothpaste
14
• Sunscreen 18
• Soap, handwash and shower gel 20
• Deodorant
23
• Shampoo 24
• Shaving foam and gel 30
Cosmetics:
• Make-up 28
• Skincare
31
Company profiles page 16
Nanotechnology in sunscreens page 18
Animal testing page 22
A word on palm oil page 25
Ingredients to avoid page 26
Women reflect on make-up page 28
Marketing to men page 30
This report was researched, written and
compiled in July 2012 by Tim Hunt,
Jane Turner, Heather Webb, Bryony Moore,
Katy Brown and Leonie Nimmo.
11
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Selling soap
There was once a time when the most
basic of soaps was a luxury for most
people. Now many of us bathe daily
in a complex mixture petrochemicals,
choosing to cover our chemicallydependent skin in ever increasing
quantities of expensive products.
The European market for perfumery
and cosmetics is the largest in the world
with sales of €67 billion per year. The
UK is the third largest market in the EU
accounting for £6.7 billion.2 Even with the
recession, the market is expected to grow
at approximately 4.4% per year.2
Marketing insecurity
To move such a gargantuan mass of
potions and snake oils the ad men
remorselessly target our perceived
imperfections and insecurities. While the
names and claims of the products they
hawk change with dizzying regularity to
match changing market fads, the basic
premise always remains the same: ‘No
wrinkle too small or blemish too big that
our cream/ointment/balm cannot render
it invisible to the naked eye.’ The sensory
bombardment reaps big financial rewards
but can have a dramatic impact on
consumers and society. This is discussed
more by our readers on page 28 and Simon
Birch on page 30.
To sell the impossible dream of
perfection, companies in the UK spent
a total of £466 million on advertising in
2011. Procter & Gamble was the biggest
spender (£138 million) with L’Oréal
coming in second (£123 million) and
Johnson & Johnson third (£37 million).1
The multinationals
definition of ‘natural’ and organic.7
Almost half of women don’t check the
The companies with this eye watering
ingredients of the brands they use and a
ad spend are among a small coterie of
quarter of women don’t feel the need to
multinationals that dominate the market.
check ingredients if a product claims to
Procter & Gamble is the largest of these
be natural or organic. Market research
with over 250 brands. Its beauty division
company Mintel says, “This allows
brings about 18%
manufacturers to
With more than 4,000
of its income to the
exploit consumer
group.3 L’Oréal is
perceptions of
companies operating in
the second largest
natural by using
the EU cosmetics industry,
player with 23
brand names and
global brands and
two thirds being Smallpackaging to imply
it is present in 130
that a product is
Medium Enterprises, direct
countries.4 Colgatemore natural or
and indirect employment is
Palmolive is the
organic than it
third major player
actually is.”7
estimated to be 1.7 million
in the industry.
Unfortunately,
people. In the UK alone
Unilever is the
unlike organic
largest company
there are at least UK 277
food, there are no
by annual sales,
2
legal standards
companies.
although more
for organic beauty
than half of its
products.
Therefore
a
company
can label
revenue comes from food products.2 You
or name a beauty product ‘organic’ even
can find out more about these companies
if it only contains 1% organic ingredients.
on page 16.
And the description ‘natural’ has no
protection at all.
In 2011 the Soil Association and
other
European organic certification
To stay ahead of the competition,
bodies
launched a new ‘harmonised’
companies are looking to tap into people’s
certification
system – called Cosmetics
desire for more ‘environmentally-friendly’
Organic
Standard
or COSMOS standard
and less toxic products. The market for
–
for
organic
and
natural
claims on
‘natural’ products is estimated to be
cosmetics.
Companies
voluntarily
apply
growing in Europe at a rate of 20% a
for certification.
year, and the ‘Environmental Approach’
The ‘COSMOS Natural’
has been seized upon by producers with
standard will ensure that
40% of new products launched in 2010
no more than 5% of the
incorporating environmental claims.3
total product is synthetic
This trend has meant, according
with the list of permitted
the industry body COLIPA, that
synthetics
very
short and only permitting
mainstream producers have reduced their
biodegradable
and
non-toxic substances.3
environmental impacts by minimising
The ‘COSMOS Organic’
water consumption, waste minimization
standard will ensure that
and increases in transportation efficiency.6
at least 95% of processed
Our own research found the evidence
agro-ingredients in a product
of environmental improvements to be
are organic and that where
more of a mixed bag. L’Oréal for instance
an organic version of an
scored best for its environmental policy
ingredient
is
available it must be used. It
but worst for its palm oil policy. Johnson
also
states
that
at least 20% of the total
& Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive and Procter
product must be organic and, like the
& Gamble all scored middle for their
natural standard, no more than 5% of the
environmental reports but only Johnson
product can be synthetic.3
& Johnson had an adequate policy on
Until such time as organic claims
palm oil. (Read more about palm oil on
around beauty products can be regulated
page 25).
as they should be, consumers will need to
look out for certification labels to make
sure they’re not being taken for a ride. We
give certified organic products an extra
Three in ten women say they only use
Product Sustainability mark on the score
natural and organic products where
tables in this report.
possible but there is little clarity over
‘Natural’ products?
Misleading claims
12
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
A ‘free from’ labelling
ban?
Big cosmetics brands are apparently
pressuring EU authorities to ban ‘free
from’ and ‘no’ claims on natural and
organic beauty products – such as
‘Free from Parabens’ and ‘No SLS’.
Peter Kindersley, owner of Neal’s Yard
Remedies, writing in Natural Products
News explains that the ban is being driven
by larger companies and consumer groups
in an attempt to strike a blow against
greenwash, but would penalise companies
who go beyond baseline compliance.
Kindersely suggests that a more likely
motivation for the proposed amendment
of the EU Cosmetics Directive is that
‘free from’ labelling casts big brands in a
poor light by highlighting their failure to
remove ingredients of concern.
If the big brands get away with banning
‘free from’ and ‘no’ labelling it would mean
that at the point of purchase consumers
would be deprived of information on
health compromising ingredients and,
potentially, claims like ‘no animal testing’
that are so important to growing numbers
of consumers.
We discuss six ‘Ingredients to avoid’ on
page 26 and SLS specifically at page 25.
Animal testing
Richard Liptrot
The globalisation of markets has made
national bans on the animal testing of
cosmetics (such as we have in the UK)
very difficult to enforce in reality. Wendy
Higgins from the HSI explains more about
how this issue is still not going away, and
what consumers can do about it, on page
22.
Packaging
Much of the environmental impact
of shampoo and soap comes from
its disposable packaging, and some
companies have policies in place to
address this. Lush are probably the main
pioneer in this regard with 46% of its
product range (such as solid shampoo
bars) formulated so as not to require
packaging. The packaging problems
stemming from a general trend towards
buying soap as liquid in bottles rather than
as soap bars is discussed on page 21 .
Links
• Environmental Working Group www.ewg.org
• Safer Cosmetics Campaign www.safecosmetics.org
• Women’s Environmental Network factsheets available from www.wen.org.uk
• Animal Aid www.animalaid.org.uk
• BUAV www.buav.org
• Naturewatch www.naturewatch.org
• Humane Society International www.hsi.org
References (all website visited July 2012)
1 http://www.bradtop100.co.uk/05-Cosmetics-Toiletries/ 2 Revision of European Ecolabel Criteria for Soaps, Shampoos and Hair Conditioners. Albert Ferrer et al January
2012 3 www.pg.com 4 www.loreal.com 5 A Study of the European Cosmetics Industry. Global Insight. European Commission, Directorate General for Enterprise and
Industry. November 2007. 6 Colipa – The European Cosmetics Association. Colipa activity report 2010. Science, Beauty and Care Innovating for a Sustainable Future.
7 Mintel. Natural and Organic Personal Care Report – Europe. December 2010 8 http://www.ctpa.org.uk/content.aspx?pageid=430 9 http://www.plasticdisclosure.
org/disclosers.html
13
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Toothpaste
Weleda [S,V,O]
Lush solid [Vg]
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
Urtekram [O]
Supply Chain Management
+ve
H
13.5 H
h
h
H
12.5 H
h h h
h h
H
h
h
h
H
Anti-Social Finance
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
h
10
h
h
h
H h h
H
9.5
H
h
h H
h
H
Arm & Hammer
8
H
h
h H
h
H
Theramed *
6
H H h h h H
H
H
h
h h h H H H H
H h
h H
h h h H
H
H H
H H h H
Aquafresh *
5.5
h
5
Rainbow Wholefoods
2
Bioforce AG
e
E
e
Clinomyn
Tom’s of Maine [S,V]
Green People Company Ltd
1
E
JASON [S,V] *
h
e
E
3
e
H
h
• Company Ethos:
Product Sustainability
h
USING THE TABLES
E
e
H
13
Politics
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
Factory Farming
Animal Rights
People
Animal Testing
Animals
h
14.5 H
14
Colgate-Palmolive began removing triclosan, a pesticide and
fungicide, from its Palmolive washing-up liquid in 2011 amid
growing consumer, regulatory and legislative scrutiny of the
antibacterial ingredient. But it’s still the key active ingredient to
fight gingivitis in Colgate Total toothpaste, a billion-dollar-plus
global brand.
Company Ethos
A. Vogel [O,S] *
Habitats & Resources
16
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Pollution & Toxics
17
Kingfisher [S,Vg]
= bottom rating,
Climate Change
Green People [O,S,Vg]
H
h
Environmental Reporting
BRAND
Ethiscore (out of 20)
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Triclosan in Colgate Total
Arms & Military Supply
T
his buyers’ guide covers toothpastes and gels, and also
most mouthwashes and rinses, toothbrushes and a few
denture cleaners.
Colgate toothpaste accounts for nearly half of all UK sales and
pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (Macleans, Aquafresh and
Sensodyne) takes most of the rest. These companies are discussed
in more detail in the Company profiles on page 16.
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
3
Laverana Gmbh
1
Urtekram International
1
Hain Celestial Group
Lornamead
H
h
Church & Dwight
h h
Henkel KGaA
h
1
Colgate-Palmolive
GlaxoSmithKline
Steradent
5
H
h H h H
H
H h
h H
H
Reckitt Benckiser
Colgate *
4.5
h
h h h H H H H
H h
h H
h
Colgate-Palmolive
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
Boots
4
H h h h h H H H h H H
Euthymol
3.5
h
Superdrug *
2.5
H
Mentadent, Signal
1.5
Oral B * Crest
0.5
h
H
H
H H
H H
H H H H H h H h H h
h
H H H H
H
H
Johnson and Johnson
Cheung Kong Holdings
h H H H H H H H H h
h H H H
Unilever
h H h H H H H H H H
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic * = also mouthwash
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
Other toothpaste brands not on the table
GlaxoSmithKline also makes: Biotene, Corsodyl, Macleans, Sensodyne. Plus Biotene, Corsodyl and Sensodyne mouthwash and
Poligrip and Dentu-Creme denture cleaners. Johnson & Johnson also makes: Rembrandt, Listerine mouthwash.
Church & Dwight also makes: Pearl Drops.
14
Cosmetics & Toiletries
Alternative toothpaste brands tend to
avoid fluoride in their formulations. Why
is this? We have asked the opinions of
three different parties in this recurring
debate.
FOR: The British Dental Health
Foundation
Fluoride comes from a number of different
sources including toothpaste, specific
fluoride applications and perhaps the
drinking water in your area. These can
all help to prevent tooth decay. If you are
unsure about using fluoride toothpaste
ask your dentist, health visitor or health
authority. All children up to 3 years old,
should use a toothpaste with a fluoride
level of at least 1000ppm (parts per
million). After three years old, they
should use a toothpaste that contains
1350ppm-1500ppm. You can check the
level of fluoride on the packaging of the
toothpaste. Children should be supervised
up to the age of 7, and you should
on
su mer m
e th
BE
Whilst we acknowledge that fluoride is
essential for the proper development of
teeth and bones, and plays an important
role in the reduction of tooth decay,
we do not believe that adding fluoride
compounds to toothpaste is a suitable
route of administration. This is largely
due to the huge variations in dosage levels
that can result from this method. For
instance, some people use a small amount
of toothpaste whilst others may use a lot.
Some people spit out the toothpaste and
some swallow it. This applies to adults
as well as babies and children. These
differences mean that the amount of
fluoride received each time the teeth are
brushed can vary wildly. On top of that,
some people brush their teeth just once a
day, whilst others may brush three times
or more in a day.
Taking these variables into account, the
dosage of fluoride achieved by this route
of administration is highly unpredictable.
Since an excess of fluoride causes mottling
of teeth (dental fluorosis) and has been
linked to brittle bone disease (skeletal
fluorosis) we believe that a more carefully
controlled dosage is required. We advise
that people who are concerned about
fluoride deficiency should consider taking
fluoride tablets or drops from a pharmacy.
IN THE MIDDLE: Richard
Austin from Kingfisher
Broadly, the dental profession is almost
completely in its favour and recommends
the use of fluoride especially by young
people. There is a small but vociferous
lobby against fluoride and they believe that
its use is both unnecessary and motivated
by business interests. You can find lots of
information about both views on the web.
It’s worth remembering that fluoride is a
poison and needs treating with respect.
There are many poisons that we use to
our benefit that are harmful if misused.
So the topical use of fluoride might be
viewed as good by those who feel that the
fluoridation of water is not.
When I started Kingfisher in 1988 I asked
the advice of one of the health advisers
to the Labour Party. He gave me a lot of
reading to do and strongly recommended
that we make our toothpaste with fluoride.
This we did but after a year or so, when we
S T BU
Y
AGAINST: Ian Taylor from
Green People
The Best Buys for
fluoride-free toothpaste
are Green People,
Kingfisher, Lush, A.
Vogel, Lavera, Urtekram
and Weleda.
azine
Should I use fluoride
toothpaste?
make sure that they spit out the
toothpaste and don’t swallow any if
possible.
ag
The US Food and Drug Administration
approved use of triclosan as safe and
effective for the prevention of gingivitis
in Colgate Total in 1997, and that hasn’t
changed. The FDA is currently reviewing
the safety of the chemical.
There’s been a notable shift away
from triclosan in formulations by most
manufacturers of consumer products.
For example, GlaxoSmithKline adopted a
cautious approach, withdrawing triclosan
from its Aquafresh, Sensodyne and
Corsodyl range in response to consumer
concerns in 2010. Colgate-Palmolive
takes the view that the benefits of adding
triclosan to its Total range outweigh the
risk.
The concern is based on studies about
the possible health impacts of triclosan,
which the FDA said in 2010 “raise valid
concerns about the effect of repetitive
daily human exposure to these antiseptic
ingredients.” Several studies have shown
that triclosan disrupts the thyroid
hormone in frogs and rats, while others
have shown that triclosan alters the sex
hormones of laboratory animals. Others
studies have shown that triclosan can
cause some bacteria to become resistant to
antibiotics.1
We also found triclosan listed as an
ingredient in Mentadent P and Mentadent
Sensitive – two Unilever brands.
i c al c
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
17
The Best Buy for fluoride toothpaste
is Kingfisher.
16
Lush’s ‘Toothy Tabs’ are solid
toothpaste in recycled cardboard
rather than plastic or aluminium
tubes.
13.5
could afford it, we introduced a fluoridefree alternative. These days we offer a
range as fluoride-free but offer the two
basic varieties, Fennel and Mint, with
fluoride options.
Fluoride-free brands
The following brands are exclusively
fluoride free: A. Vogel, Green People,
Euthymol, Lavera, Lush, Urtekram,
Weleda.
The following brands make fluoridefree varieties: JASON, Kingfisher,
Sensodyne Original, Tom’s of Maine.
All the other brands in the report
contain fluoride.
Make it yourself
Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda
in a glass of water to make your own
toothpaste (undiluted baking soda can be
tough on your enamel).
Reference
1 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/business/
triclosan-an-antibacterial-chemical-in-consumerproducts-raises-safety-issues.html?pagewanted=all
15
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Company profiles
Procter & Gamble own a host of brands
in the sector. These include Head and
Shoulders, Oral B and Gillette. The
company is the subject of a boycott
call from campaign groups PETA
and Uncaged over its use of animal
testing. Last year, following a complaint
submitted by Uncaged, the company
was forced to withdraw an advert for its
‘Herbal Essences’ hair care range which
falsely claimed ‘we don’t test on animals’.
When challenged by the Advertising
Standards Authority, P&G admitted
the statement contradicted thousands
of chemical poisoning tests that they
still carried out on animals for the sake
of Herbal Essences and other beauty
brands.1
L’Oréal, which is part owned by Nestlé,
also has a number of brands in this
sector and beyond. The company is the
subject of a boycott call from Uncaged,
again over animal testing. It is heavily
involved in nanotechnology and is the
top nanotechnology patent-holder in the
United States.2 The company also has
operations in 11 oppressive regimes and
4 tax havens.
L’Oréal also owns the Body Shop. This
subsidiary scores well for its own policies
but still receives a low ethiscore as it
picks up marks from both L’Oréal and
Nestlé.
Johnson and Johnson is best known for its
baby lotion and shampoos. The company
is conducting research into modified
organisms for medical purposes and they
concede that some cosmetics products
contain GM material.3 It is also the
subject of a boycott call from Uncaged
over its use of animal testing.
Bollywood star
Rozlyn Khan
protesting against
animal testing with
People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals
(PETA) India on
the eve of World
Day for Animals in
Laboratories earlier
this year.
16
In April this year Johnson and Johnson
and its subsidiary company Janssen
were ordered to pay more than $1.1
billion in fines after a judge ruled
that the company’s officials misled
doctors and patients about the risks
of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
The company marketed the drug for
‘unapproved uses’, including to treat
various symptoms in children and the
elderly’ after being warned by federal
authorities to halt such sales.4
Unilever owns a number of brands in the
sector including Dove and Pears. It is the
subject of a boycott call from Uncaged
over its animal testing policy and we give
the company a worst rating for this. Last
year ActionAid uncovered that Unilever
had 696 subsidiaries 26% of which were
in tax havens.
The company receives our worst rating
for its palm oil policy. Last year it was
reported that one of the company’s
suppliers of palm oil had seized land
by force in Indonesia. According to
Rainforest Rescue, the small village
of Sungai Beruang on the Indonesian
island of Sumatra had been stormed by
700 armed soldiers from the notorious
special forces unit Brimob, and the
Wilmar Group’s security forces. The raid
on Sungai Beruang was reported to result
in hundreds of people fleeing “to escape
the guns and bulldozers” and much of
the village being destroyed. 40 people
from the ethnic group of the Suku Anak
Dalam, which had lived in the area for
generations, were reported to be missing.7
GlaxoSmithKline, owner of the Aquafresh
brand, was recently fined $3bn (£1.9bn)
in the largest healthcare fraud settlement
in US history. The drug giant pleaded
guilty to promoting two drugs for
unapproved uses and failing to report
safety data about a diabetes drug to the
Food and Drug Administration (FDA).5 In
addition, GSK has been found guilty of
paying kickbacks to doctors,5 and of using
unethical drug trials in Argentina and
India.8,9
The company has been researching
nanotechnology and genetically modified
organisms and was recently accused of
cutting secret tax deals with authorities
in Luxembourg to avoid millions in
corporation tax in Britain.6
Estée Lauder is under a boycott call
from Uncaged over its weak animal
testing policy. It also scores worst in
all the policy areas that we have rated
companies on in this issue (palm oil,
animal testing, supply chain management
and environmental reporting).
Revlon also scores worst for the above
policies and is the subject of a boycott
call from PETA due to animal testing.
Superdrug is under a boycott call from
Ethical Consumer due to the involvement
of its parent group in the Canadian tar
sands. Across the company group it
has worst rating in all the policy areas
researched for this buyers’ guide. It also
has operations in eleven oppressive
regimes (Burma, China, India, Israel,
Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka,
Philippines, Russia, Thailand and
Vietnam).
Boots is owned by private equity firm
KKR. The latter has subsidiaries in seven
tax havens and, on taking over Boots,
moved its headquarters to Switzerland to
avoid the UK’s higher rate of corporation
tax. Boots also scores badly for all the
policies rated in this report (palm oil,
animal testing, supply chain management
and environmental reporting).
Nivea, owned by Beiersdorf, scores
worst in all the policy sectors rated in
this buyers’ guide. It has subsidiaries
in several oppressive regimes (Russia,
China, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand,
Vietnam, Colombia, and Venezuela)
and six tax havens (Ireland, Singapore,
British Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Panama
and Uruguay). It is also the subject of a
boycott call from Uncaged over its animal
testing policy.
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
A L’Oreal subvert
from the Animal
Liberation Front.
Reckett Benkiser and Coty both
score worst across all the policy areas
researched for this buyers’ guide. They
were also both listed as companies to
boycott due to their poor animal testing
policies.
Colgate-Palmolive scores worst for its
palm oil policy, animal testing policy and
supply chain management and middle
for its environmental reporting. It is the
subject of a boycott call from Uncaged
over its animal testing policy. It also has
subsidiaries in six oppressive regimes
(China, Colombia, Honduras, India,
Philippines and Venezuela) and seven tax
havens (Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Ireland,
Panama, Philippines, Singapore and
Uruguay).
Church & Dwight, owner of the Arm
and Hammer toothpaste brand, falls
down due to its lack of policies. It scores
worst for supply chain management,
environmental reporting and palm oil
policy. The company was also the subject
of a boycott call from PETA over its use of
animal testing.
Avon was, earlier this year, forced to
withdraw claims that its cosmetics weren’t
tested on animals.10
The company had long stated that it was
the first major beauty company to do
away with animal experiments. According
to its website, it stopped animal testing
more than 20 years ago. Now, following
a complaint to the Advertising Standards
Authority from Uncaged, it has removed
all traces of the claim from its UK website.
The John Freida brand is owned by the
Kao Corporation of Japan. This company
scores well for its environmental reporting
but worst for the other policy areas
researched in this report (palm oil, animal
testing and supply chain management).
It also has subsidiaries in tax havens
(Switzerland, the Philippines and
Singapore) and operations in 4 oppressive
regimes (China, Vietnam, the Philippines
and Thailand).
Despite Dr Hauschka’s credentials as
an ethical brand, its parent company
Wala Heilmittal, scores badly for both its
environmental reporting and its supply
chain management.
Lush are a company that grew out of
being a supplier to the Body Shop in
its early years, and in many ways they
retain the deliberately-unconventional
spirit of the Body Shop far better than the
current L’Oréal subsidiary. They delight in
funding unpopular causes such as Plane
Stupid’s anti-flying campaigns and asylum
seekers (‘no-one is illegal’ campaign).
Although they are industry-leading in
some environmental areas (e.g packaging)
their lack of formal policies and poor
communication over some of these
initiatives mean they receive ECRA’s worst
rating for environmental reporting.
Bioforce, owner of the A. Vogel brand,
scores relatively well with the exception
of environmental reporting and supply
chain management where it scores worst.
It also scores middle for animal testing
policy for not having a fixed cut-off date.
Inika only loses marks for its poor supply
chain management.
Badger, Yaoh, Pure Nuff Stuff, Rainbow
Wholefoods (Kingfisher toothpaste),
Caurnie, Essential Care, Faith in Nature,
Honesty all score well across all
categories.
JASON Natural Products is owned
by Hain Celestial. This company also
produces Linda McCartney vegetarian
foods but also other brands that contain
meat products not marked as free range
and organic. All JASON branded products
have the leaping bunny logo from BUAV
but it scores worst for environmental
reporting and supply chain management.
Suma, a workers’ co-op based in the UK,
scores best for its animal testing policy,
middle for its environmental policy and
worst for its supply chain management,
although it does “aim to avoid buying
from countries or companies with proven
poor human rights records”.
Despite their ethical branding the larger
alternative companies Urtekram, Neal’s
Yard, Lavera and Living Nature score
worst under our policy categories:
environmental reporting, palm oil policy
and supply chain management. They are
still best buys for some products however.
References (all websites viewed July 2012)
1 www.uncaged.co.uk 2 http://bx.businessweek.
com/loreal-group/news/ 3 Genetically Modified
Organisms. Found out www.jnj.com 4 Bloomberg
News. J&J ordered to pay $1.1 billion penalty over
Risperdal. April 2012 5 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
world-us-canada-18673220 6 Major UK companies
cut secret tax deals in Luxembourg. BBC website 7
The bloody products from the house of Unilever.
Rettet Den Regenwald. 8 From tragedy to travesty.
The Independent. 15th November 2011 9 GSK fined
over drug trial in Argentina. Sky News. 6th January
2012 10 Avon withdraws animal test claim from
website after complaints. Daily Mail. March. 2012.
17
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Sunscreens
Supply Chain Management
16.5
Pure Nuff Stuff [S,Vg]
16.5
Neal’s Yard [O,Vg,S]
13.5 H
The active ingredients in physical
sunscreens are zinc oxide and titanium
dioxide. These ingredients can occur as
nano-particles – microscopic particles
about 1/50,000 the width of a human
hair. Safety concerns regarding the use of
nano-particles are as yet unresolved, and
Politics
+ve
h
h
H
13
H
h h h
JASON [S,V]
10
h
h
Avon
8.5
h
Clarins
8.5
H
h
Nivea
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
Origins, Clinique
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
Ambre Solaire *
4.5
H
Company Ethos
Product Sustainability
Anti-Social Finance
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
Yaoh Ltd
2
WS Badger
3.5
h
Superdrug
2.5
H
H
e
E
2.5
1.5
2
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
Green People Company Ltd
Pure Nuff Stuff
Neal’s Yard Remedies
3
Laverana Gmbh
1
Hain Celestial Group
h h
H
H
h
H
H
h
H h h
h h
H h
H
h
Financiere
H
h
Beiersdorf AG
H
h
Estée Lauder Companies
H
h H H H H
H h h h h H H H h H H
Piz Buin
e
E
H h h
h
h
• Company Ethos:
3
e
h
USING THE TABLES
e
E
h
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
4
Physical sunscreens
and the nano factor
e
Green People [O,S,V]
Boots
15. Consequently, very high SPF products
are disappearing from the shelves along
with products that claim to give complete
protection, such as sun block. Products
that offer broad-spectrum protection are
recommended, and both chemical and
physical sunscreens can provide this.
However, a number of ingredients found
in chemical sunscreens have raised safety
concerns.
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Factory Farming
Human Rights
People
Animal Rights
Animals
Animal Testing
Habitats & Resources
17
Pollution & Toxics
18
Badger [O,S]
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Climate Change
Ethiscore (out of 20)
Yaoh [O,S,Vg]
= bottom rating,
Environmental Reporting
BRAND
H
h
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
recently the significance of UVA rays
was not fully known. This, coupled with
research that indicated some companies
claimed their products provided more
sun protection than was the case, led
to changes in non-legally binding
recommendations from the European
Commission in 2006. It seems that most
manufacturers have voluntarily complied,
leading to better sun protection being
available in Europe than in the USA.
A product’s sunburn protection factor
(SPF) refers to the level of UVB protection
that it provides. The EU guidelines now
state that the level of UVA protection
should be at least a third of the SPF
indicated on the packaging. So, whilst
a product might offer UVB protection
of SPF 30, if its UVA protection is
equivalent to SPF 5 it would not be able
to display an SPF figure of greater than
Political Activity
S
unscreens can be broadly
categorised as either chemical,
which are absorbed into the skin
and which absorb ultra-violet rays, or
physical (mineral), which sit on top of
the skin and reflect UV rays. Whilst
the mainstream brands in this report
typically produce chemical sunscreens,
and ‘natural products’ companies produce
physical sunscreens, some products now
also contain a mixture of both active
ingredients.
When exposed to the sun, two types
of ultra-violet radiation are of concern:
short-wave UVB rays, which are more
intense and are the primary cause of
sunburn, and long-wave UVA rays, which
penetrate the skin more deeply and are the
dominant tanning ray.
Both types of UV are contributing
factors to skin cancer, but until relatively
H
H H
H H
H H H H H h H h H h
Avon Products Inc
H H H
L’Oréal
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
h
H H H H
H
H
Johnson and Johnson
Cheung Kong Holdings
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic * = L’Oréal also owns the Biotherm, Lancome and Vichy brands
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
18
Cosmetics & Toiletries
su mer m
Non-nano suncreens:
the Best Buys are
Badger, Neal’s Yard,
BE
Pure Nuff Stuff, Yaoh.
S T BU
For nano suncreens,
the Best Buys are Green
People and Lavera.
Some natural products companies still
offer sunscreens with micro-sized rather
than nano-sized zinc oxide or titanium
dioxide. However, the EWG note that both
nano and micro-sized particles can be
toxic if they penetrate the skin. We have
divided the Best Buy companies into those
that use nano-particles and those that use
micronised (non-nano).
Y
e th
azine
However, EWG stress that their
position would be different if the product
analysed did not protect human health
like sunscreen does, and that sprays and
powders containing nano-particles should
be avoided.
the regulatory framework for assessing
their use continues to lag far behind
developments in the cosmetics sector.
In our last Buyers’ Guide to sunscreens
we recommended that, in line with
the precautionary principle, products
containing nano-particles are avoided.
Since then, however, the well-regarded
Environmental Working Group (EWG)
have begun to recommend some
products that may contain nano-sized
ingredients. They found that consumers
using sunscreens without zinc oxide and
titanium dioxide were being exposed to
an average of 20% more UVA radiation,
with associated health impacts. They were
also being exposed to a greater number of
hazardous ingredients through the use of
chemical sunscreens. The study concluded:
“On balance, EWG researchers found
that zinc and titanium-based formulations
are among the safest, most effective
sunscreens on the market based on
available evidence. The easy way out of the
nano debate would be to steer people clear
on
ag
of zinc and titanium sunscreens with
a call for more data. In the process,
such a position would implicitly
recommend sunscreen ingredients
that don’t work, that break down
soon after they are applied, that
offer only marginal UVA protection,
or that absorb through the skin”.2
i c al c
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
18
17
13.5
16.5
Physical or mineral sunscreens are less
likely to cause skin irritations and allergic
reactions as they are not absorbed into the
skin. However, this means that they can
leave a residual white coating on the skin
– possibly not the look you are after on the
beach! The smaller the particle size the less
chance there is of looking luminous.
Despite the fact that they can now
be Best Buys, companies that use
nanoparticles in their sunscreens will
still lose half a mark in our Pollution
and Toxics category. The environmental
impacts of nanoparticles are not fully
understood, but concerns have been raised
about the build up of this novel pollutant
in ecological systems. Once again
research seems to be lagging way behind
technological developments.
16.5
13
© Sofiaworld | Dreamstime.com
References (all websites viewed July 2012)
1 http://bx.businessweek.com/loreal-group/ 2
http://www.ewg.org/nanotechnology-sunscreens 3
http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb/
understanding-uva-and-uvb 4 http://breakingnews.
ewg.org/2012sunscreen/
19
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Essential Care [O,S,Vg]
Badger [O,S]
Supply Chain Management
Faith in Nature [S,Vg]
16.5
Honesty [S,Vg]
16.5
Pure Nuff Stuff [S,Vg]
16.5
Neal’s Yard [F,O,V,S]
14.5 H
13.5 H
Urtekram Fairtrade [F,O]
13.5 H
h
h
H
h
H
h
h
h
h
h
H
H
h
h h
h
H
Avalon Organics [O,S]
10.5 h
h
h
H h h
H
Wrights, Cidal, Yardley
9.5
h
h H
h
H
h h h H
H
H
h h h H
h
H
9
9
H
H
H
H
h
h
h h
H h
H
Nivea
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H
Origins
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H
6
H
h h h H h h H H h
H
H
h H H
Company Ethos
Product Sustainability
E
2
• Company Ethos:
e
E
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
Yaoh Ltd
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
WS Badger
Caurnie Soap Co
1.5
Faith Products Ltd
1.5
Honesty Cosmetics
1.5
Pure Nuff Stuff
1.5
Thos. Bentley & Son
0.5
Little Satsuma
1
Triangle Wholefoods
3
Neal’s Yard Remedies
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
2
Urtekram International
1
Living Nature
1.5
Hain Celestial Group
Kao Corporation
h
1
H
H
5.5
USING THE TABLES
Lornamead
h
Boots
Anti-Social Finance
h
8.5
h
e
e
ClarinsMen
Palmolive, Sanex
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
e
h
8.5
Dettol
1.5
e
Avon
Body Shop
e
e
H
h
H
Lush [Vg]
Original Source [F]
2.5
e
h
14.5 h
Molton Brown
e
e
Suma [S,Vg]
11
3
e
16
14
e
e
15.5
Simple bar soap
+ve
e
Little Satsuma [Vg]
Living Nature [S]
Politics
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
Animal Rights
Animal Testing
People
17
16.5
Weleda [S,V,O]
Animals
17.5
Caurnie [S,Vg]
Bentley Organics [O,S]
Habitats & Resources
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Pollution & Toxics
18
= bottom rating,
Climate Change
Yaoh [O,S,Vg]
H
h
Environmental Reporting
BRAND
Ethiscore (out of 20)
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Factory Farming
Soap and shower gel
H h h
H
PZ Cussons plc
Avon Products Inc
h
Financiere
h
Beiersdorf AG
h
Estée Lauder Companies
h h
Lornamead/Unilever
H H H
L’Oréal
5
H
h H h H
H
H h
h H
H
Reckitt Benckiser
4.5
h
h h h H H H H
H h
h H
h
Colgate-Palmolive
4
H h h h h H H H h H H
Neutrogena, Johnson’s
3.5
h
Superdrug
2.5
H
Dove
1.5
Olay
0.5
h
H
H
H H
H H
H H H H H h H h H h
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
H H H H
Johnson and Johnson
h
H
H
Cheung Kong Holdings
h H H H H H H H H h
h H H H
Unilever
h H h H H H H H H H
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic [F] = Fairtrade
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
References (websites viewed July 2012) 1 http://www.bradtop100.co.uk/05-Cosmetics-Toiletries/ 2 Revision of European Ecolabel Criteria for Soaps, Shampoos and
Hair Conditioners. Albert Ferrer et al January 2012 3 http://gogreenhk.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/the-truth-bar-soap-vs-liquid-body-wash/ 4 http://www.davidsuzuki.
org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics---sodium-laureth-sulfate/
20
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
T
ag
i c al c
he table opposite covers bars of soap, liquid handwash,
su mer m
shower gel, body wash and baby bath & shampoo.
on
Liquid soap is king. Less than 20 per cent of
Best Buys for bars of soap are Essential Care,
‘personal cleansers’ sold in Britain are now soap bars.1
Badger, Caurnie, Faith in Nature, Honesty,
Tests have shown that this change in washing habits has
Pure Nuff Stuff, Bentley Organics, Little
BE
nothing to do with hygiene, with good old fashioned soaps
Satsuma, Suma, Neal’s Yard, Lush, Urtekram
U
S
T B
being just as effective than their mutated liquid offspring.2
and Weleda.
Instead, some have suggested that this change has come about
For handwash, shower gel or body wash Best
due to clever marketing and a higher profit margin. The switch
Buys are Essential Care, Yaoh, Faith in Nature, Honesty, Pure
from bar soap to liquid has apparently been driven by a fear of
Nuff Stuff, Bentley Organics, Neal’s Yard, Urtekram, Caurnie,
other people’s bacteria lurking on bar soap. Companies have
Lush and Weleda.
encouraged the notion that using liquid soap was more hygienic.
For baby toiletries Best Buys are Essential Care, Badger,
Most liquid soaps are made from petroleum, while many
Humphrey’s Corner, Pure Nuff Stuff, Bentley Organics, Little
traditional bar soaps are made of ‘saponified’ animal fat and/or
Satsuma, Neal’s Yard, Lush, Weleda and Urtekram.
plant oils.3
A comparison carried out by US website DailyFinance showed
17
18
that washing with the recommended amount (2 teaspoons) of a
branded body wash costs 11p per wash while bathing with a soap
17.5
bar costs just over 0.07p per wash.
Y
e th
azine
Sustainability
16.5
Greater use of liquid soap has been highlighted as a poor
direction to be going in from a sustainability point of view for a
wide range of reasons. Here are a few:
Heavier: Containing lots of water, liquid soaps are likely to be
heavier than bar soap, resulting in a higher carbon footprint for
transportation.
More packaging: Packaging for body washes and liquid soaps
tend to be plastic bottles that end up in landfill or our oceans.
Compared with a thin wrapper or no wrapper for soap bars this is
a retrogressive step.
Petrol: Most liquid soaps are made of petroleum and need
emulsifying agents and stabilizers to maintain their consistency.3
Damage aquatic life: What you use on your body ends up in the
water system. Detergents may contain of harmful substances that
can bioaccumulate in living organisms.
Who makes what? (ordered by ethiscore)
Essential Care
Yaoh
Badger
Bentley Organics
Caurnie
Faith in Nature
Honesty
Pure Nuff Stuff
Little Satsuma
Suma
Neal’s Yard
Lush
Urtekram
Bars of
soap
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Weleda
ü
Living Nature
ü
Avalon Organics
Wrights, Cidal
Avon
ClarinsMen
Original Source
Molton Brown
Origins
Handwash/
liquid soap
ü
ü
Shower gel/
body wash
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Baby bath
& shampoo
ü
ü
ü
ü*
ü
ü
Dove
Handwash/
liquid soap
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Olay
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Shower gel/
body wash
ü
Baby bath
& shampoo
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Other brands not on the table
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Unilever also makes: Lux, Lynx and Radox handwash &
shower gels; Pears & Lifebuoy soaps, Simple handwash.
Procter & Gamble also makes: Camay soap. Estée Lauder
also makes: Aveda body wash. PZ Cussons also makes:
Imperial Leather soap, handwash and shower gel & Carex
handwash and shower gel. Hain Celestial also makes:
JASON baby & kids toilerties.
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
Nivea
Dettol
Body Shop
Palmolive/Sanex
Boots
Neutrogena/
Johnson’s
Superdrug
Bars of
soap
ü
ü
ü
ü
ü
* = Humphrey’s Corner brand
21
Cosmetics & Toiletries
One Voice
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Wendy Higgins from Humane Society International
(UK) explains why animal testing of cosmetics is still
going on and what people can do to campaign against it.
D
One Voice
espite the fact that animal tests
for cosmetics ended in the United
Kingdom in 1997, and have
been banned by law across the European
Union since 2009, laboratory animal
suffering for the beauty industry still
continues. In laboratories in countries
such as China, the United States, India and
Russia, cosmetic chemicals are still being
rubbed onto the sensitive and shaved skin
of guinea pigs, dripped into the eyes of
rabbits and force-fed into rats’ stomachs.
These tests can last for days, weeks or
even months. In some countries even the
widely condemned “lethal dose” test is
still used, in which animals are forced to
swallow massive amounts of a cosmetic
chemical to find out the dose that
causes death. Tests like these can cause
immense suffering and distress – and are
increasingly seen as a poor predictor of
toxicity in humans.
Across Europe, animal testing for
cosmetics is banned under the EU’s
Cosmetics Directive, but cosmetics
companies can still test on animals in
other countries and sell those products
back to the EU market. The same EU
Cosmetics Directive was written to
contain a sales ban on the sale of cosmetics
containing ingredients tested on animals
in non-EU countries Originally due for
implementation in 1998 and despite being
passed as law, its implementation has
continually been delayed. Now that it is
due to come into force in March 2013,
policy makers are once again considering
delaying or weakening its provisions.
Humane Society International has been
leading a campaign in Europe to see the
ban implemented in full and on schedule,
and recently joined forces with Lush
Handmade Cosmetics to deliver more
than 350,000 petition signatures to the
European Commission to save the 2013
ban.
Beauty without animal
cruelty
Cosmetics companies can stop animal
testing immediately and still produce
new, safe and exciting beauty products
by manufacturing the cruelty-free way.
Firstly, companies can use ingredients that
are already known to be safe, of which
there are thousands. These ingredients
don’t require any new testing. Secondly,
if companies need to produce new data
about an ingredient, they can use
available non-animal test methods.
More than 40 non-animal tests
have been validated for use such as
EPISKIN, EpiDerm and SkinEthic
and the 3T3 neutral red uptake
test. These modern alternatives can
offer results that are more relevant
to people, often more cheaply and
efficiently too.
Shopping cruelty-free
Leaving animal tested cosmetics on the
shop shelf is one of the simplest ways
22
you can support the Be Cruelty-Free
campaign. However, there are lots of
animal testing claims out there, so it can
be confusing for consumers to make sense
of it all. Statements like “against animal
testing” could simply indicate a corporate
aspiration rather than a cast-iron
commitment, and a label stating that “this
product has not been tested on animals”
could be hiding the fact that some or all of
the product’s ingredients have been animal
tested even if the final product hasn’t been.
One of the best ways to cut through
the myriad claims is to buy cosmetics
from companies whose commitment
you can trust, such as
those certified by
the Leaping Bunny
Global Shopping
Guide. In the UK the
leaping bunny guide is
produced by the BUAV
and is downloadable from
www.gocrueltyfree.org/shopper.
In Ethical Consumer, the buyers’ guide
tables also have a column on Animal
Testing which indicates whether or not
companies have a credible commitment to
avoiding animal testing.
‘Be Cruelty-Free’
global campaign
Animal testing is a global issue, and
ethical consumers from all around the
world are invited to get active in the cause.
HSI recently launched Be Cruelty-Free
– the largest-ever global campaign to end
animal testing for cosmetics. Be CrueltyFree is reaching out to consumers and
policy makers in Europe, India, Australia,
Canada, New Zealand, the United States
and beyond to achieve a world where
no animal has to suffer for the sake of
cosmetics such as lipstick or shampoo.
Please sign HSI’s global cruelty free
pledge at www.hsi.org/becrueltyfree
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
i c al c
e th
T
14
Weleda [S,V,O]
14
Lush [Vg]
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
H
13.5 H
h
h
h h
H
h
h
h
H
Urtekram [O]
12.5 H
h
h
h
H
h h h
Product Sustainability
Anti-Social Finance
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Company Ethos
e
E
e
e
USING THE TABLES
• Company Ethos:
e
E
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
Green People Company Ltd
1.5
Faith Products Ltd
0.5
Little Satsuma
1
Crystal Spring
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
3
Laverana Gmbh
1
Neal’s Yard Remedies
1
Urtekram International
0.5
Severn Delta
H
h
h
h
H
10.5 H
h
h
h h
H
h
1
Wala-Stiftung
h
1
Hain Celestial Group
10
h
h
h
H h h
H
9.5
H
h
h H
h
H
Avon
8.5
h
h
H
H
h
Mitchum
8.5
H
h h
H
h
H
Arrid
8
H
h
h H
h
H
Nivea
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H H h h h H
H
H
6
5.5
Tom’s of Maine [S,V]
5.5
Garnier
4.5
Sanex, Soft & Gentle
4.5
4
Boots
3
E
Amplex
Body Shop
Arms & Military Supply
Irresponsible Marketing
h
JASON [S,V]
Right Guard, Natrel Plus
E
E
H
12.5 H
Dr Hauschka [S]
Y
Supply Chain Management
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
h
H
13.5
Positive ratings (+ve):
e
h
11
+ve
e
Neal’s Yard [V,S]
PitRok [Vg]
Politics
h
H
13
16.5
stones which are made from potassium or ammonium alum,
a natural mineral salt that inhibits the growth of the bacteria
responsible for body odour.3 They come as either a solid stone on
its own or in a push-up stick, or in liquid form.
Of our Best Buys, Faith in Nature, Little Satsuma, Salt of the
Earth and Urtekram make push-up stick varieties of crystal
deodorant stones.
People
Animal Rights
15.5
Salt of the Earth [S,Vg]
The Best Buys are Green People , Faith
in Nature, Little Satsuma, Salt of the
Earth, Lush solid bars, Lavera, Neal’s Yard,
Urtekram and Weleda.
17
Factory Farming
Little Satsuma [Vg]
S T BU
Animals
Animal Testing
16.5
Habitats & Resources
Faith in Nature [S,Vg]
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Pollution & Toxics
17
= bottom rating,
Climate Change
Green People [O,S,Vg]
H
h
Environmental Reporting
BRAND
Ethiscore (out of 20)
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Nuclear Power
Environment
azine
BE
here are two main types of deodorant: simple deodorants
that eliminate odour, and antiperspirants which contain
ingredients (most commonly aluminium or aluminum
chlorohydrate) that block pores to reduce sweating.
Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds may
be absorbed by the skin and cause oestrogen-like (hormonal)
effects like breast cancer.1 Other studies suggest that blocked
pores result in the spread of cancer-causing toxins.2
The following brands are aluminium free: Green People, Faith
in Nature, Little Satsuma, Weleda, Neal’s Yard, Salt of the Earth,
Urtekram, Lavera, Lush, Pitrok, Dr Hauschka.
A natural method of deodorising is to use deodorant crystal
USING THE TABLES
su mer m
ag
Deodorants
on
Dove, Lynx *
1.5
Gillette **
0.5
H
h
h H H
h h h H H H H
H
h
H
H
Lornamead
h
MacAndrews & Forbes
H
h
Church & Dwight
H
h
Beiersdorf AG
h h
Henkel KGaA
H H H
L’Oréal
h
H
H h
h H
h
1
Colgate-Palmolive
L’Oréal
H H H
H h
H h h h h H H H h H H
h
Avon Products Inc
h
h H H H H
h h h H H H H
H h h
h H
h
h
Colgate-Palmolive
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
h H H H H H H H H h
h H H H
Unilever
h H h H H H H H H H
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
* Unilever also makes Rexona, Simple, Sure ** Procter & Gamble also makes: Old Spice
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
References 1 www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/AP-Deo 2 www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/healthbeauty/deodorant.aspx
3 www.highlandsoaps.com/natural-deodorant-stone-160g-cat-13-subcat-64-product-598
23
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Yaoh [O,S,Vg]
Essential Care [O,S,Vg]
Green People [O,S,Vg]
Caurnie [S,Vg]
Pure Nuff Stuff [S,Vg]
16.5
14.5 H
Suma [S,Vg]
14.5 h
Supply Chain Management
h
H
h
H
13.5 H
h
h
Urtekram Fairtrade [F,O]
13.5 H
h
h
H
h h h
h h
H
h
H
13
H
Neal’s Yard [S,V]
12.5 H
Logona [S]
11.5 H
11
H
10.5 h
h
h
h
E
h
Product Sustainability
Company Ethos
Anti-Social Finance
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
e
H
Lush [Vg]
Avalon Organics [O,S]
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
Animal Rights
Animal Testing
Habitats & Resources
14
14
Green People Company Ltd
e
H
e
E
e
E
e
Caurnie Soap Co
1.5
Faith Products Ltd
1.5
Honesty Cosmetics
1.5
Pure Nuff Stuff
1.5
Thos. Bentley & Son
0.5
Little Satsuma
2
Bioforce AG
1
Triangle Wholefoods
1
Crystal Spring
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
2
Urtekram International
3
Laverana Gmbh
1
Neal’s Yard Remedies
h
h
h
H
1
Logocos Naturkosmetik
h
h h
h
H
1
Living Nature Natural
h
h
H h h
H
h
1.5
Hain Celestial Group
JASON [S,V]
10
h
h
h
H h h
H
h
1
Hain Celestial Group
Vosene, Finesse
9.5
H
h
h H
h
H
Lornamead
John Frieda
9
H
H
h
Kao Corporation
H
H
h
H h h
Avon Products Inc
h
h h
H h
H
h
Financiere
H
h
h H
h
H
H
h
Church & Dwight
8
H
h h h H
h
H
H
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H
h
Estée Lauder Companies
H H h h h H
H
H
h h
Henkel KGaA
H H H
L’Oréal
h h h H
Avon
8.5
h
ClarinsMen
8.5
H
Batiste Dry
8
Charles Worthington
Origins & Aveda
Schwarzkopf & Gliss
6
Body Shop
5.5
Elvive, Garnier Fructis
4.5
Palmolive
4.5
Boots
4
h
h
h
H
H
h H H
H
H
h H H H H
h h h H H H H
H
Neutrogena, Johnson’s
3.5
h
Superdrug
2.5
H
TRESemmé
1.5
Pantene
0.5
H
H
H H
H H
H H H H H h H h H h
h H H H H H H H H h
h
H H H
H h
H h h h h H H H h H H
h H h H H H H H H H
PZ Cussons plc
h H
h
Colgate-Palmolive
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
H H H H
H
L’Oréal
h
H
Johnson and Johnson
Cheung Kong Holdings
h H H H
Unilever
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic [F] = Fairtrade
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
24
Yaoh Ltd
3
e
H
COMPANY GROUP
1.5
e
h
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
e
e
A. Vogel [O,S]
= full mark,
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
e
h
e
E
2.5
E
16
3
• Company Ethos:
e
e
15.5
USING THE TABLES
Positive ratings (+ve):
h
Little Satsuma [Vg]
Living Nature [S]
+ve
e
17
16.5
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
Politics
16.5
16.5
Weleda [S,V,O]
People
18
Faith in Nature [S,Vg]
Natural Empathy [S,Vg]
Animals
17.5
Honesty [S,Vg]
Bentley Organics [O,S]
Pollution & Toxics
BRAND
Climate Change
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Environmental Reporting
= bottom rating,
Ethiscore (out of 20)
H
h
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Factory Farming
Shampoo
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
i c al c
Y
azine
e th
ag
suppliers by targeting the high profile
su mer m
brands of Unilever and Nestlé
on
connected to these suppliers.
The Best Buys are
Palm oil certified as ‘sustainable’
Essential Care, Yaoh,
by the RSPO came onto the
Green People, Caurnie,
BE
market in 2008. How sustainable
Faith in Nature,
U
S
T B
this Certified Sustainable Palm
Honesty, Pure Nuff Stuff,
Oil (CSPO) actually is, is a matter of
Bentley Organics, Little
debate. Critically, for example, there are
Satsuma, A Vogel, Suma, Lush,
no provisions for Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
Urtekram Fairtrade, Lavera, Weleda
emissions. The RSPO’s record in enforcing
and Neal’s Yard.
the standards has also been criticised.
But even the RSPO’s most vocal critics
17
recognise the need to engage with the
organisation and to push for strengthening
the standards rather than rejecting them
altogether.
14.5
Perhaps the only way to guarantee that
the products you buy aren’t tainted by the
impacts of palm oil production is to avoid
the substance altogether. But this isn’t easy:
13.5
there are at least 30 different names for
Lush make solid
various substances which may have come
shampoos in no
from palm oil.
packaging.
Ingredients definitely derived from
palm oil in the toiletries sector are: palm
kernel oil, sodium palmate, sodium
palm kernelate and Elaeis guineensis
(its Latin name). Ingredients which may
One of the most widely-used detergents
have been derived from palm oil include
and foaming agents in shampoos, liquid
sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth
soap products and toothpaste is sodium
sulphate, coco-glucoside, cetearyl alcohol,
lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth
sodium palmitate, vegetable glycerin and,
sulphate (SLES). There is some controversy
helpfully, vegetable oil.
about the safety of these ingredients but
Avoiding
palm oil
Palm oil and its derivatives are found
in a vast number of consumer products,
and its use spans the cosmetics, food
and household products sectors. Regular
readers of Ethical Consumer will no
doubt be familiar with the impacts of its
production. Clearance of land to create
lucrative palm-oil plantations has led to:
• climate-disastrous destruction of
peatland in Indonesia,
• the deforestation of land crucial to
the survival of the world’s remaining
orang-utans in Malaysia and Indonesia,
• the forced displacement of indigenous
people throughout the global South.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil
(RSPO) was formed in 2004 as a multistakeholder initiative to address some
of these issues, but the negative impacts
of palm oil production have continued.
Members include NGOs such as the
WWF, but also some of the worst culprits
of palm-oil related abuses. Greenpeace
has run some very successful campaigns
against some of the worst palm oil
Other shampoo brands
not on the table
Unilever also makes: Dove, Sunsilk,
Alberto Balsam, VO5, Bedhead, Lux,
Pears, Simple, Timotei. Procter &
Gamble also makes: Aussie, Head &
Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Wash &
Go, Wella, Sassoon. PZ Cussons also
makes: Imperial Leather. L’Oreal also
makes: L’Oreal, Redken.
SLS and SLES
Palm oil rankings
We rank companies on our tables as
follows:
• Companies score best for their palm
oil polices if 100% of their palm
oil is certified organic or Certified
Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), or if
they purchase Greenpalm certificates
to cover 100% of their supply chain,
or if they don’t use it at all. We also
make an allowance for small companies
(turnover below £8 million) that make
some commitments to sustainable palm
oil.
• If none of these conditions are met we
deduct half a point in the Habitats &
Resources, Human Rights and Climate
Change categories.
All the companies without marks in these
columns will have some effective policy
towards palm oil.
Ethical Consumer has a list of companies
that we score best for their palm
oil policies on our website at www.
ethicalconsumer.org/shoppingethically/
palmoilfreelist.aspx.
fears over its link to cancer seem to have
been largely discredited, though you’ll still
find many supporters of this theory on the
web.
The Skin Deep website gives SLS and SLES
hazard ratings of 1-2 (low hazard) and 4
out of 10 (moderate hazard) respectively.
The website states that research studies
have found that exposure to the ingredient
itself, not the products that contain it,
have indicated potential health risks.
Perhaps the strongest concerns linked
to the substances are those of skin, lung
or eye irritation, which are related to the
concentrations in which they appear in
products.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate is a
milder and safer form which some of
the alternative producers use. It is still
an irritant but only half as much as SLS
and SLES and its molecule size is larger
ensuring that these molecules do not
penetrate the skin.
We did not include SLS specifically
in our list of ‘ingredients to avoid’ (see
page 26) because, unlike the other six
ingredients, it is not in all the products
that we cover in this guide.
25
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
T
he Environmental Working
Group is an excellent research and
campaign organisation based in the
US. It focuses on publishing information
on toxic contaminants in consumer
products and in the environment.
It produces the Skin Deep database
(www.ewg.org/skindeep) which holds
information on thousands of cosmetics
and their ingredients and is freely
accessible to the public.
There are many thousands of
ingredients in this sector, but we chose six
problem ones to focus on for this report as
they were prevalent across all the different
cosmetics and toiletries products being
reviewed.
We asked all the companies in this
report whether they had policies on their
use. On our ranking tables, companies
that avoided all 6 of them were given a full
Product Sustainability mark. Companies
that avoided 2-5 of them were given half a
Product Sustainability mark.
Some consumers buying cosmetics may
want to look for them on the label and try
to avoid them.
Parabens
Found in most cosmetics, especially
shampoos, they are a preservative
designed to stop bacteria spoiling
cosmetic products. The most common
parabens used in cosmetic products
are methylparaben, propylparaben, and
butylparaben.
Parabens are linked to cancer,
endocrine disruption, reproductive
toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity
and skin irritation.1
They can be absorbed through the skin,
blood and digestive system and have been
found in nearly all urine samples from U.S.
adults.2
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) is becoming
increasingly popular as a preservative
to replace parabens. Big brands, like
Nivea’s Pure and Natural range, may
claim to be free from parabens but use
methylisothiazolinone instead.
Like parabens, it is a preservative that
can also release detectable levels of the
known human carcinogen formaldehyde.1
Even some products claiming to be
26
certified organic use this preservative,
as certain percentages of non-organic
material are allowed by some certifying
bodies. Researchers say the early test tube
evidence suggests that prolonged exposure
to MIT, or exposure to the chemical at
high concentrations, could damage the
nervous system.3
Petrolatum and mineral oil
Mineral oils listed as petrolatum
(petroleum jelly) or C-18 derivatives are
frequently used in personal care products
such as lipsticks, lubricants, baby lotions
and oils.
While petrolatum on its own is not too
harmful, it is often cheaply produced and
the impurities/contaminants often found
in petrolatum have been linked to several
types of cancer.10 In the EU, all petroleum
products in cosmetics must have their
production process certified to ensure
they don’t contain these carcinogenic
impurities.
Mineral oils are also known to clog
pores, forming a barrier preventing skin
from eliminating toxins. Repeated use
can even set off skin conditions such as
acne and dermatitis. It can also block the
skin’s ability to moisturise itself, leading
to chapped and dry skin, which are often
conditions it is sold to alleviate.
Plus, as an ingredient of the petroleum
industry, their use contributes to the
depletion of a non-renewable resource, not
to mention the impacts of oil exploration,
drilling, refining and transportation.
Synthetic colours
Synthetic colours used in cosmetics mostly
come from coal tar but can also be derived
from crude oil or other minerals.4,5 They
contain heavy metal salts that may deposit
toxins onto the skin, at the very least
causing skin sensitivity and irritation.
Some also contain carcinogenic arsenic
and lead.6
However not all are harmful. The Skin
Deep website lists a number of synthetic
colours which, in their ranking system,
range from 0 (safe) to 10 (very dangerous).
Synthetic fragrances
Synthetic fragrances are commonly used
in personal care products and often
contain as many as 200 ingredients. These
ingredients are, however, considered to
be trade secrets, so companies don’t have
to tell us what they are. However, studies
suggest a number of possible negative
effects of the compounds used to create
them including:
• immune system damage
• a cause and trigger asthma attacks
• hormone disruption, which can affect
development and fertility
• a potential neurotoxin (chemicals that
are toxic to the brain)
• increase in the proliferation of
oestrogen-responsive breast cancer cells
• they have also been found to be toxic to
aquatic life and can accumulate in the
food chain.7
Propylene Glycol (PEG or PPG)
Found in skin lotion, shampoo,
conditioner, baby wipes, soap, make-up.
Propylene Glycol is the main ingredient
in anti-freeze and is usually listed on
cosmetic labels as PEG or PPG.8
It is an alcohol which is added to
beauty products that claim to hydrate skin,
leaving it smooth and soft. However they
are considered by many to be a toxin that
causes skin rashes and persistent dry, flaky
skin and eye irritation. The Environmental
Working Group has also linked PEG to
various forms of cancer.9
References
1 Skin Deep cosmetics database - www.
cosmeticdatabase.com/ 2 Campaign for Safe
Cosmetics - http://safecosmetics.org/article.
php?id=291 3 http://www.lavera.com/education/
ingredient-watch/methylisothiazolinone-mit 4
http://www.lavera.com/education/ingredient-watch/
synthetic-colors 5 http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
search.php?hq=FD%26C&search_group=everything
&&showmore=everything&start=40 6 www.wen.org.
uk/careful-beauty-explained/ 7 http://safecosmetics.
org/article.php?id=222 8 http://www.channel4.
com/4beauty/make-up-skin-care/skin-care/guide-tocosmetic-ingredients 9 http://www.lavera.com/
education/ingredient-watch/polyethylene-glycol 10
http://www.lavera.com/education/ingredient-watch/
mineral-oil-a-petroleum-jelly-petrolatum
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
Marketing to men
Simon Birch explains why he’ll never fall for those male grooming ads.
I’m a rubbish bloke. You want proof? Just check out my
bathroom cabinet – here you’ll find a half-used bottle of
shampoo, a tub of shaving cream and well, that’s about it as far
as grooming products go.
You see I’ve never fallen for any of the male grooming
industry’s slick ad campaigns for what I consider to be nothing
more than over-priced, stinky, toxic waste. Aftershave?
Deodorant? Urgh! Not today or tomorrow thanks.
And whilst some blokes might think that I might smell like
a tramp, there’s nothing that a daily shower can’t sort out.
Besides my other (big) objection to the grooming industry
is the way in which their use is yet another stamp of corporate
conformity. Who wants to smell exactly the same as a zillion
other blokes? Excuse me but whatever happened to
individuality?
The bottom line is that I’d rather smell like the
unique creation that is me than the product of some
multi-nationals marketing and PR exercise thank you
very much.
The trouble is that whilst women have been
targeted by the cosmetics industry ever since
Cleopatra first over-used the eye-liner to hook
hapless Mark Anthony, the potentially lucrative male
market is now firmly on the radar of some of the
biggest companies in the world and they don’t care
how they hook us in.
Take Unilever, the world’s third biggest consumer
goods company and maker of Lynx deodorant.
They’ve used their millions to establish Lynx as
the leading male deodorant for teenage boys and
young men. The problem is how they get their
impressionable market to buy the stuff.
Given what occupies the minds of most teenage
blokes, Unilever have been flogging Lynx as a surefire way of making them instantly irresistible to the
opposite sex. And not everyone’s been happy at
some of their recent ads.
Last year six raunchy Lynx adverts, one
featuring lads’ mag pin-up Lucy Pinder, were
banned by the Advertising Standards Authority
after attracting more than 100 complaints whilst
a shower gel advert, which was circulated in
July 2011, attracted 113 complaints. The poster
depicted a bikini-clad woman under a shower at
a beach, with the headline: “The cleaner you are
the dirtier you get.”
The ASA said the adverts “were likely to cause serious or
widespread offence”, particularly to members of the public
accompanied by children, because it objectified women.
Unilever defended the ads saying that Lynx advertising is
tongue in cheek and that it is aimed at a youth market: “It’s
how an adolescent boy would love the world to be but that
everyone, including them, knows it is not going to be,” said
Keith Weed, chief marketing officer at Unilever.
Sure, this represents the more extreme end of the
advertising market, but it typifies the lengths to which
corporates are prepared to go to flog their rubbish.
And it’s another reason why I’ll keep on smelling the way
that nature intended.
Vancouver-based anti-consumerist
magazine, Adbusters, has produced a
series of spoof ads like this one.
27
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
17.5
Inika [O,S,Vg]
16.5
Lush [Vg]
13.5 H
Neal’s Yard [O,S,Vg]
13.5 H
Supply Chain Management
Politics
+ve
h
h
h
h
H
Anti-Social Finance
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
e
E
3.5
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
2.5
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
2.5
Inika
e
H
• Company Ethos:
e
e
h
USING THE TABLES
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
Animal Rights
Factory Farming
Animal Testing
Habitats & Resources
People
Product Sustainability
18.5
Essential Care [O,S,Vg]
Animals
avoid ‘cheap’ products as often the quality
of the products themselves isn’t so good.
Because of my pale skin they can make me
go a little orange!
Marketing does try to capture the next
‘best thing’ so I do tend to try new, ‘better’
products each time as opposed to sticking
to a regular brand. It is the desire to look
the best and feel good about yourself that
drives it, and often it feels like the cost
is just something attached and that the
‘quality’ of the make-up technology is
what counts – not whether it is natural or
organic.
Company Ethos
Essential Care lipstick [F,O,S,V]
Pollution & Toxics
BRAND
Climate Change
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Environmental Reporting
= bottom rating,
Ethiscore (out of 20)
H
h
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
I don’t think wearing
make-up is necessary
but to my age group
it is almost a vital
necessity to ‘fit in’. I barely
know any teenage girls who
don’t regularly apply a layer foundation
and mascara for school – some more
liberally than others.
I do tend to wear make-up every day
except for rest days as I do suffer with
‘teenage skin’. It makes me feel a little more
confident and does hide dark circles and
blemishes fairly successfully! I tend to
Political Activity
I
Emily Jackson, 18
n liberated 2012, women can do
whatever they like. It’s all about
choice – including the choice
of whether to wear make-up or
not. However, given the pressure of
marketing and society’s expectations
of women to look ‘good’, it’s interesting
to examine women’s relationship with
make-up. Does make-up feel like a
necessity or a fun optional extra? We
asked three young women about their
relationship with make-up.
E
e
E
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
2
Neal’s Yard Remedies
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
13
H
h h h
h h
H
Logona, Sante [S,Vg]
12
H
h
h
h
H
Dr Hauschka [S,Vg]
11
H
h
h
h h
H
Living Nature [S]
11
H
h
h h
h
H
Avon
8.5
h
Clarins
8.5
H
h
Revlon, Almay
8.5
H
h h
Rimmel
7.5
H
Estée Lauder, MAC *
6.5
H
h h h H
Body Shop
5.5
H
H
h H H
H
Maybelline, L’Oreal *
4.5
H
H
h H H H H
H H H
L’Oréal
4
Boots
3
1.5
h
1.5
1
Laverana Gmbh
Logocos Naturkosmetik
Wala-Stiftung
Living Nature Natural
H
H
h
H h h
Avon Products Inc
h h
H h
H
h
Financiere
H
h
H
h h h H
h
H
H
H h
h
h
MacAndrews & Forbes
H
h
Coty Inc
H
h
Estée Lauder Companies
H H H
L’Oréal
h
H h h h h H H H h H H
Superdrug
2.5
H
H H H H H h H h H h
Max Factor, Cover Girl
0.5
h
h H h H H H H H H H
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
H
Cheung Kong Holdings
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
h
H
* = L’Oreal also owns Garnier and Lancome. Estée Lauder also owns Origins and Aveda.
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
28
© Tina Rayna | Dreamstime.com
Make-up
Cosmetics & Toiletries
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
I recognise that wearing
make-up isn’t necessary and
I have the utmost admiration
for my friend’s little sister who
wears no make-up – but at the
same time, I feel more attractive when
i c al c
azine
Marnie Adamson, 16
ag
Y
I tend to wear make-up
everyday at work to
give me confidence.
When you work
surrounded by men
you realize the best way
to be listened to (and then
heard if you are lucky) is to first
make sure people acknowledge the way
you look, and in a good way. Wearing
make-up permits me to achieve this kind
of feeling by hiding what I don’t want to
be shown and focussing on what you want
people to see. Basically, I want people to
look me in the eye, so I will make my eyes
more noticeable. I wouldn’t say it is totally
necessary but it helps my confidence. It
wouldn’t shock me if others didn’t wear it.
My make-up habits change at the
weekend for something more visual, with
drawing and black line, and then it is more
part of the clothes you are wearing, like an
accessory.
There seem to be two kinds of
consumers: Those sensitive to special
offers (e.g. ‘buy one get one free’) and
those sensitive to health issues (e.g.
‘supplemented with vitamin E’). I would
be more in the second category, ready to
pay extra to gain something. Nowadays
marketing is more and more clever, with
marketing everywhere even where
we least expect it.
I wear make-up and that gives me
su mer m
confidence, which most of the time,
on
I severely lack. I’d almost argue that
Essential Care
lack of confidence can have much
make-up is organic
worse effects than wearing makeand mostly
up every day.
BE
vegan and its
U
S
T B
I probably don’t worry about the
lipsticks are also
ethics of my make-up as much as I
Fairtrade.
should. I avoid products that have been
tested on animals and my lip colours are
18.5
from a collection that helps to fund AIDS
16.5
and HIV treatment and research. My face
wash, moisturiser and cleansing products
are organic and from a company that
Inika make-up is all organic
seems like they would treat their workers
and vegan.
well. I don’t knowingly buy fair-trade
Neal’s Yard make-up is organic and
cosmetics but it would be nice to find out
some
of it is vegan.
that they were.
It isn’t so much advertising that sells
13.5
the product for me, but the reputation
13.5
of the company. If a company has a
reputation of making good quality makeup and cosmetics, then I tend to buy their
products as I trust that what I’m putting
on my skin isn’t harmful or loaded with
unnatural chemicals.
Lush make-up is vegan except
for Jackie Oates tinted moisturiser
I would agree with many others that
which contains honey.
there is a lot of pressure, from advertising
and also from the sheer weight of numbers
of women and girls who do use make-up
13
in order to have ‘flawless skin’. For most,
make-up is the way to achieve this.
Lavera make-up
On the other hand, I find
is mostly organic
putting make-up on fun. I guess
and vegan.
it is still the little girl inside
me. When my friends and
I go to parties or to clubs, I
enjoy going to their houses
and getting dressed and
but simply having a good time with my
doing make-up together. At
friends. Would it still be a fun activity with
that point, it’s not about making
my friends if we didn’t all feel the need to
myself prettier or feeling pressure
put make-up on in the first place?
e th
Anne Laure, 26
L’Oréal: Get the lead out of lipstick!
In the USA, in September 2007, the Campaign for Safe
Cosmetics sent 33 lipsticks purchased in the US to an
independent lab to be tested for lead. The two highest lead
counts were both found in L’Oréal Colour Riche lipsticks.
A new study by the Food and Drink Administration found
lead in 400 lipsticks tested, with higher lead levels than
ever reported in some of the most popular brands. The
worst offender was L’Oréal USA, whose Maybelline Color
Sensation and L’Oréal Color Riche lipsticks were #1 and #2
on the list. In fact, L’Oréal USA makes five of the 10 most
contaminated brands in the FDA study.
A brand-new report for the US Centers for Disease Control
states that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.
That means we must protect women from lead exposure,
since lead builds up in the body over time and easily crosses
the placenta, where it can interfere with normal development
of a foetus and cause irreversible health effects.
According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, lead is
a proven neurotoxin linked to learning, language and
behavioural problems such as lowered IQ, impulsiveness,
reduced school performance, increased aggression, seizures
and brain damage, anaemia, and, after long exposure,
damage to the kidneys. Lead has also been linked to
miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and
women, hormonal changes, menstrual
irregularities and delays in the onset
of puberty in girls.
You can send a message to L’Oréal
demanding a public commitment
to reformulate all L’Oréal and
Maybelline lipsticks to ensure the
lowest possible levels of lead.
Go to www.safecosmetics.org
29
Cosmetics & Toiletries
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 www.ethicalconsumer.org
Supply Chain Management
Politics
+ve
Essential Care [O,S,Vg]
17
Green People [O,S,Vg]
17
Caurnie [S,Vg]
16.5
Faith in Nature [S,Vg]
16.5
Honesty [S,Vg]
16.5
Pure Nuff Stuff [S,Vg]
16.5
Bentley Organics [O,S]
e
e
16
14.5 H
Neal’s Yard [O,F,S,Vg]
14.5 H
Lavera [S,O,Vg]
e
e
A. Vogel [O,S]
Lush [Vg]
E
h
15.5
Weleda [S,V,O]
h
h
e
h
e
h
14
14
e
H
h
h
h
H
h
h
h h h
h h
H
Urtekram [O]
12.5 H
h
h
h
H
Logona [S]
11.5 H
h
h
h
H
h h
H
h
H
Dr Hauschka [S,Vg]
11
H
h
h
Living Nature [S]
11
H
h
h h
10.5 h
Avalon Organics [O,S]
E
H
H
H
e
H
13.5 H
13
3
e
Little Satsuma [Vg]
Natural Empathy [S,Vg]
e
e
17.5
Badger [O,S]
Product Sustainability
18
Company Ethos
Anti-Social Finance
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
SKINCARE
Yaoh [O,S,Vg]
h
e
E
E
e
h
2.5
• Company Ethos:
e
E
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
Yaoh Ltd
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
2
WS Badger
3
Green People Company Ltd
1.5
Caurnie Soap Co
1.5
Faith Products Ltd
1.5
Honesty Cosmetics
1.5
Pure Nuff Stuff
1.5
Thos. Bentley & Son
0.5
Little Satsuma
2
Bioforce AG
3
Neal’s Yard Remedies
1
Crystal Spring
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
3
Laverana Gmbh
1
Urtekram International
1
Logocos Naturkosmetik
1.5
Wala-Stiftung
1
Living Nature Natural
h
h
H h h
H
h
1.5
Hain Celestial Group
JASON [S,V]
10
h
h
h
H h h
H
h
1
Hain Celestial Group
Yardley, Lypsyl
9.5
H
h
h H
h
H
h h h H
Molton Brown
9
H
H
h
Kao Corporation
H
h
H h h
Avon Products Inc
h h
H h
H
h
Financiere
h h h H
H
H h
H
h
Estée Lauder Companies
H
H h
H
h
Beiersdorf AG
8.5
h
Clarins
8.5
H
h
Origins, Aveda
6.5
H
Nivea
6.5
H
h h h H
Body Shop
5.5
H
h H h H
L’Oreal, Garnier
Boots
5
4
h
H
4.5
Lornamead
H
Avon
E45
H
H
H
h H H
H
H
3.5
h
Superdrug
2.5
H
Dove, Ponds, Simple
1.5
Olay
0.5
h
H
H
h H
h H H H H
H h h h h H H H h H H
Neutrogena, Johnson’s
H H H
H h
H H
H H
H
L’Oréal
Reckitt Benckiser
H H H
L’Oréal
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
H H H H
Johnson and Johnson
h
H
Cheung Kong Holdings
h H H H H H H H H h
h H H H
Unilever
h H h H H H H H H H
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
H H H H H h H h H h
H
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic [F] = Fairtrade
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
30
USING THE TABLES
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
People
Animal Rights
Animals
Animal Testing
Habitats & Resources
BRAND
Pollution & Toxics
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Climate Change
= bottom rating,
Environmental Reporting
H
h
Ethiscore (out of 20)
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Factory Farming
Skincare & shaving products
Cosmetics & Toiletries
Supply Chain Management
Politics
+ve
Weleda [S,V,O]
14
H
Lush [Vg]
13.5 H
Neal’s Yard [O,S,Vg]
13.5 H
Lavera [S,O]
Living Nature [S]
Avalon Organics [O,S]
h
h
H
h
h
h
h
H
h h
H
h
Product Sustainability
16.5
Company Ethos
Anti-Social Finance
Political Activity
Boycott Call
Genetic Engineering
Arms & Military Supply
SHAVING GEL AND FOAMS
Pure Nuff Stuff [S,Vg]
USING THE TABLES
Positive ratings (+ve):
Irresponsible Marketing
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
People
Animal Rights
Animals
Animal Testing
Habitats & Resources
Pollution & Toxics
BRAND
Climate Change
= middle rating,
empty = top rating
(no criticisms).
Environmental Reporting
= bottom rating,
Ethiscore (out of 20)
H
h
Nuclear Power
Environment
USING THE TABLES
Ethiscore: the higher
the score, the better the
company across the criticism
categories.
Factory Farming
www.ethicalconsumer.org SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012
e
1.5
e
E
e
E
• Company Ethos:
e
E
= full mark,
= half mark.
• Product Sustainability:
Maximum of five positive
marks.
COMPANY GROUP
Pure Nuff Stuff
2
Weleda AG
1
Lush Cosmetics Ltd
2
Neal’s Yard Remedies
2
Laverana Gmbh
12
H
h h h
11
H
h
h h
h
H
1
Living Nature Natural
10.5 h
h
h
H h h
H
h
1.5
Hain Celestial Group
h
h
H h h
H
h
1
Hain Celestial Group
H
H
h
Kao Corporation
H
H
h
H h h
Avon Products Inc
h
Financiere
JASON [S,V]
10
Molton Brown
9
h
h h h H
Avon
8.5
h
ClarinsMen
8.5
H
h
h h
H h
H
Original Source
8
H
h h h H
h
H
H
Clinique, Aveda
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H
h
Estée Lauder Companies
Nivea
6.5
H
h h h H
H
H h
H
h
Beiersdorf AG
Body Shop
5.5
H
H
h H H
H
H H H
L’Oréal
L’Oreal Men Expert
4.5
H
H
h H H H H
H H H
L’Oréal
Palmolive
4.5
Boots
4
Superdrug
2.5
Simple
1.5
Gillette
0.5
h
h
h h h H H H H
H h
H h h h h H H H h H H
H
H H H H H h H h H h
h H H H H H H H H h
h
h H h H H H H H H H
h H
h
H
PZ Cussons plc
h
Colgate-Palmolive
H
KKR & Co. L.P.
H
Cheung Kong Holdings
h H H H
Unilever
H H H H
Procter & Gamble Company
[Vg] = Vegan [V] = Vegetarian [S] = lower toxic chemicals [O] = organic
on
su mer m
ag
th i c al c
All the research behind these ratings is on www.ethicalconsumer.org
Y
e
azine
Skincare
18
Best Buys are Yaoh, Essential
Care, Badger, Green People,
BE
Caurnie, Faith in Nature, Honesty,
S T BU
Pure Nuff Stuff, Bentley Organics,
Little Satsuma, A.Vogel, Neal’s Yard,
Natural Empathy, Weleda, Lush, Lavera and
Urtekram.
Neal’s Yard and Lush have their own high street shops and the
others are available from health food shops or by mail order.
Lush make skincare bars with no packaging.
Other brands not on the
skincare table
Unilever also makes: Lux, St Ives,
Vaseline. Johnson & Johnson also
makes: Johnson’s Baby, Aveeno,
RoC. Estée Lauder also makes:
Clinique, Estée Lauder. L’Oreal also
makes: Biotherm, Lancome, Vichy.
Kao Corporation also makes: Bioré,
Jergens.
17
16.5
Shaving gel and foams
The Best Buys are Pure Nuff Stuff, Neal’s Yard, Weleda, Lavera
and Lush.
31
Cosmetics & Toiletries – The stories
behind the company ratings
A Vogel Neem Shampoo
Owned by Bioforce AG Roggwil TG
Bioforce AG Roggwil TG, Communications Manager, Bioforce AG,
Grunaustrasse, Postfach 76, Roggwil, CH9325, Switzerland
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environment report (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Bioforce AG a questionnaire
including a question regarding its environmental policies. No
response was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website
and found no reports relating to the company’s environmental
impact.
Under the aims of the company it stated that it was to provide
effective natural remedies which respected nature. It stated that
its medicinal plants originated from its own cultivations, managed
by contract farmers. The plants in its cultivation fields originated
from the company’s own seeds and were cultivated according
to the strict guidelines of BIO-SUISSE i.e. without the use of
fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.
However the company did not have any quantified dated
environmental targets, nor was there any information regarding
the company’s environmental impacts.
Bioforce, therefore, did not fulfil the conditions required by
ECRA for environmental reporting for a company with a turnover
above £8m and therefore received a worst rating in this category.
(ref: 1)
Animals
Animal Testing
Middle ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
A search of Bioforce international website, www.bioforce.com,
by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 found a statement which
stated that the company did not test its products on animals nor
did obtain raw materials from suppliers which had engaged in
such work. Because there was no fixed cut off date, the company
receives our middle rating. (ref: 1)
People
Human Rights
Operations in oppressive regimes (information only) (June
2012)
The Bioforce website, www.avogel.ch, stated that company had
a partner company and a production plant in India. India at the
time of writing was considered by Ethical Consumer to be an
oppressive regime. (ref: 1)
Positive policy regarding palm oil sourcing (July 2012)
The Bioforce UK website, www.bioforce.co.uk, viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012, stated that A.Vogel Low Sodium
Plantaforce vegetable stock concentrate had come from sustainable
sources.
It stated that its palm oil production was audited by ProForest, a
company working with natural resource management. ProForest
certified production in accordance with the Migros Criteria for
environmental and social best practices for Oil Palm Plantations,
which was endorsed by WWF. The company was considered to
have an effective policy on palm oil sourcing. (ref: 2)
Supply Chain Management
Worst rating for supply chain policy (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Bioforce AG a questionnaire
which asked for its policies on supply chain management. No
response was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website
and found no policy documents relating to the company’s supply
chain management or to workers’ rights.
Due to the lack of information provided by the company with
regards to the company’s supply chain, it received Ethical
Consumer’s worst rating for supply chain management. (ref: 1)
Politics
Company Ethos
All ingredients from organic plants (2012)
Bioforce’s website (www.avogel.co.uk), viewed in July 2012,
stated “all plants from which A.Vogel products originate either
from our own cultivation or from organic farmers working on
contract” (Bioforce does business as “A.Vogel”). The organic
accreditation was provided by Bio Suisse. The company’s products
were all innovative environmental alternatives. (ref: 3)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Organic Product (July 2012)
Bioforce’s website (www.avogel.co.uk), viewedin July 2012,
stated “all plants from which A.Vogel products originate either
from our own cultivation or from organic farmers working on
contract” (Bioforce does business as “A.Vogel”). The organic
accreditation was provided by Bio Suisse. (ref: 1)
Other Sustainability Features
Toxic free (July 2012)
According to the Vogel website viewed by Ethical Consumer in
July 2012 the company did not use the following chemicals in
Neem Shampoo which potentially pose a risk to the environment
and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG”
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 1)
Aquafresh toothpaste &
mouthwash
Owned by GlaxoSmithKline plc
GlaxoSmithKline plc, 980 Great West Road, Brentford, Middlesex,
TW8 9GS
GlaxoSmithKline plc is owned by BNY (Nominees) Ltd (15%)
which is owned by Bank of New York Mellon (15%)
Bank of New York Mellon, One Wall Street, New York, NY 10286,
USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent GlaxoSmithKline a
questionnaire regarding its environmental reporting. No response
was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website and found
GSK’s Corporate Responsibility 2011 report.
On page 83 the company outlined several quantified dated targets,
which included targets for carbon, water, waste and environmental
stewardship.
One of the company’s long term goals was to make its entire
value chain carbon neutral by 2050 and it was part of the Carbon
Disclosure Project.
The report detailed the main environmental impacts throughout
the company’s supply chain. It discussed the impact of waste
products, for which it had set up schemes for recycling and reusing
(for example collecting old inhalers).
The report was independently verified by SGS United Kingdom
Ltd which included environmental data contained in the ‘our
planet’ section.
GlaxoSmithKline therefore received Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 4)
Climate Change
Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed GlaxoSmithKlein
and attached a questionnaire that included a request for the
company’s policy in relation to palm oil sourcing. The company
did not respond. No related information could be found on its
website, www.gsk.com, and it was not listed as a member of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil on the organisation’s website.
The company was a major manufacturer of toothpaste, which
often contained Sodium Laureth Sulfate derived from palm oil.
Ethical Consumer expected a company of its size to have a policy
specifically addressing palm oil sourcing. In the absence of this
and as a result of the negative effects of palm oil production world
wide, the company lost half marks in the categories of climate
change, habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 5)
Pollution & Toxics
Research using nanotechnology (July 2012)
The document ‘GSK Public Policy Position Statement on
Nanomaterials’ was downloaded from the GlaxoSmithKline
website, www.gsk.com, in July 2012. This stated that the
company had no products on the market that contained deliberately
engineered nanomaterials. However, the company was said to
be “ actively investigating a number of opportunities that utilize
nanomaterials in our Research & Development programmes”.
(ref: 6)
Products containing toxic and bioaccumulative chemicals
(2007)
According to an article in the ENDS Report issue 386 (March
2007, pp30-33) Sensodyne toothpaste made by GSK contained
triclosan, an anti-bacterial organochlorine. Triclosan was found
to accumulate in caged fish kept near sewage outlets in Sweden,
as well as human breast milk. The substance is toxic to a range of
aquatic species, especially algae. In a laboratory study it induced
hormone disruption in tadpoles. An industry working group of
which GlaxoSmithKline was part proposed increasing allowed
toxicity levels ten fold after initial research showed 15% of
samples close to or above the allowed limit. (ref: 7)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Animal testing of products not required by law (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011,
GlaxoSmithKline was listed in a pdf called ‘Companies that test
on animals’ produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals. The companies were on the list because they manufacture
cosmetic and household products that were tested on animals
even though it was not required by law. (ref: 8)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (June 2012)
A search of GlaxoSmithKline’s website, www.gsk.com, by
Ethical Consumer in June 2012 found, under its Research and
Development section of the website, the company’s policy on
testing on animals.
GSK stated that it researched, developed, and manufactured
medicines, vaccines and consumer health products for humans
in which research using animals was a small, yet vital, part of
this process. The company accepted that it was sensititive issue
and therefore applied the 3 R’s approach which was Replacing,
Reducing, and Refining animal testing. It also had an ethics board
which had to approve any testing. Testing was primarily carried
out on rodents and rabbits however other animals included fish,
ferrets, amphibians, pigs, dogs, cats, and non-human primates.
Much of its work on animals involved research designed to help
the company understand specific diseases and identify possible
medicines and vaccines to treat and/or prevent them. GSK stated
that it did not test non-medicinal products on animals unless there
was a specific legal or regulatory requirement to do so.
GSK therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating as it
clearly conducted and commissioned tests on animals and had
fixed cut off date to ending the practice. (ref: 5)
Use of transgenic animals in testing (2009)
The GlaxoSmithKline website, www.gsk.com, viewed by ECRA
April 2009, stated that the company used transgenic animals for
experimentation and that they were “proving ever more vital in the
discovery and development of new treatments and cures for many
serious diseases by helping scientists to characterise the newlysequenced human genome. Without them, the pharmaceutical
industry’s ability to discover new treatments would be significantly
reduced.” The website also stated that Glaxo was involved in
claiming patents on gene sequences. (ref: 9)
People
Human Rights
Unethical drug trials in India (2011)
On 15th November 2011 it was reported in the Independent,
www.independent.co.uk, that medical trials were conducted at the
Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), the
Indian hospital that treated the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster,
which campaigners claimed killed 25,000 people in December
1984. It was stated that the trials were conducted on behalf of
western pharmaceutical companies and that there were ‘serious
ethical violations’. Six patients were said to have died during a
cardiac trial of fondaparinux, which was purchased in 2004 by
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from Sanofi-Synthelabo (which later
became Sanofi-Aventis). GSK was said to have claimed that Sanofi
remained responsible for the conduct of the study. The case was
said to highlight the problem of assigning responsibility.
In a separate article in the Independent, published on 14th
November 2011, it was stated that Sanofi-Aventis was one of
ten companies that had made compensation payments to the
relatives of individuals that had died during or subsequent to
trials in 2010. The payments were said to have been an average
of just 238,000 rupees, or £3,000, for each individual. A retired
physician, Dr. Gulhati, was quoted as saying: “Indians are being
used by companies to make money selling expensive medicines
in the West...[They are] using illiterate and poor Indians who will
never be able to afford these kinds of medicines.” (ref: 10)
Unethical vaccines in India (2010)
On 14th November 2011 it was reported in the Independent,
www.independent.co.uk, that hundreds of tribal girls living in
residential schools in India had been recruited for an immunisation
study without parental consent. Several girls were said to have
subsequently died, one in 2010, and the study halted by the federal
authorities. The trial was said to have been led by a US NGO,
PATH, and to have been sponsored for millions of dollars by the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Two vaccines, one of which,
Cervarix, was produced by GlaxoSmithKline, were given to over
23,000 girls to prevent Human Papiloma Virus (HPV), a sexually
transmitted virus that is one of the causes of cervical cancer. Whilst
a government inquiry was said not to have linked the vaccines to
the deaths, the failure to obtain consent was found by the enquiry
panel to be a “significant deficiency in the implementation of
the trial”. Officials for PATH were said to have claimed that the
study was carried out after the vaccine was already licensed and
therefore was not strictly a clinical trial. Regarding consent,
they were quoted as saying: “The state government authorised
the wardens to provide this consent for girls who were living at
residential schools.” Spokespeople for the Gates foundation and
GlaxoSmithKline were said to have “emphasised that the drugs
involved in the studies are safe”. (ref: 11)
Illegal tests of vaccines (March 2007)
According to an article dated the 2nd March 2007 on the Business
and Human Rights Resource Centre’s website www.businesshumanrights.org, Russian prosecutors were investigating a
local hospital on suspicions it illegally tested vaccines made
by GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]…on toddlers, making them ill
and hampering their development…[P]rosecutors [said] Glaxo
paid the clinic in southwestern Russia $50,000 to conduct the
trials...GSK…denied the claims and said there was no evidence
of adverse events or misconduct in the way the study had been
carried out…[P]rosecutors claimed parents were not properly
informed…A company spokeswoman said its own internal audit
showed informed consent had been given by all parents and
doctors involved in the trial had reported no signs of adverse
effects. (ref: 12)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent GlaxoSmithKline a
questionnaire regarding its supply chain management. No
response was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website
and found GSK’s 3rd Party Code of Conduct. According to
GSK’s Corporate Responsiblility Report 2011 GSK supplier
expectations and standards for ethical conduct, labour practices
and protection of human rights, EHS management systems, and
interactions with GSK employees was defined in its Third Party
Code of Conduct.
Supply Chain Policy (inadequate)
The 3rd Party Code of Conduct is for 3rd party suppliers of GSK.
There was no definition of suppliers and the depth within the
supply chain to which the code applied to. The code of conduct did
include provisions for employment free from discrimination and
forced labour. However, the provisions for child labour, working
hours, wages, and freedom of association were considered to be
insufficient.
The provision for child labour was considered insufficient as it
was not in accordance with the ILO definition of child labour.
According to the code, working hours and payment of wages was
left to the discretion of the supplier and freedom of association
was not guaranteed, especially in countries where it is illegal.
As a company working in over 100 countries around the world
and in places where there is a high prevalence of child labour, low
wages, long working hours and restrictions concerning freedom
of association, Ethical Consumer would expect GSK to have a
more rigorous supply chain policy ensuring workers’ rights were
being met. Due to the reasons stated above GSK received an
inadequate rating for supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
A search of GSK website found no evidence that it was a member of
a multi-stakeholder process nor was it involved with trade unions,
Not For Profits, or NGO’s in helping to improve workers’ rights.
GSK did offer a Confidential Reporting Line to employees and
3rd party suppliers to report violations of the code of conduct.
Calls could provide anonymous feedback as the company had
taken steps to remove ID caller information. It was no clear if it
was independently investigated. GSK received a poor rating of
stakeholder engagement.
Audit and reporting (poor)
GSK in its Corporate REsponsibility Report 2011 stated that it
audited critical suppliers before selecting them. The audit included
suppliers’ performance against the human rights clauses included
in supplier contracts. GSK stated if there were significant gaps in
the supplier’s performance then a number of number of options
may be offered - in some cases the company may decide not to
continue working with that supplier. No disclosure of audits, or
a planned schedule of audits was available, nor a commitment
to audit the whole supply chain, therefore GSK receieved a poor
rating for auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
A search of GSK’s website found no evidence that it was addressing
any difficult issues within its supply chain such as payment of
living wages and freedom of association, therefore the company
receieved a poor rating for difficult issues.
Overall the company received a worst Ethical Consumer rating
for supply chain management. (ref: 13)
Irresponsible Marketing
Suppression of evidence re: Seroxat (2007)
According to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s
website, www.business-humanrights.org, on the 29th of January
2007 a BBC Panorama documentary revealed secret emails
showing that GlaxoSmithKline distorted trial results of an antidepressant, covering up a link with suicide in teenagers. Panorama
revealed that the company attempted to show that Seroxat
worked for depressed children despite failed clinical trials...GSK
told Panorama: “GSK utterly rejects any suggestion that it has
improperly withheld drug trial information.” (ref: 14)
Massive fine for miselling and bribes (July 2012)
According to the BBC website in July 2012 GlaxoSmithKline was
to pay $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement
in US history.
The drug giant pleaded guilty to promoting two drugs for
unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes
drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In addition, GSK was found guilty of paying kickbacks to
doctors.
“The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products
using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from
Hawaiian vacations [and] paying doctors millions of dollars to
go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts,” said US
attorney Carmin Ortiz.
GSK admitted to promoting antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin
for unapproved uses, including treatment of children and
adolescents.
The illegal practice is known as off-label marketing.
The company also conceded charges that it held back data and made
unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia.
It agreed to resolve civil liability for promoting asthma drug Advair
and two lesser-known drugs for unapproved uses. (ref: 15)
Fine over clinical trials involving babies in Argentina
(January 2012)
On 6th January 2012 it was reported by Sky News, www.news.sky.
com, that Glaxosmithkline had been fined £60,000 for irregularities
in the recruitment of young children and babies in drugs trials. It
was alleged that consent forms were signed by illiterate parents or
by people who did not have custody of the children. The Buenos
Aires Herald reported that 14 children died during the study,
however Glaxosmithkline and the Argentine Health Officials said
no link was found between the vaccine and the deaths; according
to GSK the babies were given placebos. (ref: 16)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
(See also ‘Use of transgenic animals in testing’ in Animal
Testing above.)
Use of Genetically Modified Micro-organisms (July 2012)
A search of the GlaxoSmithKline website by Ethical Consumer
in June 2012 for its policy on Genetically Modified Organisms
(GMOs) found a policy document called Genetically Modified
Micro-Organisms and Environment Health and Safety 2010. The
company stated that it did not use genetically modified plants and
crops in its activities, however, it did use Genetically Modified
Micro-Organisms which is the development of entities such bateria,
fungi, viruses, viroirds, animal or plant cells. In the document the
company also said it used transgenic animals.
GMM’s have a different level of deactivation requirement before
they can be released into the environment and therefore contain a
high risk to the environment if released. The company said that
the strategies used for inactivating a GMM-containing waste
stream are determined by the nature of the GMM being used, the
concentration of the material in the waste stream, the volume of
the waste stream, the ability of the GMM to survive in a natural
environment, and the viability of the cells after processing.
Methods to inactivate waste streams were said to include heat/
chemical treatment, physical disruption of cells, filtration, and
radiation (gamma or UV). (ref: 5)
Boycott Call
SHAC animal testing boycott (2012)
According to the Stop Huntingdon Cruelty website, www.shac.
net, viewed in July 2012, GlaxoSmithKline was still a target of
SHAC’s campaigns on the grounds that it still commissioned tests
at vivisection laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences. According
to SHAC: “GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) are Huntingdon’s single
largest customer. They use HLS for experiments every single
day and have used HLS many hundreds of times. They use HLS
consistently.” (ref: 17)
Political Activities
Membership of ICC lobby group (2009)
The website of the International Chamber of Commerce (www.
iccwbo.org), viewed on 20 April 2009, listed GlaxoSmithKline as
a member. According to the ICC, it had “direct access to national
governments all over the world through its national committees”;
“speaks for world business when governments take up such issues
as intellectual property rights, transport policy, trade law or the
environment”; “At UN summits on sustainable development,
financing for development and the information society, ICC
spearheads the business contribution.” ECRA noted that the
activity of lobby groups such as the ICC often meant that business
interests were protected at the expense of the environment and
human rights. (ref: 18)
Disproportionate power over global economy (October
2011)
New Scientist ran an article ‘Revealed – the capitalist network
that runs the world ‘ published on its website, www.newscientist.
com, October 24th 2011, which detailed research conducted by
the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich involving
an analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational
corporations. The research identified a relatively small group of
companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the
global economy. The researchers looked at the 43,060 TNCs and
the share ownerships linking them and from that constructed a
model of which companies controlled others through shareholding
networks, coupled with each company’s operating revenues, to
map the structure of economic power. The research revealed a
core of a of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships. The
researchers further untangled the web of ownership and found
much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more
tightly linked companies which controlled 40 per cent of the total
wealth in the network. They found that less than one per cent
of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire
network. Most were financial institutions. Bank of New York
Mellon Corp was ranked 16th on the list. (ref: 19)
Membership of USCIB lobby group (July 2012)
The website of the US Council for International Business (www.
uscib.org) in July 2012 listed Bank of New York Company as
a member. The USCIB described itself as “founded in 1945 to
promote an open world trading system, now among the premier
pro-trade, pro-market liberalization organizations ...provides
unparalleled access to international policy makers and regulatory
authorities.” ECRA noted that free trade lobby groups had been
criticised by campaigners for lobbying for business interests
at the expense of the environment, human rights and animal
welfare. (ref: 20)
Anti-Social Finance
NGOs call for patent pooling (2009)
According to the Autumn 2009 issue of Christian Aid News,
Christian Aid, Unicef, Medecins sans Frontieres and 12 other
organisations had written to the Guardian newspaper calling on
GlaxoSmithKline to “pool its patents on HIV medicines to help
save the lives of millions in developing countries”. Campaigners
had long campaigned about the conduct of private sector companies
in terms of the profits that they made from life-saving treatments,
causing prices to be too high for people in the Majority World
to afford, at least without getting into unrealistic levels of debt.
(ref: 21)
(See also ‘Massive fine for miselling and bribes’ in
Irresponsible Marketing above.)
Tax avoidance (11 May 2012)
On 11 May 2012 it was reported on the BBC news website,
www.bbc.co.uk, that the BBC’s Panorama programme had
found that “UK-based firms cut secret tax deals with authorities
in Luxembourg to avoid millions in corporation tax in Britain”.
GlaxoSmithKline was reported to be one of the companies
involved, and to have told the programme that they had a duty
to be “tax efficient”. It was said to have set up a subsidiary
in Luxembourg in 2009, which then lent £6.34bn to a GSK
company in the UK, for which £124m of interest was paid, thus
removing the money from the company’s profits. Tax authorities
in Luxembourg were reported to have agreed to levy tax on the
interest at just over £300,000, which was less than 0.5%. This
resulted in GSK in the UK potentially avoiding up to £34m in UK
corporation tax. GSK was said to have “negotiated a tax settlement
with HMRC and closed down its £6.34bn loan operation through
Luxembourg”. (ref: 22)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Animal Testing not required by law (June 2012)
According to the PETA website viewed in June 2012, Church
& Dwight was on a list of companies that tested on animals.
The companies were on the list because they manufactured
cosmetic and household products that were tested on animals.
PETA encouraged consumers to boycott companies on the list.
(ref: 25)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Arm & Hammer toothpaste
Owned by Church & Dwight Co Inc
Church & Dwight Co Inc, 469 N. Harrison St., Princeton, NJ
08543-5297, United States
Supply Chain Management
Worst rating for no supply chain policy (2012)
The Church & Dwight Co Inc website was searched by Ethical
Consumer in June 2012 for the company’s supply chain
management information.
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental report (2012)
Church & Dwight Co Inc did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s
written request in June 2012 for the company’s environmental
policy or report. The 2010 Sustainability Report, its most recent,
was downloaded from the company’s website www.churchdwight.
com. While areas of focus for 2011 were named and demonstrated
a reasonable understanding of the company’s main impacts, the
report did not include any dated, quantified future targets for
reducing these.
The document stated that external audits were conducted to assess
adherence to internal policies and procedures, and local, state and
federal environmental, health and safety regulations. The audits
were said to cover the following issues:
The website included a ‘Corporate Responsibility’ section where
the following information was found.
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (poor)
No clause could be found on payment of a living wage or limiting
the working week to 48 hours plus 12 hours overtime.
The child labour clause was considered insufficient, stating that
the minimum age for work was 16 years if not specified in law,
which allowed a loophole for suppliers to employ younger children
if this was stipulated by law in a country.
The clauses on discrimination, forced labour and access to trade
unions were sufficient.
STAKEHOLDER ENAGAGEMENT (poor)
1. Air Pollution Control
No mention found.
2. Hazardous Materials (EPCRA, DOT, General Management/
Permitting)
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
3. Potable Water
4. PCB/Asbestos
5. Hazardous Waste
6. Solid Waste
7. Spill Prevention and Control
8. Wastewater/Stormwater Management
Church & Dwight stated the following on its website under the
heading ‘Supply Chain Transparency’:
“Church & Dwight utilise risk-based assessments when selecting
new suppliers. In addition, all of our suppliers are expected to
abide by the Church & Dwight Co., Inc. Global Operations
Guiding Principles (“Guiding Principles”) which set out minimum
standards for working conditions[...].
9. Other (Management Programs, Pesticides, and other)
Our supplier contracts require suppliers to conduct their operations
in accordance with all applicable laws.
The company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 23)
In our supply contracts, Church & Dwight reserves the right to
audit suppliers’ premises for compliance with the Child Labor and
Forced Labor warranty. Church & Dwight’s standard quality audit
protocols, applicable to scheduled audits by Church & Dwight
personnel, include suppliers’ compliance with the Child Labor
and Forced Labor warranty and our Guiding Principles as one of
the audit items. Any supplier found to be in violation is subject to
corrective action including termination of business.”
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (July 2012)
The Church & Dwight Co Inc Annual Report 2011 was downloaded
from the company’s website, www.churchdwight.com, in July
2012. This stated that the company used a palm oil fraction in
its rumen bypass fats products and in some of its animal nutrition
products. No information could be found on whether the company
attempted to source palm oil sustainably or mitigate the harmful
effects of palm oil usage. Consequently Church & Dwight Co
Inc lost half marks in the categories of climate change, human
rights and habitat destruction. (ref: 24)
Ethical Consumer did not take the above statement to demonstrate
that the company audited its entire supply chain. Nor were the
audit schedule or results disclosed. It suggest that a staged
approach was taken to non-compliances. No mention was made
of who paid audit costs.
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
None mentioned.
The company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 23)
Politics
Boycott Call
(See also ‘Animal Testing not required by law’ in Animal
Testing above.)
Anti-Social Finance
Excessive Director’s Pay (2011)
According to the Executive Pay Watch database on www.aflcio.
org, the Church & Dwight Co Inc CEO was paid $3,072,804 in
2011, which equalled roughly £1,973,696 at the time of writing.
Ethical Consumer deems any amount over £1 million annually
to be excessive. (ref: 26)
Avon deodorant
Owned by Avon Products Inc
Avon Products Inc, 1345 Avenue of the America, New York, NY
10105-0196, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Middle ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June
2012)
In July 2012 Avon Products responded to a questionnaire with
URL’s regarding where to find the company’s information on
its environmental reporting. Some environmental information
was found, including dated quantified targets which included;
to purchase 100% of paper from certified and / or post consumer
recycled sources by 2020 (currently at 74%); reduce green house
gases / carbon emissions by 10% by 2012 and 20% by 2020;
increase recycling by 5% by 2012 and have zero waste going
to landfill by 2020; waste management to have a 10% intensity
reduction by 2012 and a 40% intensity reduction by 2020; water
use to be reduced by 7% by 2012 and 40% overall intensity
reduction by 2020. Avon based the figures on data from 2008 for
the targets in 2012 and 2005 for the targets in 2020.
Avon Products had also made the commitment to discontinue the
use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in beauty packaging by 2015.
The website did include some carbon disclosure and the company
participated in the Carbon Disclosure Project. However, the
website made no mention of toxics, which as a perfume and
cosmetic manufacturer, were a major aspect of its business. It also
neglected to mention whether or not its environmental data was
independently verified. As a result, it received Ethical Consumer’s
middle rating in this category. (ref: 27)
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanotechnology (July 2012)
In July 2012 Avon Products responded to a questionnaire which
requested the company’s nanotechnology policy. A URL was
provided which linked to the company’s nanotechnology policy
on its website.
The policy stated that nanotechnology was used, which was
primarily titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, in a wide range of
cosmetic products to provide protection against the ultraviolet
(UV) rays of the sun.
However, while it was acknowledged by Ethical Consumer that
there was a case for using nanotechnology to protect consumers skin
against UV rays of the sun, Avon did not state that nanotechnology
was not used in other products. Nanotechnology was considered
by environmental campaigners to pose a significant threat to the
environment and human safety and therefore the company received
a mark against it for pollution and toxics. (ref: 27)
Poor rating on product risk issues (2007)
According to the ENDS Report issue 386 (March 2007), Avon
was one of the companies which had scored poorly in relation
to its peers in an analysis by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors
of major firms in the personal care, household durables, multiline retail and healthcare equipment sectors. It said Innovest had
rated them on their efforts to manage chemical risk, examining
parameters such as policies, consumer awareness activities,
internal capacity building, development of data on risks and
supply chain alignment. The report had been designed to warn
investors to benchmark firms on their chemical risk management
strategies, pointing to the potential for damage to reputations
and loss of business due to ‘toxic lockouts’ from markets where
regulation was tightening. (ref: 7)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
In July 2012 Avon Products responded to a questionnaire which
requested the company’ animal testing policy. A URL was provided
which linked to the animal testing policy on its website.
Avon stated that in 2011 0.03 percent of its products had been
tested on animals and the reasoning for this was due to different
legislation within countries requiring different tests for safety.
While Avon had a goal to make this zero the company had no fixed
cut of date and therefore could only receive Ethical Consumer’s
worst rating for its animal testing policy.
Naturewatch Compassionate Shopping Guide 2010 did not endorse
Avon for its lack of fixed cut off date policy. (ref: 27)
Animal testing of cosmetics in China (February 2012)
According to the article ‘Avon, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay
Allegedly Testing Makeup On Animals’ published on the
Huffington Post website, www.huffingtonpost.com, dated
February 21st 2012, Avon had gone along with Chinese
government requirements for animal testing of beauty products
sold in the country without complaint. Another company, Mary
Kay, had been trying to work with the government to come up
with new testing solutions for cosmetics that didn’t involve
animals. This meant that Avon could no longer be considered
‘cruelty free’. In addition to our concerns over animal testing,
China was on Ethical Consumer’s list of oppressive regimes at
the time of writing. (ref: 28)
Forced to withdraw animal testing claims from website
(2012)
According to an article which appeared on the Daily Mail website
(www.dailymail.co.uk) on 6 March 2012, Avon had been forced
to withdraw claims its cosmetics weren’t tested on animals.
The company had long stated that it was the first major beauty
company to do away with animal experiments.
According to its website, it stopped animal testing more than
20 years ago. Now, following a complaint to the Advertising
Standards Authority, it has removed all traces of the claim from
its UK website.
Dr Dan Lyons, of the animal welfare group Uncaged which
made the complaint, accused the firm, which makes more than
£6billion a year in sales around the world, of ‘falsely trading on
a cruelty-free image’.
He said: ‘Whatever one’s opinion about animal testing for
cosmetics, any decent person would agree that we have to have
honesty in the marketplace.’
The ASA was alerted to this statement on Avon’s UK website
- ‘In 1989, Avon was the first major beauty company to stop
testing products and ingredients on animals.
Overall Avon Product’s received a middle Ethical Consumer
rating for its supply chain management.
‘Avon does not test products or ingredients on animals, nor do
we request others do so on our behalf.’
Supply chain policy (rudimentary)
However, the global or corporate version of its website plainly
contradicts the statement, even detailing how many of its products
are tested on animals. It states that Avon sells approximately 9,000
different products in over 100 countries and in 2011, under 0.3
per cent of these were tested on animals. While this equates to
under 27 lotions and potions, the number of animal tests could
run into thousands.
Dr Lyons said: ‘Given each product or ingredient could be tested
for about 15 different types of toxicity, and just one of those tests
can involve poisoning and killing over 1,000 animals, they must
be causing a lot of unnecessary animal suffering.’
Avon’s global website went on to state that the animal testing
was only done ‘when required by law’ and its goal was to get
the number to zero. It adds: ‘The only reason a product is tested
on animals is because some governments have yet to accept
the use of scientifically valid alternative approaches to safety
assessment.’
The complaint was informally resolved by the Advertising
Standards Authority – a term used when a company amends or
withdraws its claims without need for a formal investigation.
Avon told the ASA that the claim had been removed when the
website was updated several months earlier. However, it could
still be found through internet searches. At the time of writing
the claim had been completely removed.
In a statement, Avon described Uncaged’s interpretation of its
commitment to animal welfare as ‘incorrect and misleading’.
The firm said that it had a ‘long-standing, deep respect for
animal welfare’ and animal testing was only done when the law
demands.
A spokesman added that no products sold in the UK had undergone
animal testing. However, in countries outside Europe, some
governments will do their own safety testing of products. (ref:
29)
People
Human Rights
Operations in oppressive regimes (June 2012)
Avon Products SEC filings exhibit 21 filed in Feburary 2012,
viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2012 listed subsidiaries in
China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, the Philippines,
Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. All countries were considered
by Ethical Consumer at the time of writing to be governed by
oppressive regimes. (ref: 30)
(See also ‘Animal testing of cosmetics in China’ in Animal
Testing above.)
Best ECRA rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
In July 2012 Avon Products responded to a questionnaire which
requested the company’s palm oil policy. A URL was provided
which linked to a palm oil policy on its website.
The policy stated the company had made the commitment to
take a leadership position by purchasing GreenPalm certificates
covering 100 percent of its global palm oil use. Avon therefore
received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for its palm oil policy.
(ref: 27)
Supply Chain Management
Middle ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In July 2012 Avon Products responded to a questionnaire with
URL’s regarding where to find the company’s information on its
supply chain management.
Avon Products website had a supplier code of conduct available
to download which applied to any company, its factories,
manufacturers, vendors or agents (“Suppliers”) that produced
goods and/or provided services for Avon Products, Inc. or any
local affiliate. The code of conduct included provisions which
prohibited the use of child labour under the age of 15 (or in
accordance with ILO), forced labour and allowed for employees
to be free to join unions and free from discrimination. However,
according to the code of conduct, working hours for employees
were restricted up to 72 hours per week “in exceptional business
circumstances”. These circumstances were not defined and were
over the working week limit of 48 plus 12 hours overtime. The
code of conduct failed to guarantee payment of a living wage
to employees.
Due to a lack of commitment on wages and hours Avon Products
received a rudimentary rating for its supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
A search of Avon’s website found no evidence of stakeholder or
NGO engagement by the company for improving workers rights.
However there was a helpline for employees to call to report
ethics or compliance violations which could be done anonymously
if desired, via email or through the Avon Integrity Helpline. It
was not clear whether this helpline was available to speakers of
other languages nor was it clear whether it was independently
investigated therefore the company received a poor rating for
stakeholder engagement.
Auditing and reporting (reasonable)
A search of Avon’s website found a section on supplier audits. Avon
stated that in 2008, it committed itself to ensuring every supplier
received a biannual audit, followed by re-audits as necessary. To
start, Avon identified and prioritised its “significant suppliers,”
based on a risk assessment associated with geography, production
volume or product categories of the specific facility. In 2011,
Avon had conducted 1,303 audits on contract manufacturers in
39 countries. This only represented 31 percent of Third Party
Manufacturers, Avon had a target of 95 percent by 2015.
Avon did not publish the names of factory locations however
there was a breakdown of where the audits had taken place with
over 81 percent in Asia Pacific countries.
Avon stated that if an audit revealed an instance of noncompliance,
it would work with the supplier to develop a corrective action
plan, with key action points and deadlines. In the event of
noncompliance, re-audits were required to verify that corrective
actions had been implemented accordingly. Avon preferred
remediation rather than termination, which delivered improved
conditions that offer a longer-term benefit to the supplier and the
community. Avon would, however, discontinue a relationship
with any supplier who failed to address critical issues, such as
child labour, or failed to make the necessary corrections requested
within a specified, reasonable time period.
Avon Product’s received a reasonable rating for its auditing
and reporting, the company needed to disclose in more details
individual factory audits and state who paid for the audits in order
to receive a good A&R rating.
Difficult issues (poor)
A search of Avon Product’s website found no mention of difficult
issues such as audit fraud, purchasing practices, living wages and
homeworkers. Despite having manufacturing facilities in China
there was no mention of freedom of association and how the
company ensured its employees are afforded this right when not
provided by local law. The company therefore received a poor
rating for difficult issues. (ref: 27)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call by Uncaged (July 2012)
When viewed in June 2012 the Uncaged campaign website
(http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm) called for a boycott
of Avon as a company that either “openly use animal-tested
chemicals, or fail to demonstrate that the finished product and
the ingredients they use have not been tested on animals since a
fixed cut-off date”. (ref: 31)
The W S Badger website (www.badgerbalm.com) was searched
in June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy or report.
WS Badgers’ website stated that it produced USDA certified
organic products and that the company supported organic
agriculture to help protect the environment. The website stated
that its manufacturing facility had been constructed to be as
environmentally friendly as possible and it used recycled paper
and energy efficient compact fluorescent CF light bulbs. The
manfacturing facility had plenty of ways to recycle packaging
and food waste.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 35)
People
Political Activities
Human Rights
Member of USCIB lobby group (2011)
The website of the US Council for International Business (www.
uscib.org) in March 2011 listed Avon Products Inc as a member.
The USCIB described itself as “founded in 1945 to promote an
open world trading system, now among the premier pro-trade,
pro-market liberalization organizations ...provides unparalleled
access to international policy makers and regulatory authorities.”
ECRA noted that free trade lobby groups had been criticised by
campaigners for lobbying for business interests at the expense of
the environment, human rights and animal welfare. (ref: 32)
Best ECRA rating on palm oil policy (July 2012)
W S Badger did not respond to a written request from Ethical
Consumer for information regarding its palm oil sourcing policy
in June 2012. Its website stated that it was a USDA Certified
Organic company and that it used 99% USDA certified organic
ingredients. Palm derivatives included on the ingredients list of
its products were said to be certified organic.
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in tax havens (June 2012)
Avon Products SEC filings exhibit 21 filed in Feburary 2012,
viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2012, listed subsidiaries
in Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Ireland,
Luxenbourg, Mauritius, Panama, the Philippines, Singapore and
Uruguay. All territories were considered by Ethical Consumer at
the time of writing as tax havens. (ref: 30)
Excessive directors remuneration (2011)
An article which appeared on the Star Tribune website (www.
startribune.com) dated 16 March 2011 stated that Chairwoman
and CEO Andrea Jung of beauty products seller Avon Products
Inc., received a $9.9 million pay package in 2010, including a
periodic performance bonus, according to an Associated Press
analysis of a filing the company made with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. Ethical Consumer deemed any amount
over £1 million per year to be excessive. (ref: 33)
Excessive Directors’ Remuneration (2010)
In January 2011 the Proxy Statement 2010 of the company Avon
Cosmetics Limited, Pursuant to Section14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act, was downloaded from the website for the US
Securities Exchange Commission, www.sec.gov.
The Summary Compensation Table stated that the Chairman
and CEO, Andrea Jung, had been paid a total of $9,455,444
in 2009. Charles W. Comb, Vice Chairman, Chief Finance and
Strategy Officer had been paid a total of $7,663,357 and Charles
M Herington had been paid a total of $4,523,026 in 2009. (ref:
34)
Badger Baby bath soap
Owned by W S Badger
W S Badger, 768 Route 10 , Gilsum, New Hampshire, 800-6036100, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
Ethical Consumer considered the company to have a positive
palm oil policy. (ref: 35)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
The W S Badger website (www.badgerbalm.com) was searched
in June 2012 for the company’s supply chain management policy.
No supply chain policy could be located however the company
was a small family run business with its manufacturing facilities
based on the same site as the family’s home in the USA.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated a
commitment to providing an ethical alternative it received Ethical
Consumers best rating for supply chain policy management.
(ref: 35)
Politics
Company Ethos
All products BUAV approved and organic (July 2012)
According to the Badger Balm website viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012, all the company’s products complied
with the BUAV not tested on animals standard and were certified
organic. As the company only produced such products it received
positive marks in the Company Ethos category. (ref: 35)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Certified organic (July 2012)
All of BadgerBalm’s skin care range was certified organic by the
USDA organic association. (ref: 35)
Other Sustainability Features
toxic free (July 2012)
According to the Badgerbalm website the company did not use
the following chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the
environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG” and “-eth”
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 35)
Politics
Bentley soap, body wash & baby
Owned by Bentley Organics
All products certified organic (July 2012)
According to the Bentley Organics website, viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012, the company’s products were all certified
organic by the Soil Association. (ref: 36)
Bentley Organics, PO Box 319, Leeds, LS19 9ES, UNITED
KINGDOM
Product sustainability
Bentley Organics is owned by Thos. Bentley & Son Ltd
Organic Product
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Bentley Organics a
questionnaire regarding its environmental reporting. No response
was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website, www.
bentleyorganic.com, for this information, no report could be
found, however its website stated that all its philosphy was to
enure that all products were certfied by the Soil Association as a
guarantee to its consumers of its organic integrity.
Company Ethos
Certified Organic (July 2012)
According to the Bentley Organics website, viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012, the company’s products were all certified
organic by the Soil Association. (ref: 36)
Other Sustainability Features
Free from some toxics (July 2012)
According to the Bentley Organics website the company did not
use the following chemicals in its baby care range which potentially
pose a risk to the environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance
* Parabens or “-paraben”
The Soil Association standards state that organic health and beauty
products should be fit for their purpose, have as high as possible
proportion of organic ingredients and should not be harmful to
human health and the environment in manufacture and in use.
This product therefore received half a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 36)
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 36)
Owned by Body Shop International plc
Animals
Animal Testing
Best ECRA rating for animal testing (July 2012)
A search of Bentley Organics website, www.bentleyorganic.com,
by Ethical Consumer in June 2012, found that the company only
sold products that were not tested on animals and did not contain
ingredients of animal origin. Because there was no fixed cut off
date, the company receives our middle rating. (ref: 36)
* Petrochemicals
Body Shop baby toiletries
Body Shop International plc, International Sustainable
Development Manager, The Body Shop International plc., Care
Centre, Building 4, Hawthorn Road, Wick,, Littlehampton, West
Sussex, BN17 7LT, UK
Body Shop International plc is owned by L’Oréal
which is owned by Liliane Bettencourt (31%)
Body Shop International plc is also owned by Nestlé SA (30%)
Nestlé SA, Avenue Nestlé 55, Vevey, Vaud 1800, Switzerland
People
Environment
Human Rights
Environmental Reporting
positive policy regarding palm oil (July 2012)
A search of Bentley Organics website, www.bentleyorganic.com,
by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, found that the company stated
that it only used certified organic palm oil although no certification
body was mentioned. The company’s turnover was less than £8
million per year. It was considered to have a positive policy on
palm oil for a company of its size. (ref: 36)
Best ECRA rating for environment report (July 2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer rated the L’Oreal 2011 Sustainability
report. This contained three future quantified targets and stated
that: “As part of its 10-year environmental strategy (2005-2015),
L’Oréal has set three clear targets for its plants and distribution
centres: to reduce by 50% greenhouse gas emissions (in absolute
value), water consumption per finished product unit and waste
production per finished product unit.”
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain management (July
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Bentley Organics a
questionnaire regarding its supply chain management policy. No
response was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website,
www.bentleyorganic.com, for this information, no report could
be found, however its website stated that all its products were
certified by the soil association which included provisions for
workers within supply chains.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for supply chain management. (ref: 36)
Figures were published on the progress towards this target from
2011.
The report also showed a good understanding of the companies
main impacts. For instance the report contained information on
the increased us of natural products, reduced waste including
during research, an acknowledgement of high water consumption
and water pollution, and the development of life cycle analysis
for all its products.
The report was verified by Deloitte & Associés and
PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit. (ref: 37)
Pollution & Toxics
Top nanotechnology patent-holder in the USA (July 2012)
According to a post on Bloomberg Businessweek, bx.businessweek.
com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, the L’Oréal Group
was the top nanotechnology patent-holder in the United States.
The 2007 Corporate Watch report ‘Nanotechnology: undersized,
unregulated and already here’, documented the growing evidence
that nanomaterials pose a unique but so far poorly understood
range of toxicity problems, along with concerns about the wider
social and economic impacts of nanotechnology. (ref: 38)
Red lipstick found to contain measurable levels of lead
(2008)
According to The Ecologist December/January 2008 a significant
quantity of US-manufactured red lipsticks, including those made
by L’Oréal, had been found to contain measurable levels of lead
in independent tests.
The research carried out by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
found between 0.03 and 0.65 parts per million, despite there
being no mention of metal on the ingredients list. Mark Mitchell,
president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice,
said: “Lead builds up over time and lead-containing lipstick
applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant
exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of
exposure.” (ref: 39)
Lipstick contains unsafe levels of lead (October 2007)
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (www.safecosmetics.org)
published a report, “A Poison Kiss: the Problem of Lead in
Lipstick,” in October 2007. According to the report one third of
the lipsticks tested exceeded Food and Drug Administration’s
(FDA) 0.1 ppm limit of set for lead in children’s confectionery
- a standard established to protect children from directly ingesting
lead. The report noted that lipstick is also ingested directly but
that the FDA did not set limits for lead in cosmetics.
Those listed included L’Oreal and the company’s Maybelline brand.
Lead was not listed as an ingredient on the product.
The report noted that “Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can
cause learning, language and behavioural problems... Pregnant
women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead
exposure.... Lead has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced
fertility in both men and women, hormonal changes, menstrual
irregularities and delays in the onset of puberty.” Furthermore
lead is bio-accumulative, building up in the body with repeated
exposure. (ref: 40)
Animals
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer visited the L’Oréal website, www.loreal.com, in
July 2012 and searched for the company’s animal testing policy.
No explicit policy could be found, although some information on
research the company had done into alternatives was available.
L’Oréal was however on Uncaged’s list of companies to boycott
at the time, which it said included companies which either
openly use animal-tested chemicals, or fail to demonstrate that
the finished product and the ingredients they use have not been
tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date. The company did
state that, “We want an end to animal testing in our industry, and
we contribute to the development and acceptance of alternative
methods. We actively seek out and favour business partners who
share our values and our ethical commitments.” but this was not
considered a policy.
L’Oréal was therefore awarded Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
for animal testing. (ref: 42)
Animal Rights
Use of factory farmed meat (September 2011)
According to the Nestlé website viewed in September 2011, the
company produced the following products containing meat which
was not free range or organic: Herta frankfurters and pet food. Pet
food accounted for nearly 12% of the company’s sales in 2010,
according to its Financial Statements 2010. (ref: 43)
Dairy is core part of its business (September 2011)
According to its 2009 Creating Shared Value report, “nearly 40%
of our raw materials expenditure goes towards the procurement of
three key commodities – milk, coffee and cocoa”. Of that nearly
90% went on milk. “In terms of sales value, Nestlé is the world’s
largest milk company, and sources over 12 million tonnes of fresh
milk equivalent from more than 30 countries including Kenya,
Uganda, Mexico and China. (ref: 44)
Product contained unexpected animal derived ingredients
(March 2009)
In March 2009 The Food Magazine reported that strawberry flavour
Nestle’s Nesquik Magic Straws were coloured with cochineal,
which was derived from crushed insects, but that the product was
not labelled as being ‘unsuitable for vegetarians’. (ref: 45)
Animal Testing
People
Animal testing of non medical products (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, L’Oreal
was listed in a document called ‘Companies that test on animals’
produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufactured cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it was not required by law. (ref: 8)
Human Rights
Use of animal test condemned as brutal (2009)
The Spring 2009 issue of the Uncaged Campaigns Bulletin stated
that vivisectors from L’Oréal were involved in the ‘sacrifice’
of 128 rats in a repeat poisoning test for the commonly-used
chemical ingredients butylparaben and methylparaben. The test,
which took place at a lab in Pennsylvania, USA, was published
in 2008 in the Journal Birth Defects Research (Part B). The test
involved chemicals being administered in the animals’ food
everyday, plus the taking of blood samples by a method called
‘retro-orbital bleeding’. This is an extreme procedure involving
the puncturing of the eye socket. According to the article, there
was widespread condemnation of this method, even among
some animal researchers, indicating the extreme brutality of
this test. The UK National Centre for the 3Rs stated that it was a
technique that can have strong consequences for the animal and,
therefore, it is not recommended for use with recovery.” In other
words, because of the devastating injuries caused by retro-orbital
bleeding, animals should be put down before they can regain
consciousness”. (ref: 41)
Nestlé worker and union leader killed in Colombia (21
August 2009)
According to a statement posted on the website of the Colombia
Solidarity Campaign, www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk, dated
August 24th 2009 and signed by Colombian trade union
Sinaltrainal’s president, Luis Javier Correa Suarez, on 21 August
2009, strangers arrived at the home of Gustavo Gomez, knocked
on the door and when he answered shot him 10 times.
Gustavo was a worker at La Rosa SA Nestlé and a member of
the trade union Sinaltrainal. He was immediately taken to a local
clinic where he died hours later. Gustavo Gómez was a member
of the Board of Sinaltrainal Sectional Dosquebradas from 1997
until 2000, was a cousin of Jose De Jesus Marin-Vargas, a worker
at Nestlé SA Comestibles La Rosa and member of Sinaltrainal,
also murdered on November 22, 2007.
According to the article, unfortunately, this crime occurred at a
time when Sinaltrainal had submitted a petition to Nestle Purina
PetCare Company de Colombia SA. It stated that this brought the
number of Nestlé Sinaltrainal members murdered in Colombia
to 12 employees. Luis went on to say the union had previously
reported to the authorities the constant threats of death, which
Sinaltrainal members in Colombia had received, and had asked the
authorities to investigate and punish those responsible. However,
the murders continued while the international community was
prepared to accept that unionists are offered state protection and
therefore continued to accept the current regime. He went on
to state: “We demand that the Colombian State, investigate and
punish the perpetrators and instigators of this crime, protect the
lives of members of Sinaltrainal and their families and ensure
the right of union activity.” (ref: 46)
Consolidation of water causing shortage for local peoples
(2007)
According to the Ecologist (September 2007 issue) “the bottled
water culture creates its own insatiable marketplace.” Large
multinational corporations such as Nestle and another major
multinationals had “identified water as the new oil and are busy
buying up water supplies throughout the world.” The result of
this is that local people – often living in very poor parts of the
world - can lose access to vital water supplies. (ref: 47)
Operations in 8 oppressive regimes (July 2012)
ECRA searched the L’oreal company website in July 2012
and found that the company had operations in the following
regimes:
China, Philippines, Venezuela, Thailand, Colombia, India,
Vietnam and Russia.
At the time of writing ECRA considered these to be governed by
oppressive regimes. (ref: 37)
Workers’ Rights
Fined for death at Halifax factory (March 2012)
On 9 March 2012 it was reported on the website for the Health
and Safety Executive, www.hse.gov.uk, that Nestlé had been
fined £180,000 for safety failures which resulted in the death of
a worker at its Halifax factory in December 2008. According
to the article, the company had received written advice about
improving the guarding on the type of machine being used by the
employee in 2002. It had not applied that advice to the machine
being operated. (ref: 48)
Guilty of racial discrimination (June 2009)
According to an article published on the Times online website on
the 25th of June 2009, L’Oréal had been found guilty, in France’s
highest court, of racial discrimination for considering black, Arab
and Asian women unworthy of selling its shampoo. The company
had sought an all-white team of sales staff to promote one of its
hair care products the court heard, with the word going out that the
hostesses (shampoo saleswomen) should be ‘BBR’ - ‘bleu, blanc,
rouge’ the colours of the French flag - a term widely known in
the world of French recruitment as meaning white French people
born to white French parents. The court said such a policy was
illegal under French employment law. (ref: 49)
Marketing cosmetics containing banned ingredients (2007)
According to the November/December 2008 issue of Multinational
Monitor, L’Oreal had been sued in 2007 by a former Director of
Regulatory Affairs, Jerome Chevallier. In the lawsuit he claimed
he was fired because he “voiced strong objections and complained
about unlawful activities”. Chevallier said that L’Oreal marketed
its Maybelline-brand lip gloss containing Debutyl phthalate
(DBP) to South America, despite the fact that DBP was banned
there due to its carcinogenity and risks to reproductive health.
He said the company untruthfully marketed a product called
Pureology as formulated with vegan inputs, and that it used a
banned substance called Triclosan despite saying it wouldn’t.
Chevallier said that in July 2007 he discovered that L’Oreal
products in Europe contained a preservative, Kathon CG, above
lawful levels, and that this information had been omitted from the
company’s computer system “so as to avoid regulatory department
scrutiny”. After requesting the recall of the products, Chevallier
says he was prohibited from having any further communications
with his counterparts in Europe. And after a dust-up with superiors
over this issue, he was fired. L’Oreal however, said that he was
fired for selling free L’Oreal products on eBay. It denied all
Chevallier’s allegations. Chevallier admitted that he did sell
free L’Oreal products on eBay, but that that was not why he was
fired. (ref: 50)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for Supply Chain Management (July
2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer rated the Body Shop’s publicly
available information on its supply chain management.
The document “THE BODY SHOP CODE OF CONDUCT FOR
SUPPLIERS” located via a google search stated that “Since July
2005 The Body Shop International has adopted the Ethical Trading
Initiative base code as its code of conduct”.
This included the following clauses:
Employment is freely chosen and there is no forced, bonded or
involuntary prison labour.
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
are respected
Child labour shall not be used (with various clauses on age and
work type)
Living wages are paid
Working hours are not excessive (with all the necessary
clauses)
No discrimination is practised
No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
The company’s supply chain policy was rated as “good”.
Auditing (rudimentary) and Stakeholder engagement (good)
On a seperate webpage the company stated that: “Every direct
product manufacturer to [Body Shop International] is audited by an
independent third-party, or by our own Ethical Trade team against
the criteria set out in our Code of Conduct. This includes issues
of child labor and forced labor. We may employ different audit
approaches depending on the supplier, country or the nature of our
business with them. For example, in higher risk countries we may
chose to perform unannounced audits, or with factories where we
have an ongoing relationship we may perform collaborative audits.
BSI has a zero-tolerance approach to child and forced labor and
it is deemed as a ‘critical’ non-compliance. This means that we
would require a supplier to work immediately on remediating the
issue, ideally involving local Non-Governmental Organizations
(NGOs), trade unions or other worker representatives and, where
appropriate, local government officials... In 2011 our Ethical
Trade processes and procedures were independently verified by
the Institute For Market Ecology (IMO).”
It also added that “BSI has evolved its Ethical Trade program
so that in some cases we work more closely with suppliers on
particular issues to directly improve labor conditions. We now
have a number of specialist NGO partners working with some of
our suppliers on issues like health and safety, worker retention
and worker engagement. We also run an ongoing program to help
our direct suppliers cascade our standards down the supply chain
- a key requirement of our Ethical Trade Program.”
However no details of the audits could be found and no specifics
on difficult issues were located either.
The company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s middle
rating for its supply chain management. (ref: 51)
Irresponsible Marketing
Claims that infant formula ‘protects’ babies (December
2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010, Nestle had come under fire for making claims that its formula
‘protects’ babies and has ‘new active immunity’ and using a
‘protect’ logo to do so. The company had attempted to justify its
claims saying that ‘The ‘Protect’ logo is used on a new generation
of sophisticated infant formula with a unique combination of
specific strains of probiotics, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty
acids, immune-nutrients and selected proteins. This unique
combination has positive effects on the infant’s physiology
and metabolism with other formula without these ingredients.
However, we in no way suggest that the formula is equal or
superior to breastmilk.’
Article 9.2 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk
substitutes states ‘Neither the container nor the label should have
pictures of infants, nor should they have other pictures or text
which may idealise the use of infant formula’
The Cochrane Library had reviewed research on ingredients that
Nestle and other companies highlight such as DHA and ARA Long
Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFAs) and concluded ‘It
has been suggested that low levels of long chain polyunsaturated
fatty acids (LCPUFA) found in formula milk may contribute to
[higher] IQ levels and vision skills in term infants. Some milk
formulas with added LCPUFA are commercially available. This
review found that feeding term infants with milk formula enriched
with LCPUFA had no proven benefit regarding vision cognition or
physical growth.’ Similarly Cochrane Library reviews have found
no benefit from adding prebiotics and probiotic. After receiving
thousands of emails and letters from members of the public,
Nestle has finally acknowledged the Cochrane Library findings
but still refused to remove the logos and stop the aggressive
marketing saying ‘we do not make any claim on product labels
that contradicts the Cochrane Library’s reviews’ this was despite
the company’s global marketing campaign being based around
the added ingredients. Baby Milk Action said that more pressure
was clearly needed. (ref: 52)
Abuses of Global Compact principles (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010,Baby Milk Action and other campaign groups concerned
about ‘egregious’ violations of the Global Compact Principles
by Nestle registered a complaint with the UN Global Compact
Office in 2009 under its ‘Integrity Measures’. Concerns raised in
the joint report included aggressive marketing of baby milks and
foods and undermining of breastfeeding, in breach of international
standards, trade union busting and failing to act on related court
decisions, failure to act on child labour and slavery in its cocoa
supply chain, exploitation of farmers, particularly in the dairy
and coffee sectors, and environmental degradation, particularly
of water sources. In its responses the Global Compact Office
stressed that the Global Compact was a voluntary initiative and
the Office had no mandate or resources to conduct investigations,
but would promote ‘dialogue’. As the campaign groups were
already in ‘dialogue’ with Nestle – and finding it unwilling to
stop its violations of the principles – Baby Milk Action asked the
Global Compact Office to conduct a review of the communications
cited in the provisions of the ‘Integrity Measures’. These give the
Office the power to exclude companies and de-list them from its
website. The UN Global Compact Office refused to conduct the
review and continued to post Nestle’s ‘Creating Shared Value’
and other reports on its website and accepted Nestle as a Patron
Sponsor for its 10th anniversary summit in New York in 2010.
The UN Global Compact Office stated in a telling phrase about the
initiative ‘Of course, abuses of the 10 principles do occur; however
we believe that such abuses only indicate that it is important
for the company to remain in the Compact and learn from its
mistakes’. Baby Milk Action said that the Office had been asked
for information on how Nestle had ‘learned from its mistakes’
and had provided no further information, though a briefing paper
had been promised. It admitted that not a single company had
been excluded from the initiative as a result of complaints being
registered. Companies were only excluded if they failed to provide
reports, whether misleading or not. A leading Global Officer had
recently been appointed a Nestle Vice President, replacing the
head of the company’s anti-boycott team. (ref: 52)
United Reform Church backs boycott despite Nestlé
misinformation (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010 the United Reformed Church Assembly had agreed to
continue supporting the Nestle boycott until the company made
the required changes to its baby food marketing. The Assembly
referenced the FTSE4Good criteria which are similar to the fourpoint plan which Baby Milk Action has put to Nestle, calling on
it to bring its policies and practices into line with World Health
Assembly standards. The Assembly rejected a proposal to end
the church’s long-running support for the boycott. Nestle’s vice
president had met with representatives of the URC and other
churches at the Churches Investment Group and insisted that
Nestle had changed its ways and accused the International Baby
Food Action Network (IBFAN) of continuing to level criticisms
at Nestle for publicity purposes and said that the organisation’s
latest report contained only two genuine violations, which Baby
Milk Action said spoke volumes about how dismissive Nestle is
of complaints. (ref: 52)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call for animal testing due to L’Oreal ownership
(September 2011)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
Body Shop as a company to boycott when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. It was listed as either openly
using animal-tested chemicals, or failing to demonstrate that the
finished product and the ingredients they use have not been tested
on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 53)
Boycott call by Uncaged (September 2011)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
L’Oreal as a company to boycott when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. It was listed as either openly
using animal-tested chemicals, or failing to demonstrate that the
finished product and the ingredients they use have not been tested
on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 54)
Boycott call by Baby Milk Action (September 2011)
The Body Shop was on Baby Milk Actions boycott list when
viewed on the organisation’s website, www.babymilkaction.org,
by Ethical Consumer in September 2011 due to its ownership
links with Nestlé. Nestlé is boycotted by the group because
independent monitoring has found it has violated the International
Code of Marketing for Breastmilk Substitutes more than any other
company. Nestlé owned approximately 30% of L’Oreal, the Body
Shop’s parent company, at the time of writing. (ref: 55)
Political Activities
Member of one international lobby group (February 2012)
According to the organisation’s website www.wbcsd.org, viewed
by Ethical Consumer on 13/02/2012, L’Oreal was a member of the
World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This was
regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby
group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers
in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to
the environment and human rights. (ref: 56)
Boots shower gel
‘Buying’ MP with free trips and tickets (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010, the former MP covering Buxton, where Nestle bottles water,
stood down at the May General Election. Mr Tom Levitt became
notorious for defending Nestle after receiving free tickets to the
Wimbledon tennis tournament and Lords cricket matches, and an
all-expenses-paid trip to South Africa – where he failed to notice
Nestle advertising formula in supermarkets, something that even
its competitors labelled as a breach of the marketing requirements.
Mr Levitt refused to meet with Baby Milk Action. (ref: 52)
Owned by Boots UK Ltd
Illegal political donations (July 2010)
On 9th July 2010 it was reported on the Guardian website, www.
guardian.co.uk, that Liliane Bettencourt was being investigated
for claims that she had made an illegal donation to French
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign for the presidency,
via employment minister Eric Woerth. (ref: 57)
Environment
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in 6 tax havens (July 2012)
Accoring to the L’oreal fact sheet on www.hoovers.com, viewed
by ECRA in July 2012, the company had subsidiaries in the
following tax havens: Monaco, Uruguay, Ireland, Hong Kong,
Singapore, Switzerland. (ref: 37)
Excessive director’s remuneration (July 2012)
According to a document entitled “Publication of the remuneration
components of L’Oréal’s Chairman & CEO made pursuant to the
AFEP MEDEF code of corporate governance for listed companies
of April 2010” located on the L’oreal website, the remuneration
of CEO “Jean-Paul Agon had previously been set by the Board
of Directors at 2,100,000 euros in respect of 2011.” (ref: 37)
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on the Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, L’Oreal along with twelve other French perfume giants
had been fined 40 million Euros for colluding to keep prices high
between 1997 and 2000.
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Boots UK Ltd, 1 Thane Road West, Nottingham, Notts, NG2
3AA, UK
Boots UK Ltd is owned by Alliance Boots GmbH
which is owned by KKR & Co. L.P. (55%)
KKR & Co. L.P., 9 West 57th Street, 42nd Floor, New York, NY
10019, USA
Boots UK Ltd is also owned by Walgreen Co (45%)
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June
2012)
Alliance Boots was sent a questionnaire in June 2012 requesting
a copy of the company’s environment report. No response was
received. Ethical Consumer searched the Alliance Boots website
and found the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report
2010/11. The report contained a section on the company’s
environmental impact. The report stated that the 2010/11
enviromental target was to improve sustainability in its business
operations with focus on the reduction of its carbon footprint.
However there were no dates or targets to go with the statement.
The report contained no other targets. There was some discussion of
the company’s environmental impacts including waste recycling,
transport and energy. There was also a sentence on chemicals
where the company stated that it had set realistic targets to monitor
and manage its usage and related impact. There was no evidence
that the report was independetly verified therefore Alliance Boots
received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for environmental
reporting. (ref: 59)
Nuclear Power
ENDS report critical of environmental reporting
(September 2008)
It was reported in the September 2008 issue of the ENDS Report
that a review of the adequacy of disclosure and transparency
by private equity firms and the companies they own (‘portfolio
companies’) had been commissioned by the British Private
Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA). The report,
produced by Sir David Walker, concluded that such companies
should produce annual business reviews, including assessments
of their environmental impact. The ENDS report had assessed
12 reports that had subsequently been produced by private equity
companies and concluded that although a few firms had started to
address social and environmental issues, their responses “appeared
inadequate compared to reports by quoted companies... the results
suggest that private equity firms are only just beginning to ask
themselves what embedding responsible investment into their
business actually means”.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was said to have a disappointing record
of disclosure of environmental issues. The portfolio of the firm
was reported to include Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU)
which owned the Luminent power company, which had 18,300
megawatts of power generation capacity in Texas. The company
was said to be building an additional 2,2000 MW of coal-fired
capacity and two additional nuclear-powered units. KKR was
reported not to have discussed the implications for climate change
of investment in fossil fuels, or the risks of nuclear energy, in its
Walker report. (ref: 60)
Climate Change
Worst rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
In July 2012 the document entitled ‘Our position on the use
of palm oil, other vegetable oils and their derivatives’, dated
January 2010, was downloaded from the Boots UK website, www.
boots-uk.com. This stated that the company was a member of
the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the British
Retail Consortium European Retailer Palm Oil Working Group.
The company was said to require that its suppliers “take account
of the principles of sustainable development in the products they
supply and in particular safeguard biodiversity”. Steps it was
said to be taking to promote the development of sustainable palm
oil included: purchasing Greenpalm certificates for the palm oil
used in Boots brand products, including derivatives where the
starting material was known to be palm oil, and working with
its suppliers to use only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)
where palm oil was a listed ingredient by 2014, or to use alternative
sustainable materials. Due to the fact that the company did not
commit to purchasing CSPO or using Greenpalm certificates to
cover 100% of its palm oil use, Boots UK Ltd lost half marks
in the categories of climate change, habitats and resources and
human rights. (ref: 61)
(See also ‘ENDS report critical of environmental reporting’
in Nuclear Power above.)
Listed in table of dirtiest US power stations (26 July 2007)
According to an article on the Environmental News Service website
(www.ens-newswire.com), dated 26th July 2007, TXU Generation
Co. had appeared in the Environmental Integrity Project’s list of
the 50 dirtiest US power plants. The Environmental Integrity
Project was set up by former US EPA enforcement attorneys and
was not-for-profit. It was said that the company’s Martin Lake
power station was producing the highest mercury tonnage of all
the 378 largest power stations in the US.
The article pointed out that approximately 66% “of the heat energy
consumed at a typical coal-fired power plant is wasted” and that
considerable reduction in carbon dioxide could be achieved
through conservation and energy efficiency. (ref: 62)
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanoparticles in own-brand products (July 2012)
In July 2012 the document entitled “Our position on
nanotechnology and nanoparticles” was downloaded from the
Boots UK website, www.boots-uk.com. The document was
dated April 2009 and stated that the company used nanoparticles
in sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxides) and toothpaste
(microfine silica). (ref: 63)
Elevated levels of cadmium among workers at battery
manufacturer (January 2008)
According to an article posted on the Wall Street Journal website,
http://online.wsj.com, dated January 15th 2008, Mrs Wang, who
for years worked as an engineer for a company making batteries
for companies including Toys ‘R’ Us, had suffered kidney failure
and become often too weak to walk. According to her doctors this
was a result of cadmium poisoning from her place of work. 400
other employees of the firm had also been found to have unsafe
levels of the toxic metal which, in addition to kidney failure, can
also cause lung cancer and bone disease. For years factory workers
had complained about illness - nausea, hair loss and exhaustion.
Following a strike sparked by some workers paying for cadmium
testing and finding they had elevated levels, the factory introduced
cadmium testing. This resulted in around 900 workers quit their
jobs, they were given compensation packages but many workers
said the amount was not enough to cover their medical bills.
Mrs Wang, who had much less contact with cadmium than most
workers, was suing the company for $400,000 in compensation.
The article also said that more than 10% of China’s arable land
was contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium and that
the metals were entering the food supply. Academic studies had
found unsafe levels of cadmium in fruit and vegetables grown in
Chinese soil. The article stated that although the battery industry
was not the only source of environmental cadmium contamination
in China it was a major contributor and said that the Chinese
nickel-cadmium battery industry was sickening workers and
poisoning the soil and water. (ref: 64)
Sale of PVC products (2009)
According to a September 2009 emailed response to ECRA’s
request for information on its environmental policies, Toys ‘R’ Us
stated that it was ‘moving towards’ a ‘goal of offering PVC-free
products’ and that it was working with manufacturers to ‘phase
out’ baby feeding products, including bottles, containing PVC
and Bisphenol-A. Both substances were, or contained chemicals
which were, believed to have negative effects on the environment
and human health, including endocrine disruption in both humans
and animals. (ref: 65)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Use of endangered tropical timber (September 2008)
It was reported in the September 2008 issue of the ENDS Report
that a review of the adequacy of disclosure and transparency
by private equity firms and the companies they own (‘portfolio
companies’) had been commissioned by the British Private
Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA). The report,
produced by Sir David Walker, concluded that such companies
should produce annual business reviews, including assessments
of their environmental impact. The ENDS report had assessed
12 reports that had subsequently been produced by private equity
companies and concluded that although a few firms had started to
address social and environmental issues, their responses “appeared
inadequate compared to reports by quoted companies... the results
suggest that private equity firms are only just beginning to ask
themselves what embedding responsible investment into their
business actually means”.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts was said to have a disappointing record
of disclosure of environmental issues. KKR was reported to own
a 50% stake in Tarkett, which had been accused by Greenpeace of
importing endangered tropical timber, but the environmental risks
of such activities were not mentioned in its report. (ref: 60)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for Animal Testing Policy (2008)
According to the most recent compassionate shopping guide
available (11th edition) when it was viewed by ECRA in March
2010, Boots did not have a fixed cut off date policy. The company
also sold products both medical and cosmetic that were tested on
animals. Boots was not endorsed by the compassionate shopping
guide. The company stated that “Alliance Boots operates a policy
under which we ourselves do not participate in product animal
testing. No testing is undertaken on our behalf and none of our
non-prescription own brand products are tested on animals.
It is acknowledged that suppliers of our exclusive generic
pharmaceutical products may have been compelled to undertake
testing to obtain original product licenses, and that many of the
formulations will have been licensed by the initial developer
using animal testing in pursuit of their application for licence.
As far as possible we extend our policy of not using products
tested on animals to suppliers of raw materials that are used in the
production of our own brand products. We are, however, unable
to guarantee that all raw material suppliers do not use or have
not in the past used animal testing. When selecting suppliers of
own brand product we review their policy on animal testing as a
factor in the selection process.” The company therefore recieved
ECRA’s worst rating for animal testing. (ref: 66)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer searched Alliance Boots website, www.
allianceboots.com, in July 2012 for its policy on animal testing
and found this statement:
‘Alliance Boots operates a policy under which we ourselves do
not participate in product animal testing. No testing is undertaken
on our behalf and none of our non-prescription own brand
products are tested on animals. It is acknowledged that suppliers
of our exclusive generic pharmaceutical products may have been
compelled to undertake testing to obtain original product licenses,
and that many of the formulations will have been licensed by
the initial developer using animal testing in pursuit of their
application for licence.
As far as possible we extend our policy of not using products
tested on animals to suppliers of raw materials that are used in the
production of our own brand products. We are, however, unable
to guarantee that all raw material suppliers do not use or have
not in the past used animal testing. When selecting suppliers of
own brand product we review their policy on animal testing as a
factor in the selection process.’
Ethical Consumer could not find a fixed cut off date for ingredients
tested on animals. Due to the fact the company could not guarantee
that raw ingredients were not tested on animals and sold animal
tested costmetics, toiletries and household products the company
recieved Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for its animal testing
policy. (ref: 67)
Factory farming
Use of intensively reared chicken (2008)
The Channel 4 website (www.channel4.com) contained a story
dated 4 January 2008, which said that all the chicken used in Boots
sandwiches was intensively reared in Brazil. (ref: 68)
Animal Rights
Meat ingredients in baby food (2009)
The Boots website (www.boots.com), viewed by ECRA on 16
November 2009 showed that several of the company’s own brand
baby foods included organic beef, chicken and ham. (ref: 69)
(See also ‘Use of intensively reared chicken’ in Factory
farming above.)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Operations in three oppressive regimes (June 2012)
A search of Alliance Boots Corporate Social Responsibility
Report 2010/2011 listed the company’s operations. Alliance Boots
had operations in Thailand, Russia and China. Each of these
terrorities were considered by Ethical Consumer as being govern
by oppressive regimes at the time of writing. (ref: 59)
Subsidiary in one oppressive regime (2009)
According to the company’s SEC Form 10-K for the period
ending January 2009, Toys ‘R’ Us had subsidiaries in Hong Kong,
a territory regarded by ECRA in 2009 as having an oppressive
regime and as being a tax haven. (ref: 70)
Workers’ Rights
Protest over use of workfare (May 2012)
According to the article ‘Mayday Workfare Demos Shut Ox St.
Stores - report’ posted on the Indymedia website, www.indymedia.
org.uk, May 1st 2012, following London’s May Day trade union
march 300 people took part in a roving anti-workfare demo with
a banner reading “Workfare is Stealing Our Jobs”.
Workfare is a scheme whereby Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants
who haven’t found a job once they have been through a work
programme will do an unpaid (save for expenses) placement in
the community including for for-profit organisations, in order to
receive their benefits.
The protesters shut down branches of a number of companies
using workfare, one of which was Boots. The protest was called
by the London Solidarity Federations and supported by Occupy
London. (ref: 71)
(See also ‘Elevated levels of cadmium among workers at
battery manufacturer’ in Pollution & Toxics above.)
Government action on discrimination (2007)
According to an article on the news section of the BBC website,
dated 8th March 2007, in 2007 the US government’s Equal
Employment Opportunities Commission had launched a lawsuit
against Walgreen over allegations that it had discriminated against
black employees. They were said to have been assigned to poorlyperforming shops in poorer areas, affecting their chances of later
being promoted. (ref: 72)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (June 2012)
Alliance Boots was sent a questionnaire in June 2012 requesting
its supply chain management policy. No response was received.
A search by Ethical Consumer on Alliance Boots website found a
Code of Conduct however it did not contain any policies relating
to supplier employees and ensuring workers rights. There was
a statement by Alliance Boots stating it would comply with
the laws of all the countries where it did business and it was
committed to ensuring compliance with the principles of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There
was no evidence of stakeholder engagement or a schedule of
audit for its supplier factories. Due to the lack of supply chain
management policy Alliance Boots received Ethical Consumer’s
worst rating. (ref: 59)
Pulls out of Ethical Trading Initiative (June 2009)
According to a Guardian report of 13 June 2009, Alliance Boots,
owned by private equity firm KKR, had torn up its commitment to
the retail industry-recognised ethical trading standards designed
to ban suppliers from using child or forced labour.
The decision of the retailer to pull out of the Ethical Trading
Initiative (ETI) has been met with a barrage of criticism from
unions and campaigners, who fear the highly leveraged retailer
will skimp on upholding labour codes in its supply chain.
“They see business as a one-dimensional financial world,” said
Peter Williams, speaking for members of the ETI including Oxfam
and Christian Aid. “It’s not what the consumer wants. They don’t
want the cheapest product if the person at the end of the supply
chain is paying the cost.”
Dan Rees, director of the ETI, said: “We are deeply disappointed
that Boots have taken this decision, particularly at such a crucial
time for the world’s most vulnerable workers, who are bearing
the brunt of the global downturn. The days when high-profile
businesses could consider ethical trade as an optional extra are
now gone. In our view, it is not the right time for major brands
to be rolling back their commitments on labour standards, nor
does it make good business sense.”
Boots vehemently denied the decision to pull out was linked to
being owned by an aggressive private equity firm. “Our decision
not to renew our ETI membership is not connected in any way to
the ownership of the business,” it said. “Boots UK was monitoring
its suppliers very vigorously before taking up membership of ETI
in 2003 and has received a national award for the robustness of
our approach in relation to supply-chain verification. Boots UK
will be broadening our approach to include many more aspects
of sustainability in the future, so our approach will become even
more robust.”
The ETI was set up 10 years ago after a wave of sweatshop
scandals provoked a consumer backlash. (ref: 73)
Arms & Military Supply
Provision of services to the military (February 2010)
In February 2010 the website for TASC, Inc, www.tasc.com,
stated that the company provided a number of services to the
Department of Defense, military and intelligence agencies,
including the Missile Defense Agency. These were said to include
IT and information security services; acquisition management
and financial services; systems engineering and integration and
“solutions that turn raw data into intelligence, and intelligence
into actionable information”. The website also stated that “Our
technical capabilities and domain expertise support warfighters
and planners alike”. (ref: 74)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Campaigners argue for company tax re-think (July 2011)
Boots was mentioned in a report by Actionaid in July 2011 that
warned businesses they face the risk of serious reputational
damage if they do not make tax planning part of their corporate
responsibility programmes. The joint briefing by ActionAid, Fair
Pensions and Fair Food told companies they must pro-actively
commit to ‘Tax Responsibility’.
was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website and found
no reports relating to the company’s environmental impact. As it
was company providing environmentally friendly products and
had a turnover of less than £8 million per year it was exempt from
Ethical Consumer’s environmental reporting requirements and
therefore received a best rating in this category. (ref: 78)
People
Human Rights
Best rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
A search of Caurnie’s website, www.caurnie.com, by Ethical
Consumer in June 2012 for the company’s palm oil policy found
no such policy. A search was made for its ingredients and no palm
oil nor palm oil derivatives were found. The company informed
Ethical Consumer during a telephone conversation on 18th July
2012 that it did not use palm oil, therefore it did not lose marks
for the negative effects of palm oil production. (ref: 78)
Supply Chain Management
The document argues that ‘tax responsibility’ must take into
account three key insights:
Best rating for supply chain policy (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Caurnie Soap Co a
questionnaire regarding its supply chain management. No response
was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website and found
no documents relating to the company’s supply chain policy.
However, it was a company providing environmentally friendly
products which were produced in Scotland, which demonstrated
an effective if not explicitr management of the supply chain, and
it had a turnover of less than £8 million per year it was exempt
from Ethical Consumer’s environmental reporting requirements
and therefore received a best rating in this category. (ref: 78)
Compliance with the letter of the law is no longer sufficient to
protect business from the risks associated with tax planning
Politics
Martin Hearson, ActionAid’s tax policy adviser said: “So far
businesses have reacted to criticism of their tax avoidance by
denying any responsibility. This is exactly how the fashion
industry reacted when claims of ‘sweatshop’ abuses emerged in
the 1990s. Just as fashion companies who failed to take these
allegations seriously incurred major reputation damage, so
businesses accused of tax avoidance need to respond with more
than reflex denials.”
Lack of transparency around tax planning leads to increased
risk
The structures and practices of tax planning are at the heart of
tax responsibility, rather than the amount of tax paid, which is
an outcome of these practices. (ref: 75)
Tax avoidance (December 2010)
In December 2010 it was reported on the Daily Mail website,
www.dailymail.co.uk, that Alliance Boots shifted its legal base
from the UK to Switzerland in 2008, shortly after a £12billion
takeover. Switzerland’s headline rate of corporation tax was
said to be 15 per cent, with companies sometimes paying just
8.8%, compared to 28% in the UK. The company’s tax bill was
reported to have decreased from £89 million in the last year it
was traded on the London Stock Exchange, to £9 million. The
company was also said to have reduced its tax bill by offsetting
debt interest payments against taxable income. (ref: 76)
Subsidaries in tax havens (June 2012)
According to the Hoovers factsheet for Alliance Boots viewed by
Ethical Consumer in June 2012 Boots had listed subsidaries in
Ireland and Luxembourg. Both countries were considered at the
time of writing by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens. (ref: 77)
Company Ethos
Company ethos (July 2012)
During a telephone call with Ethical Consumer in March 2010,
a spokesperson for the Caurnie Soap Company stated that all
of its products were vegan. The company was also found to be
producing innovative environmental alternatives. (ref: 79)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Toxic free (July 2012)
According to an email from the company Caurnie did not use the
following chemicals in its skin care product which potentially
pose a risk to the environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG”
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 78)
Animal Welfare Features
Caurnie skincare
Owned by Caurnie Soap Co
Caurnie Soap Co, The Organic Garden, Canal Lane, Kirkintilloch,
G66 1QZ, UK
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Caurnie Soap Co a
questionnaire regarding its environmental reporting. No response
Vegan (July 2012)
According to the Caurnie Soap Co website viewed by Ethical
Consumer in 2012 all of its products were vegan. (ref: 78)
Clarins make up
People
Owned by Clarins S.A.
Human Rights
Clarins S.A., 4 Rue Berteaux Dumas, F-92200, Neuilly-surSeine, France
(See also ‘No palm oil policy found’ in Climate Change
above.)
Clarins S.A. is owned by Financière FC
Supply Chain Management
Environment
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2012)
Clarins did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request in
June 2012 for the company’s supply chain management policy.
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Clarins did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request in
June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy. The Clarins
website (www.clarins.com), viewed by Ethical Consumer in June
2012, included information on the company’s environmental
practices, in its ‘Responsible Development’ document.
This included ten commitments, one of which was to “Help to
protect biodiversity” and another to “reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and optimise the use of natural resources”. However,
no dated, quantified future targets were set to achieve these
goals. There was no mention of chemicals and their impact
on the environment and as a result, the information was not
considered to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the
company’s main impacts. Nor was there any evidence that data
relating to environmental performance was gathered, monitored
or audited.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 80)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy found (July 2012)
The Clarins website, www.clarins.co.uk, displayed a number of
products containing palm oil when viewed by Ethical Consumer
in July 2012. A document entitled “Responsible Development”
was downloaded from the website, which stated that priority was
given to “organically farmed ingredients, locally grown plants
and, when they come from far away, fair trade plants”. However,
no specific mention was made of the way in which the company
sourced its palm oil and whether it sought certified sustainable
sources. Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world
wide, the company lost half marks in the categories of climate
change, habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 81)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy found’ in Climate Change
above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Middle ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer viewed the Clarins international
company website, www.clarins.com, to obtain information on the
company’s animal testing policy.
It stated that “In 1987, Clarins was the first French company to
cease product testing on animals”. A fixed cut off date was not
mentioned. No mention was made of whether the company used
products that had been tested on animals by other companies, and
the sector was one in which animal testing was common. The
company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating
for animal testing. (ref: 82)
Animal Rights
Clarins make-up contains animal byproducts (2 July 2012)
Clarins make-up products contain stearic acid and carmine.
(ref: 83)
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.clarins.
com), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2012. As a
result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in
this category. (ref: 80)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on the Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, Clarins Fragrance Group along with twelve other French
perfume giants had been fined 40 million Euros for colluding to
keep prices high between 1997 and 2000.
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Clinomyn toothpaste
Owned by Lornamead UK Ltd
Lornamead UK Ltd, Sabre House 377-399, London Road,
Camberley, GU15 3HL, England
Lornamead UK Ltd is owned by Lornamead Acquistions Ltd
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (July
2012)
A search of Lornameads website, www.lornamead.com, by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012 found no environmental reporting or
environmental policy by the company. A response received by
the company included a copy of Lornamead’s environmental
policy.
The policy stated that suppliers were audited according to various
quality, environmental, employment and REACH regulations.
The statement talked about how the company was committed to
improving energy efficiency, waste and reduce packaging.
While the company showed a reasonable understanding of
its environmental impacts, there was no two dated quantified
future targets nor was the report independently verified. The
company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for
environmental reporting. (ref: 84)
Climate Change
Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
A search was made of Lornamead’s website, www.lornamead.
com, by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 for the company’s palm
oil policy. No policy was found. As palm oil was a common
ingredient in the health and beauty industry Ethical Consumer
would expect a company to have a policy regarding its use.
Owned by Home & Personal Care Division.
In a response from Lornamead, the company stated that it was
committed to moving towards using sustainable palm oil in its
soap bar by 2016. While Ethical Consumer acknowledged the
future commitment by the company, it did not take it into account
when rating companies policy due to the fact the negative effects
of palm oil production had been apparent since 2005. The company
therefore lost half marks in climate change, habitats and resources
and human rights. (ref: 84)
Stichting Administratiekantoor Unilever N.V., Claude Debussylaan
24, Amsterdam, 1082 MD, The Netherlands
Dove shampoo
Home & Personal Care Division is also owned by Unilever
N.V. (50%) which is owned by Stichting Administratiekantoor
Unilever N.V. (50%)
Home & Personal Care Division is also owned by Unilever
PLC (50%)
Habitats & Resources
Unilever PLC, Unilever House, 100 Victoria Embankment,
London, EC4Y 0DY, UK
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Environment
Animals
Animal Testing
Middle ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
A search of Lornameads website, www.lornamead.com, by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012 for the company’s animal testing policy
and found a document called ‘Trade Partners - Conditions of
Purchase for Goods and Service’. Point 8 stated ‘the supplier
hereby undertakes that the supplier has not tested on animals
any of the products or raw materials or components provided to
or produced for the company’. However, the company did not
supply a fixed cut off date and therefore the company received a
middle ECRA rating for its animal testing policy. (ref: 84)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Operations in oppressive regimes (information only) (July
2012)
A search of Lornamead’s website, www.lornamead.com, by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012 found that the company had offices in India.
India at the time of writing was considered by Ethical Consumer
to be governed by an oppressive regime. (ref: 84)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (July 2012)
A search of Lornamead’s website, www.lornamead.com, by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012 found no supplier code of conduct
guaranteeing set standards for employees within the company’s
supply chain. The website did contain a Condition of Purchase
for Goods and Services for Trade Partners however there was no
provisions made for employees of suppliers.
Due to a lack of information the company received Ethical
Consumer’s worst rating for supply chain policy. (ref: 84)
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental report (July 2012)
The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (dated November 2010)
was downloaded from the company’s website www.unilever.
com in March 2012. The report discussed the following of the
company’s environmental impacts: greenhouse gases, water
(in relation to raw materials, manufacture and consumer use),
waste, sustainable sourcing of raw materials and office waste.
The company’s website stated that it would “produce an annual
report on our progress towards the milestones and targets we set
out in the Plan. The first report will be published in 2012.”
The report contained several dated, quantified future targets for
reducing these impacts. These all came under one overall target
which was to half the environmental impacts of the production
and use of the company’s products by 2020. Examples of the
sorts of targets included were to halve waste by 2020, to halve
the impact of products lifecycles by 2010 and to source 100% of
agricultural raw materials sustainably by 2020. The Sustainability
section of the Unilever website stated that eight of the company’s
environmental claims oin the report had been audited by Deloitte
LLP, namely: emissions of chemical oxygem demand, water
consumption, energy use, CO2 emissions from energy use,
hazardous waste, non-hazardous waste, emissions from SOx
from boilers and utilities and emissions of ozone depleting
potential. Unilever received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for
environmental reporting. (ref: 85)
Climate Change
Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy (2011)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer searched Unilever’s website,
www.unilever.com, for its palm oil policy
and its Sustainable Living Plan Progress Report 2011. Contained
within the report was some reporting on the company’s progress
on sourcing sustainable palm oil. The company stated that 64
percent of its palm oil was being sourced sustainabily and by 2015
it had a target to have all its palm oil sourced from sustainable
sources.
Ethical Consumer did not take into account future commitments
to source sustainable palm oil due to the fact the negative effects
of plam oil production had been apparent for last seven years. The
RSPO first published its Principles and Criteria for sustainable
palm oil production in 2005. As a result the company received
marks against it for climate change, habitats and resources and
human rights. (ref: 86)
Use of non certified sustainable palm oil (2008)
The website for the Rainforest Action Network, www.ran.org,
listed Alberto-Culver Inc. as a company that used palm oil in
its products, on a page with the copyright 2008. A search was
made on the company’s website, www.alberto.com, but no
information could be found which indicated that the company
sought to use sustainably sourced palm oil. The company
therefore received negative marks in the categories of climate
change, habitat destruction and human rights, as a result of the
negative environmental and social impacts of palm oil plantations.
(ref: 87)
Pollution & Toxics
Fined for Polluting California Air With Deodorant Spray
(February 2010)
According to an article posted on the Environmental News Service
website, www.ens.newswire.com, a fragrant personal care spray,
sold by Conopco and designed to make men appear to be free of
unpleasant body odour, polluted California air to the degree that
the state fined the company more than $1 million. The California
Air Resources Board penalised the company $1.3 million for
illegal consumer sales of AXE Deodorant Bodyspray for Men.
An Air Resources Board spokesman said that the deodorant spray
contaminated California air with the volatile organic compounds
used as a propellant and went on to say deodorant sprays sold
in California had a very small specific level of volatile organic
compounds (VOCS) that they were permitted to emit and this
product exceeded that level. Between 2006 and 2008, Conopco,
sold, supplied and offered for sale in California more than 2.8
million units of deodorant body spray that failed to meet the state’s
clean air standards for aerosol deodorants. According to the Air
Resources Board Enforcement Chief James Ryden, “Consumer
products, because of their pervasive use, contribute a growing
portion of VOC emissions throughout California. Therefore, it’s
important that every can and bottle of product be compliant with
ARB’s standards.” The violations resulted in what the Board called
“significant excess emissions” from volatile organic compounds
which contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog. Exposure to
ozone can cause lung inflammation, impaired breathing, coughing,
chest tightness, shortness of breath and worsening of asthma
symptoms. Over 90 percent of Californians still breathe unhealthy
air at some time during the year. (ref: 88)
Shares in Vedanta (2009)
The Ecologist published an article on its website, www.ecologist.
org, on 19 June 2009 in which it listed several UK companies which
owned shares in Vedanta Resources plc. Vedanta was behind the
controversial mine in India’s Orissa state which was situated on a
mountain sacred to local people. The company was given the goahead to begin mining for bauxite in May 2009. Campaign groups
had warned that the 600-hectare mine would result in ecological
degradation that would threaten the livelihoods of tribal people.
They said that several villages had been razed to make way for
the construction of a refinery, with up to 100 indigenous families
evicted from their land and relocated to ‘rehabilitation colonies’
where locals claimed they felt as though they were living ‘in a jail’
with little access to land for farming. A nearby bauxite refinery
which was already in existence had been blamed for causing
health problems, damaging crops and killing livestock.
Unilever Pension Fund was listed in the Ecologist as having
shares in Vedanta. (ref: 89)
Products contain triclosan (July 2012)
According to the ‘What’s in our prtoducts’ section of the www.
unilever.com website viewed in July 2012, Mentadent P and
Mentadent Sensitive toothpastes both contained triclosan.
Several studies have shown that triclosan disrupts the thyroid
hormone in frogs and rats, while others have shown that triclosan
alters the sex hormones of laboratory animals. Others studies have
shown that triclosan can cause some bacteria to become resistant
to antibiotics. (ref: 86)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Shares in Vedanta’ in Pollution & Toxics above.)
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Unsustainable water usage (August 2008)
In an article published by the Economist, www.economist.com,
in August 2008, it was reported that the bank JPMorgan had
calculated that five big food and drink companies, including
Unilever, consumed a total of almost 575 billion litres of water
annually, “enough to satisfy the daily water needs of every person
on the planet.” (ref: 90)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
Unilevers website, www.unilever.com, in July 2012 by Ethical
Consumer for its animal testing policy
and found a statement that Unilever was committed to the
elimination of animal testing. The company stated that it did
not test finished products on animals unless it was demanded
by the regulatory authorities in the few countries where it was
the law.
Due to its use of animal testing and the lack of clarity about
when it was used, for example for medical or cosmetic purposes,
the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 86)
Boycott call by Uncaged (September 2011)
Unilever was listed under a list of ‘Companies to Boycott’ on the
Uncaged website, www.uncaged.co.uk, when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. This was because “The following
companies either openly use animal-tested chemicals, or fail to
demonstrate that the finished product and the ingredients they
use have not been tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date.”
(ref: 53)
Involved in animal testing not required by law (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, Unilever
was listed in a pdf called ‘Companies that test on animals’
produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufacture cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it is not required by law. (ref: 8)
Factory farming
Use of battery farmed eggs (2011)
According to a press release by the Humane Society of the United
States, dated 23rd August 2006, a campaign had been launched
to ask Ben & Jerry’s to stop using eggs sourced from battery
chicken farms in its ice-cream. The company was said to have
given assurances over the space of a year that it would switch to
free range eggs, but had failed to do so.
In September 2011 the parent company’s website, www.unilever.
com, was searched and the following information on their eggs
sourcing policy was found:
“All Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold in Europe has used only cagefree eggs since 2004, and globally, 88.3% of all eggs used in Ben
& Jerry’s production in 2009 were cage-free. In the US in 2010,
all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold in pint containers was made with
certified cage-free eggs.”
However, this left some areas of the company’s business which
still used eggs from caged hens. (ref: 91)
Sale of intensively farmed meat (2011)
The US website of Unilever brand Bertolli, www.bertolli.com,
listed several ready-meals on sale when viewed in September
2011. Some of these contained meat, and this was not stated to
be free range. (ref: 92)
Animal Rights
(See also ‘Sale of intensively farmed meat’ in Factory
farming above.)
Production of products containing slaughterhouse byproducts (25 November 2008)
An Ethical Consumer shop survey, conducted on the 25th
November 2008, found that the product Flora Extra Light,
produced by Unilever, contained pork gelatine, a slaughterhouse
by-product. (ref: 93)
Product contained sodium tallowate (July 2007)
A shop survey conducted by ECRA in July 2007 showed that
Simple soap contained sodium tallowate, which is produced from
rendered beef fat. (ref: 94)
D’Ivoire and Togo were on ECRA’s list of oppressive regimes
at the time of writing. A cocoa official was quoted as saying
“The cocoa business is very dangerous for the worker”. It was
also said that a cocoa inspector had been “badly beaten and left
for dead”. A journalist investigating the cocoa sector was said
to have received death threats and then disappeared, allegedly
tortured to death, his computer was reportedly discovered at the
home of the president’s brother-in-law, who was later charged
with “complicity” in the murder of the journalist. It was said that
a French lawyer was kidnapped in 2004, and that he had been
carrying out an EU audit of the cocoa sector. A trial was held,
in which the preliminary findings were said to indicate that 3 of
the kidnappers were also part of the presidents private security
force at the time. (ref: 97)
People
Workers’ Rights
Human Rights
Child labour likely in vanilla supply chain (May 2011)
In May 2011 Dutch sustainable development NGO SOMO
published an overview of Unilever’s controversial business
practices that occurred in 2010. It focussed on Unilever’s use of
vanilla from Madagascar in its ice cream. Vanilla production is
plagued by child labour and unsustainable farm gate prices. Two
thirds of EU vanilla imports come from Madagascar.
Human rights abuses by palm oil supplier (23 August 2011)
On 23rd August 2011 it was reported on the Rainforest Rescue
website, www.rainforest-rescue.org, that the small village of
Sungai Beruang on the Indonesian island of Sumatra had been
stormed by 700 armed soldiers from the notorious special forces
unit Brimob, and the Wilmar Group’s security forces. Wilmar
International was reported to be one of the world’s biggest palm
oil companies and one of the major suppliers to Unilever, one of
the world’s biggest palm oil processors, which used palm oil it
almost all of its products. The raid on Sungai Beruang was reported
to result in hundreds of people fleeing “to escape the guns and
bulldozers” and much of the village being destroyed. 40 people
from the ethnic group of the Suku Anak Dalam, which had lived
in the area for generations, were reported to be missing.
Rainforest Rescue was calling on supporters to contact Unilever
and request that they reconsider their collaboration with Wilmar
and replace the palm oil in its products with native fats. (ref:
95)
Located in Israeli settlement of Barkan, occupied Palestine
(February 2010)
When viewed by Ethical Consumer in February 2010, the Hoovers
factsheet for Beigel & Beigel Food (1985) Ltd gave the address of
the company as Barkan, an illegal Israeli settlement on occupied
Palestinian land. (ref: 96)
Criticisms relating to cocoa from Cote D’Ivoire (2007)
According to the 2007 report by Global Witness; “Hot Chocolate:
How Cocoa Fuelled The Conflict in Cote D’Ivoire”, a Swiss
company told Global Witness that it sold chocolate to Unilever.
The Swiss company was said to buy around 10% of the cocoa
produced in the country and had manufacturing facilities installed
there.
The report explained that Cote D’Ivoire produced around 40% of
the world’s cocoa in 2006. Chocolate manufacturing companies
generally sold the industry blends of cocoa from various countries,
so most chocolate was likely to include cocoa from Cote D’Ivoire,
as it’s included in numerous blends. In 2005-2006, 60.1% of
Ivorian cocoa exports were destined for the EU. From 1999 to the
time of writing, the country had been very politically unstable, with
power and land shared between, and often fought over by, rebels
and government. Despite this, in 2004, the chairperson of one of
the cocoa institutions stated that weapons had been bought with
money from cocoa farmers, and supplied to the national security
forces. The report also detailed corruption in the country’s cocoa
institutions. The institutions fulfil a range of roles, from collecting
taxes from the industry to representing companies that trade or
export cocoa. The report stated that “The lucrative cocoa trade
has been at the heart of the war economy.” It was also said that
cocoa, unlike other goods, could “circulate freely” in the West
African Economic and Monetary Union and the report detailed
how some Ivorian cocoa was traded to and from Togo. Cote
There are 80,000 smallholder, family-run vanilla farms in
Madagascar. In 2008, growers were getting 6.6% of the export
price. In 2010 it was reported that growers were earning a dollar
a day. 97,000 children aged 5-17 were economically active in
Sava, a region of Madagascar responsible for the vast majority
of vanilla production.
On the subject of child labour, Unilever responded by saying that
it is satisfied that its suppliers are not sourcing from producers that
resort to child labour. It made no comment on low farm income
despite the fact that it sources 8% of Madagascar’s vanilla. Low
farm income is related to child labour because vanilla prices have
plummeted, so growers are forced to rely on their children for
unpaid work in the fields.
However, the report stated that the ethical standards of Unilever’s
(first tier) suppliers are not effective because they cannot monitor
the work of farmers further down the chain. 6,000 individual
farmers might be indirectly supplying Unilever.
SOMO concludes that Unilever is not taking enough responsibility
for addressing both these issues, despite Unilever’s awareness
of the problems in its vanilla supply chain and its influence as
a major client. It was noted that it had committed too sourcing
Fairtrade vanilla for the minority share of its ice cream (Ben &
Jerry’s) by 2013 whilst failing to address responsible sourcing
for the majority of its ice cream. (ref: 98)
Workers’ rights violations in tea sector (June 2008)
In a report published by SOMO in June 2008 entitled “Sustainability
Issues in the Tea Sector”, Unilever was criticised for the standard
of housing it provided for workers living on plantations in Kenya.
It was said that houses tended to be overcrowded and “often in a
deplorable condition”. Their allocation was said to be “riddled
with allegations of corruption, tribalism and sexual harassment”.
An employee was said to have claimed that up to six workers may
have shared two roomed houses. Many tea workers in Kenya
were said to have reported discrimination and that promotion and
employment in tea estates was largely determined by ethnicity. The
report suggested that ethnic and political tensions were fostered
under such conditions: during the violence in Kenya at the time of
the 2007 elections, at least 14 people were said to have been killed
on Unilever’s plantations in the country. The report goes on to state
that “apart from political antagonism, local Kalenjins reportedly
feel disadvantaged because the migrant ethnic group (Kisii) that
came to pick tea live in better conditions than them”.
Unilever, in Indonesia, Malawi and Kenya, was stated to employ
people on a temporary contract which resulted in them having
worse pay and fewer rights, for example, to pensions and access
to medical care for their children.
Unilever was said to account for more than 70% of Indonesian
tea exports, and it was said to be “highly likely” that the company
influenced prices in the region. The global concentration of
tea buying into a handful of companies was said to have been
“influential in keeping world market prices low”.
Other issues regarding Unilever that were raised in the report
were divestment resulting in many people losing their jobs and
inadequate renumeration. (ref: 99)
(See also ‘Criticisms relating to cocoa from Cote D’Ivoire’
in Human Rights above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (July
2012)
Unilever was sent a questionnaire in June 2012 requesting
information on its supply chain management. No response was
received. Ethical Consumer searched Unilevers website, www.
unilever.com, and found Unilever’s supplier code.
Supply chain policy (poor)
The Supplier Code had adequate provisions for child and forced
labour and also stated that freedom of association should be
respected. However, there was no statement defining the width and
depth the code applied to within its supply chain and there was no
provisions relating to working hours, payment of a living wage
and employment being free from discrimination. Therefore the
company was considered to have a poor supply chain policy.
Irresponsible Marketing
Misleading marketing (March 2009)
In March 2009 The Food Magazine reported that Bertolli spread,
which was a Unilever product, contained only 21% olive oil, and
actually contained more rapeseed and other unspecified vegetable
oils than genuine olive oil. (ref: 45)
Criticism for irresponsible marketing (March 2009)
In March 2009 The Food Magazine reported that a number of
celebrities were used in advertising campaigns for foods that
would have been banned from television advertising during
programmes with a high proportion of young viewers, because
they contained high levels of sugar, saturated fat, fat and/or salt.
The article was critical of the fact that Marco Pierre White had
endorsed Knorr Stock Pot, a product high in salt, and that Gloria
Hunniford and Gary Rhodes had endorsed Flora products, which
were high in fat and saturated fat. Knorr and Flora were Unilever
brands. (ref: 45)
Contamination of milk products with melamine (October
2008)
In October 2008, the Wall Street Journal published an article
on its website, www. wsj.com, which stated that Unilever Hong
Kong Ltd had recalled four batches of Lipton milk tea powder
sold in Hong Kong and Macau after its tests found melamine in
the products. The products contained Chinese-made ingredients,
and the recall occurred in the wake of findings of large scale
contamination of milk products in China. A representative of the
company was said to have claimed that the scope of the recall
was “relatively contained.” (ref: 100)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
A search of Unilevers website found no evidence of its involvement
in multi-stakeholder initiatives or NGOs / NFPs in working to
improve workers rights within its supply chain. There was a
confidential ethics hotline which was available to all workers.
Due to the lack of stakeholder engagement the company received
a poor rating.
Auditing and reporting (poor)
A search of Unilever’s website there was no evidence found that
there was a schedule of audits for its supplier to check conformity
to its supplier code of conduct.
Unilever’s website did state that it may request further verification
from suppliers in the form of self-assessments or site audits to
identify that operational practices meet the Code’ s requirements
based on its risk assessment. If the practices do not meet our
requirements, then it would seek an agreement with its suppliers to
undertake the necessary actions to achieve compliance. Unilever
used SEDEX platform to deploy common approach to supplier
assessments that is recognised across our industry. However, due
to the lack of publically available information on its suppliers
Unilever received a poor rating for auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
No discussion was found on Unilevers website about working
towards payment of a living wage, homeworkers, and freedom of
association therefore the company received a poor rating.
Overall Unilever received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for
supply chain management. (ref: 86)
Pro GM policy statement (July 2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer searched the Unilever website
for the company’s policy on the use of GM ingredients. The
following position statement was found on its website; “We support
the responsible use of biotechnology within the framework of
effective regulatory control and provision of information about
its use. The use of this technology to improve food crops can
bring important benefits to mankind and individual applications
should be judged on their merits.
“We acknowledge that the public’s view of biotechnology, such
as the use of GM ingredients in foods, is still evolving and that
the debate and public acceptance is at different stages in different
regions of the world.
“Our companies are free to use ingredients derived from modified
crops, which have been approved by the regulatory authorities and
which meet our own standards for quality and acceptability.
“The decision whether or not such ingredients will be used is made
at local or regional level, taking into account public perception,
national legislation, availability and costs of alternatives and
attitudes of our customers, including the retail trade.” (ref: 92)
Boycott Call
(See also ‘Boycott call by Uncaged’ in Animal Testing
above.)
Political Activities
Member of WEF (January 2012)
Unilever was listed as a strategic partner of the World Economic
Forum, on its website www.weforum.org viewed by Ethical
Consumer on 01 August 2012. The World Economic Forum was a
lobby group which campaigned for greater economic liberalisation
and deregulation. ECRA defined the World Economic Forum
as a corporate lobby group which lobbied for free trade at the
expense of the environment, animal welfare, human rights or
health protection. (ref: 101)
Member of four lobby groups (2011)
According to the Unilever website, www.unilever.com, viewed in
2011, the company was a member of the follwing lobby groups;
the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), the International
Chamber of Commerce (ICC), TransAtlantic Business Dialogue
(TABD), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
(WBCSD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF). (ref: 92)
Member of NAM (2008)
According to Dirt Diggers Digest “Rebuffed by Supreme
Court, NAM complies with Disclosure Law-For Now” from
May 2nd, 2008 by Phil Mattera, the U.S Supreme Court had
denied an Emergency request from the National Association
of Manufacturers (NAM) regarding disclosure. NAM had been
opposed to a new law (Section 207 of P.L 110-81) that required
trade associations to list member companies that were involved
extensively in developing the organization’s lobbying strategies
or that contributed at least $5,000 towards those efforts. NAM
maintained that these activities should be confidential.
NAM had sought a stay on enforcement of a portion of the Honest
Leadership and Open Government Act that took effect on April
21, 2008. When DC courts turned down the request, NAM went
to the Supreme Court who had also refused.
When NAM submitted an amended lobbying disclosure filing to
the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate it responded to
a question about additional affiliated organizations by providing
a link to a page on its website.
The page provided the names of 63 large corporations and two
large trade associations (American Petroleum Institute and the
Edison Electric Institute) whose lobbying involvement was
ordered to be made public.
Unilever United States was among the companies listed on the
website. (ref: 102)
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in tax havens (July 2012)
According to Hoovers factsheet for Unilever. viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012, the company had subsidaries in Costa
Rica, Switzerland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guatemala and
Luxembourg. All these countries were considered by Ethical
Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing. (ref: 103)
Excessive directors’ pay (February 2012)
According to an article on Foodmanufacturer.co.uk Unite
the Union claimed that the CEO of Unilever earnt more than
£6million a year. Unite were unhappy with this especially in the
context of the company slashing pensions of the workforce by
up to 40%. (ref: 104)
Criticised by ActionAid for having subsidiaries in tax
havens (October 2011)
ActionAid published a FTSE 100 Tax Haven Tracker in October
2011 which tracked how many of the subsidiaries of the FTSE
100 companies were in tax havens. It uncovered that Unilever
had 696 subsidiaries, 34% of which were in developing countries
and 26% of which were in tax havens.
According to ActionAid corporate tax avoidance, one of the main
reasons companies use tax havens, was having a massive impact
on rich and poor countries alike. Developing countries it, said
currently lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in
aid each year. Chris Jordan, ActionAid’s tax justice expert said:
“ActionAid’s research showing the use of tax havens by Britain’s
biggest companies raises serious questions they need to answer.
Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the
stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the
ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would
lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid.”
The use of tax havens facilitates tax avoidance and evasion,
which undermines the revenue bases of both developing and
developed countries. Additional revenues are urgently needed
both to invest in the fight against poverty and to tackle the deficits
incurred during the financial crisis in rich countries. Chris Jordan
continued: “When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying
their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries
are left to pick up the bill. Spending on doctors, nurses and other
essential services gets cut for those who need it most. Tax havens
might provide the lure of financial secrecy and low tax rates for
big companies, but at a time when all countries are desperate for
revenues, the UK government can’t afford to turn a blind eye.”
ActionAid was calling on the government to urgently rethink its
current proposals to relax UK anti tax haven rules. The Treasury
itself estimated these changes would result in an £840 million
tax break for multinational companies that use tax havens. With
both developing and developed countries bearing the brunt of
debilitating losses, ActionAid said the UK must ensure the G20
takes the decisive action it promised on tax havens at the London
summit in 2009. (ref: 105)
Dr Hauschka make up
Owned by Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc.
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc., 20 Industrial Drive East, South
Deerfield, MA 01373, USA
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. is owned by WALA Heilmittel GmbH
which is owned by Wala-Stiftung
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental report (July 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Wala Heilmittel a
questionnaire requesting the company’s environmental report.
No reponse was received. Ethical Consumer searched Wala
Heilmittel’s website, www.wala.de, and found the company’s
environmental statement.
The statement was dated 2008, although there was an update
from 2010 to be added to the report. The statement contained
dated and quantified targets which were set from 2008 and had
a target of 2011. No new targets could be found and a request
was sent to the company asking if there were new targets due to
be published. No response was received. Due to the lack of up
to date environmental reporting the company received a worst
Ethical Consumer rating in this category. (ref: 106)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (July 2012)
Dr. Hauschka Skin Care, Inc. did not respond to a written request
from Ethical Consumer for information regarding its palm oil
sourcing policy in June 2012. No related information could be
found on its website, www.drhauschka.co.uk, although palm oil
and derivatives were listed on a page entitled ‘Ingredients glossary’
and as ingredients not labelled organic for specific products.
Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world wide,
the company lost half marks in the categories of climate change,
habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 107)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Animals
Animal Rights
Use of silk in some products (2010)
According to the Dr Hauschka website (www.drhauschka.co.uk)
viewed on 3rd March 2010, some of the company’s products
including rosemary foot balm and some make up products
contained silk. The website stated that it could not source sufficient
quantities of organic or tussah silk, so it was using commercially
produced silk. Silk is produced from the cocoon of silk worms
which are killed before they can develop into moths. (ref: 108)
Animal ingredients (2007)
According to the Dr Haschka website, www.drhauschka.co.uk,
when viewed on the 4th of July 2007 some of its mascaras contained
Carmine (CI 75470). The website explained that ‘Carmine red
colouring is extracted from dried cochineal beetles which live in
colonies on the pad of the prickly pear cactus.’ (ref: 109)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Operations in 2 oppressive regimes (2010)
Ethical Consumer searched Wala Hilmittel’s website in July 2012
and found that the company had operations in Israel and Russia.
Both countries at the time of writing were considered by Ethical
Consumer to be governed by oppressive regimes. (ref: 106)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (July
2012)
Wala Heilmittel was sent a questionnaire in June 2012 requesting
its supply chain management policy. No response was received.
Ethical Consumer searched the company’s website and found no
documents or policy relating to its supply chain and workers rights.
Due to the lack of information Ethical Consumer could not assess
Wala Heilmittel’s supply chain management and therefore the
company received a worst Ethical Consumer rating. (ref: 106)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in tax havens (July 2012)
A search of Wala Heilmittel website by Ethical Consumer in
July 2012 found that the company had subsidiaries in Singapore,
Ireland, Hong Kong and Luxembourg. All territories were
considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of
writing. (ref: 106)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Toxic free (17 July 2012)
According to the Dr Hauschka website, viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012, the company did not use the following
chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the environment and
human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG” and “-eth”
* Petrochemicals
Essential Care Fairtrade lipstick
[F,A,O,S]
Owned by Essential Care (Organics) Ltd
Essential Care (Organics) Ltd, Director, 26 James Carter Rd,
Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP287DE
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Essential Care responded to Ethical Consumer’s written request
in June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy by sending
the following statement:
“We support fair trade, natural farming methods and have an active
commitment to the care of the environment. This encompasses
organic certification of our products, choosing materials which
are locally-sourced where possible, are from sustainable and
renewable resources, free from chemical contaminants, and are
either recycled or can be recycled safely.” All its products were
manufactured in the UK.
As an SME providing environmental alternatives Essential Care
was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best rating for environmental
reporting. (ref: 110)
People
Human Rights
Does not use palm oil (June 2012)
An article posted on the Essential Care website, www.essentialcare.co.uk, in May 2012 stated that the company did not use
palm oil as a result of the deforestation that palm oil production
has involved. Ethical Consumer considered this to be a positive
palm oil policy. (ref: 111)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2012)
Essential Care responded to Ethical Consumer’s written request
in June 2012 for the company’s supply chain management
information.
The company stated that: “Trading ethically has always been one
of our priorities. When we have to source outside the EU, we
always buy fair trade certified ingredients wherever they exist.
In 2009 Essential Care was the first UK brand to launch skin care
approved by both the Soil Association and Fairtrade Foundation.
In 2011 we launched the first (and still only) Fairtrade Foundation
approved makeup. We are audited and inspected by both the Soil
Association and Fairtrade Foundation.”
Since it was a small company whose products were still hand
made by one of the owners of the family firm, and which was
sourcing Fairtrade ingredients where possible, it received Ethical
Consumer’s best rating in this category. (ref: 110)
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
Product Sustainability category. (ref: 106)
Politics
Animal Welfare Features
All products certified organic (2012)
According to the Essential Care (Organics) Ltd response to an
Ethical Consumer company questionnaire received in June 2012,
all the company’s products met Soil Association organic criteria.
The company was producing only innovative environmental
alternatives. (ref: 110)
Vegan (July 2012)
According to the Dr Hauschka website (www.drhauschka.co.uk)
viewd in July 2012, many of its make up products were suitable
for vegans. (ref: 107)
Company Ethos
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Sustainable product (June 2012)
According to the Essential Care (Organics) Ltd response to an
Ethical Consumer company questionnaire received in June 2012,
all the company’s products met Soil Association organic criteria.
Its lipstick was also Fairtrade Foundation certified and suitable
for vegetarians.
The questionnaire added that all the company’s products were
free from the following ingredients:
Parabens
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Synthetic Colors
Synthetic Fragrances
Methylisothiazolinone (MIT)
Petrochemicals (ref: 110)
Fairtrade Product
(See also ‘Sustainable product’ in Organic Product above.)
Other Sustainability Features
(See also ‘Sustainable product’ in Organic Product above.)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Sustainable product’ in Organic Product above.)
Estee Lauder make-up
Owned by Estée Lauder Companies Inc
Estée Lauder Companies Inc, 767 Fifth Avenue, New York, New
York, 10153-0023, USA
Estée Lauder Companies Inc is owned by Lauder Family
(88%)
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Estée Lauder Companies website (www.elcompanies.
com), viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2012, included some
information on the company’s environmental policy.
It stated that the company was using recycled packaging in some
of its products and cutting greenhouse gas emissions across its
operations, as well as a few other location-specific initiatives. It
also said the company was “committed to the sustainable harvesting
and use of natural ingredients” although it wasn’t explained what
this meant in practical terms.
There was no mention of chemicals and their impact on the
environment or on the use of water and as a result, the information
was not considered to demonstrate a reasonable understanding
of the company’s main impacts.
Nor were there two or more dated and quantified future targets
for reducing these impacts.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 112)
Climate Change
Worst rating for palm oil policy (2010)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Estée Lauder Companies
Inc and attached a questionnaire that included a request for the
company’s policy in relation to palm oil sourcing. The company
did not respond. Its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility report,
downloaded from its corporate website www.elcompanies.com,
stated: “ELC makes efforts to buy certified sustainable palm oil if
stocks are available. We have begun to engage with others to find
ways to increase the availability of sustainable palm oil.” Ethical
Consumer noted that the company was not listed as a member of
the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil on that organisation’s
website and that the negative effects of palm oil production had
been known for at least eight years, since the founding of the
RSPO. Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world
wide, the company lost half marks in the categories of climate
change, habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 113)
Pollution & Toxics
Nanoparticles in some products (July 2012)
In June 2012 a page entitled ‘Nanotechnology’ was downloaded
from the ‘Viewpoints’ section of the Estée Lauder corporate
website, www.elcompanies.com. This stated the following:
“In our continuing efforts to keep our consumers informed,
we are sharing the following updated information regarding
nanotechnology.
Our 2010 Corporate Responsibility report states that we do not
formulate using nano particles, which we were defining at the time
as ingredients intentionally processed to be nano sized. However,
we have since identified a small number of products that do contain
a limited number of these nano sized ingredients.
The definition of “nano” terms as they relate to cosmetics
ingredients continues to evolve in accordance with emerging
scientific study. In the future, reference to “nano” may capture
more than ingredients which are intentionally manufactured to
be nano sized.
We will continue to pay close attention to the dialogue on
nano. We will evaluate our use of these ingredients consistent
with prevailing scientific opinion, related regulations, and our
commitment to bringing our consumers innovative products of
the highest quality.” (ref: 114)
Poor rating on product risk issues (2007)
According to the ENDS Report issue 386 (March 2007), Estee
Lauder was one of the companies which had scored poorly in
relation to its peers in an analysis by Innovest Strategic Value
Advisors of major firms in the personal care, household durables,
multi-line retail and healthcare equipment sectors. It said Innovest
had rated them on their efforts to manage chemical risk, examining
parameters such as policies, consumer awareness activities,
internal capacity building, development of data on risks and
supply chain alignment. The report had been designed to warn
investors to benchmark firms on their chemical risk management
strategies, pointing to the potential for damage to reputations
and loss of business due to ‘toxic lockouts’ from markets where
regulation was tightening. (ref: 7)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Animal testing of cosmetics in China (February 2012)
According to the article ‘Avon, Estee Lauder And Mary Kay
Allegedly Testing Makeup On Animals’ published on the
Huffington Post website, www.huffingtonpost.com, dated
February 21st 2012, Estée Lauder had gone along with Chinese
government requirements for animal testing of beauty products
sold in the country without complaint. Another company, Mary
Kay, had been trying to work with the government to come up with
new testing solutions for cosmetics that didn’t involve animals.
This meant that the company could no longer be considered
‘cruelty free’. In addition to our concerns over animal testing,
China was on Ethical Consumer’s list of oppressive regimes at
the time of writing. (ref: 28)
Used ingredients tested on animals (July 2007)
Uncaged reported in Spring 2007 that a concerned consumer had
enquired of Clinique whether it was involved with animal testing
and was assured that the company was not involved because it
did not test products on itself or “asked others to conduct animal
testing on our behalf”. However, campaigners argued that such a
statement meant that a company could be buying and using new
ingredients that had been tested on animals by the suppliers or
manufacturers and that the company therefore was still paying
for and perpetuating animal testing. It was reported that the
campaigner re-contacted Clinique and eventually got a refund
on the product. (ref: 115)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2010)
According to the 12th Edition of the Naturewatch Compassionate
Shopping Guide published in 2010, Estée Lauder had neither
a fixed cut-off date or five year rolling rule for animal testing.
It therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 116)
People
Human Rights
Court case over image use (June 2011)
On 3rd June 2011 it was reported on the UPI website that a
model was suing Estée Lauder for using an image of her without
permission for an anti-aging product. The plaintiff was said to
have claimed that the photo was taken during a shoot for a different
product when she was not wearing make-up. The advert claimed
that improvements in the appearance of the woman in two different
images were as a result of a clinical test of the product, but the
model said that she had never used the product or participated
in a clinical test. (ref: 117)
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
(See also ‘Animal testing of cosmetics in China’ in Animal
Testing above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (poor)
The Estée Lauder website (www.elcompanies.com), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in June 2012, included the following information
on the company’s supply chain management policy: “We expect our
suppliers to comply with all local regulations and their national laws
governing minimum wages, overtime compensation, hiring and
occupational safety. Our suppliers must comply with our Supplier
Code of Conduct. The Code outlines our expectations on quality,
health and safety, enviroment, labor conditions and human rights
– including our zero tolerance policy regarding prisoners,slave
labor and human trafficking. We have an ongoing audit process
that includes independent third party assessment.”
However, since the Code did not contain stipulations on payment
of a living wage, employment of children or maximum number
of hours in a working week it was rated as poor.
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (poor)
No mention found.
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
The company’s latest Corporate Responsibility report (dated 2010)
stated that Based on a supplier risk assessment, our current focus
is on auditing suppliers in Asia that provide us directly with
ingredients or packaging to ensure they meet our standards and
to identify any areas of non-compliance with the Code. We plan
to expand the process to Europe and the U.S. in FY2012.
We have also begun to audit some second-tier suppliers (those that
provide our top-tier suppliers with goods or services). We require
prompt correction if we find cases of minor non-compliance. We
then conduct follow-up audits to review progress. Once suppliers
have passed an in-person Code of Conduct audit, we ask them
to complete a self-assessment questionnaire every two years to
check continued compliance. Every year we randomly pick a
sample of suppliers for a follow up in-person audit, to verify the
accuracy of these self-assessments.”
No commitment was made to audit the entire supply chain, audit
results did not appear to be disclosed, and there was no mention
of a remediation strategy in instances of non-compliance, or of
who paid the costs of audits.
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No mention found.
The company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 113)
Irresponsible Marketing
(See also ‘Court case over image use’ in Human Rights
above.)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott Call for animal testing (2012)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
Estee Lauder as a company to boycott when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012. It was named as a company that either
openly used animal-tested chemicals, or failed to demonstrate
that the finished products and ingredients they used had not been
tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 118)
Boycott call (June 2011)
In June 2011 cosmetics brand Clinique was targeted by pro
Palestinian protesters over its links with an Israeli organisation
that facilitates the transfer of Palestinian land to Israelis while
parading as an environmental charity.
Five members of performance arts collective the Rezoning Group
entered a Clinque store in Istanbul, Turkey dressed as members
of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and proceeded to “plant” trees
in the shop forcing it to close.
This was to draw a parallel with the actions of the JNF, which
has been involved in forcibly appropriating Palestinian homes
before planting trees on the sites. Campaigners say that following
the establishment of the state of Israel, the JNF was given
responsibility for developing lands expropriated by the government
- including 531 Palestinian villages destroyed in a campaign of
ethnic cleansing by the Israeli state.
According to the Stop The JNF campaign, parks and forests have
been planted in order to cover the traces of villages destroyed in
1948 and 1967. Additionally, it is accused of aiding the illegal
confiscation of Palestinian lands on the basis that the owners
were “absent”.
Clinique’s chairman Ron Lauder is also chair of the (JNF).
Activists have now called on consumers to boycott Clinique as
part of the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign
against companies involved with or profiting from the violation
of Palestinian rights. (ref: 119)
Anti-Social Finance
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, Estee Lauder along with twelve other French perfume giants
had been fined 40 million Euros for colluding to keep prices high
between 1997 and 2000.
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on the Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, Clinique along with twelve other French perfume giants
had been fined 40 million Euros for colluding to keep prices high
between 1997 and 2000.
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Subsidiaries in tax havens (2012)
The company’s website (www.elcompanies.com) viewed June
2012 showed business offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Both these countries were considered to be corporate tax havens
by ECRA at the time of the report. (ref: 112)
Euthymol toothpaste
Owned by Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson, One Johnson & Johnson Plaza, New
Brunswick, NJ 08933 0001, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
MIddle ECRA rating for environment report (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Johnson and Johnson a
questionnaire asking for its environmental report. No response
was received. Ethical Consumer searched Johnson and Johnson’s
website for its environmental policy. The company had set goals
relating to the environment in its Healthy Future 2015 policy. The
goals were based on 2010 baseline figures and included 20 percent
absolute reduction in facility CO2 emissions; increased onsite
renewable and clean-technology energy capacity to 50 megawatts;
20 percent decrease in fleet CO2 emissions per kilometre driven; 10
percent absolute reduction in water consumption and a 10 percent
absolute reduction in total waste disposal. The company had been
reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project and there was some
meaningful carbon data on its website. Johnson and Johnson also
reported to the World Resources Institute (WRI) Greenhouse Gas
Reporting protocol. The company’s headquarters had received a
LEED Gold Certification for Existing Buildings.
While the company did have environmental targets which were
dated and quantified, it was not felt the company showed reasonable
understanding of its impacts especially making no mention of
chemicals as a pharmaceutical manufacturer, it was also unclear
whether the data had been independently verified. Therefore
Johnson and Johnson received Ethical Consumer middle rating
for its environmental reporting. (ref: 120)
Pollution & Toxics
Banned ingredient found in medicine (January 2007)
According to the January/March issue of the Food Magazine
(issue 76), a survey of 41 children’s medicines found that Johnson
& Johnson’s Sudafed Children’s Syrup, contained azo dyes. The
magazine stated that these dyes were ‘banned from food and
drink specifically designed for consumption by children under
three years old [...as they] may cause allergic reactions, including
asthma’. (ref: 121)
Use of nanotechnology (June 2012)
The document “Johnson & Johnson Guidelines: Responsible Use
of Nanotechnology” was downloaded from the Johnson & Johson
website, www.jnj.com, in June 2012. This provided guidelines
for the way in which Johnson & Johnson operating companies
should use nanotechnology responsibly.
The 2007 Corporate Watch report ‘Nanotechnology: undersized,
unregulated and already here’ documented the growing evidence
that nanomaterials pose a unique but so far poorly understood
range of toxicity problems, along with concerns about the wider
social and economic impacts of nanotechnology. (ref: 122)
Toxic chemicals in personal care product (October 2007)
The Ecologist Volume 37, Issue 8 (October 2007) looked ‘Behind
the Label’ of K-Y Jelly, made by Johnson & Johnson and found that
such lubricants could contain a number of unhealthy ingredients.
The article discussed the effects of such products on fertility, many
studies had found that personal lubricants can have a deleterious
effect on sperm function, motility and their ability to penetrate
cervical mucus, even in the small concentrations found in these
products. Several studies had found that these products can be
as lethal to sperm as contraceptive jelly. One study cited found
that exposure to K-Y Jelly after fertilisation was found to cause
severe decline in the ability of embryos to form ‘in vitro’. The
article also listed the product’s ingredients and their possible
health effects as follows: Glycerine - emollient - can cause skin
dryness over time and make it more prone to absorbing chemicals,
has been shown to be toxic to sperm and as a sugar can feed
yeast infections. Hydroxyethylcellulose - emollient - no known
toxic effect but poorly studied. Gluconolactone - antimicrobial,
controls pH - harsh acid, can irritate skin and eyes. Chlorohexidine
digluconate - antiseptic - mildly toxic by ingestion, a skin and
eye irritant, evidence suggests it may cause cellular mutations.
Methylparaben - parabens are known to be oestrogenic and
exposure has been associated with the proliferation of breast
cells, irritating to skin and may cause contact allergies. Sodium
hydroxide - preservative, controls pH - can cause irritation to the
skin and eyes. (ref: 123)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for Animal Testing Policy (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the Johnson and Johnson website,
ww.jnj.com in July 2012 and found that it had a policy to use
animals to test the safety and quality - esepcially for baby products
for which, according to Johnson and Johnson, animal testing is
needed ‘to assure their safety... [and] have an obligation to produce
the mildest, gentlest products possible.’
The company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
for animal testing. (ref: 120)
Manuafacture of animal tested products (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, Johnson &
Johnson was on a list of companies that tested on animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufacture cosmetic
and household products that are tested on animals. (ref: 8)
Animal Rights
Use of animal by-products (June 2009)
A Greenpeace International report published in June 2009 and
called ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, linked Brazilian cattle and
leather producer, Bertin, to Johnson & Johnson which Bertin
described as major client in the hygiene and beauty sector. Animal
by-products such as tallow (rendered beef fat) are used in many
of its personal care products such as soap. (ref: 124)
Product contains gelatine (October 2008)
According to the Benecol website, www.benecol.co.uk, accessed
by Ethical Consumer in October 2008, Benecol light spread
contained gelatine, a slaughterhouse by-product. (ref: 125)
People
Human Rights
Patents affect access to HIV treatments (December 2011)
An article posted on the New Internationalist website, www.newint.
org, on December 1 2011 stated that Johnson & Johnson were
“putting a huge number of lives at risk” by refusing to negotiate
with the Medicines Patent Pool, an organisation set up in 2010
to make HIV drugs cheaper, better and more accessible. Patents
held by pharmaceutical companies were said to be a significant
reason why more than nine million people in the global South
could not get the HIV medicines they needed. The company
was said to hold patents on 3 new HIV drugs, and, according
to the article “as some medicines are built from several patents
from different sources, the company’s refusal to play ball means
some cheap drugs can’t even be made with patents that have been
licensed to the Pool by others.”
The article stated that joining the Pool would have little impact
on the company’s profits, but would reduce the cost of HIV
treatments from $1,000 to less than $100 per patient per year.
HIV treatments were said to be an effective way of preventing
the spread of the virus. (ref: 126)
Subsidiaries in seven oppressive regimes (January 2012)
Johnson and Johnsons SEC 10-K form Exhibit 21, downloaded
from SEC website, listed all the subsidiaries the company had as
of January 2012. The company listed subsidaries in Israel, India,
Venezuela, Russia, Thailand, China, and Colombia. At the time
of writing each country was considered by Ethical Consumer to
be governed by oppressive regimes. (ref: 127)
Sponsoring sporting event in an oppressive regime (29
March 2007)
According to an article dated 29th March 2007, viewed on the
website of TV Guide (www.tvguide.com) 23rd April 2007, the actor
Mia Farrow had criticised 4 of the sponsors of the Olympic Games
in China. It was said that Johnson & Johnson was one of these
sponsors. The article stated that Farrow was a UNICEF goodwill
ambassador. According to the article, China was supplying arms
to Sudan and had very large oil investments in the country, “rights
groups” said that China’s involvement in Sudan was “frustrating
attempts” to stop the conflict in the country. Farrow was quoted
as saying that China was “bank rolling Darfur’s genocide”, Darfur
being an area of Sudan.
these standards and ongoing performance in its sourcing decisions.
The document stated Johnson & Johnson’s external manufacturing
partners were expected to treat people with dignity and respect,
not to use forced labour and for employment to be free from
discrimination. The document stated the suppliers were to respect
workers’ rights to make informed decisions free
from coercion, threat of reprisal or unlawful interference with
regards to their desire to join or not join organisations and respect
worker’s rights to bargain collectively.
Johnson and Johnson had a document called Policy on Employment
of Young Persons which outlined that no child under the age of
16 could be employed.
Due to the lack of commitment with regards to hours and living
wages Johnson and Johnson received a rudimentary supply chain
policy rating.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
A search of Jonhson and Johnson’s website found no evidence
of its involvement in multi-stakeholder processes or NGO’s,
NFP’s or Trade Unions working to improve workers rights within
its supply chain. Johnson and Johnson did have a confidential
employee hotline phone resource and website which was managed
by EthicsPoint.
Due to a lack of stakeholder engagement Johnson and Johnson
received a poor rating.
Auditing and reporting (poor)
According to Johnson and Johnson’s website, the company and its
subsidiaries were monitored for compliance through an internal
audit process, which included a compliance assessment against
its Global Labor and Employment Guidelines. Procedures were
in place to identify and remedy non-compliance situations, which
were reported to senior management.
Johnson and Johnson listed on its website which countries it
considered to be at risk of human rights violations. It wasn’t
clear if this meant that subsidiaries or manufacturing plants were
monitored more closely.
For external manufacturers Johnson and Johnson stated that they
were subject to periodic inspections. The website did not contain
a schedule or a list of manufactures, there was no clear policy on
remediation, Johnson and Johnson there received a poor rating
for auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
China and Sudan were both on ECRA’s list of oppressive regimes
at the time of writing. (ref: 128)
A search of Johnson and Johnson website found no evidence that
it was working to address issues such as freedom of association
in countries where it was restricted or payment of a living wage.
Johnson and Johnson received a poor rating for difficult issues.
(ref: 120)
Supply Chain Management
Irresponsible Marketing
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Johnson and Johnson a
questionnaire regarding its supply chain management. No response
was received. Ethical Consumer searched its website and found
a section on the website for suppliers. This included a document
called Standards for Responsible External Manufacturing.
Supply chain policy (rudimentary)
JnJ Standards for Responsible External Manufacturing document
was unclear whether this applied to the whole supply chain.
Johnson and Johnson stated that it considered progress in meeting
(See also ‘Patents affect access to HIV treatments’ in
Human Rights above.)
Ordered to pay $1.1billion penalty over Risperdal (April
2012)
According to Bloomberg, in April 2012, Johnson and Johnson and
its subsidiary company Janssen had been ordered to pay more than
$1.1 billion in fines after a judge ruled that the company’s officials
misled doctors and patients about the risks of the antipsychotic
drug Risperdal.
Judge Tim Fox in Arkansas found that Johnson and Johnson and
Janssen committed more than 280,000 violations of the state’s
Medicaid fraud laws by illegally marketing Risperdal over a
four-year period starting in 2002, with each violations carrying
a $5,000 fine.
Along with contending that Johnson and Johnson and Janssen
defrauded the Medicaid program by failing to properly outline the
antipsychotic medicines risks, Arkansas officials alleged Johnson
and Johnson officials deceptively marketed the drug as safer and
better than competing medicines.
The state also argued that the companies marketed the drug for
‘unapproved uses, including various symptoms in children and
the elderly’ after being warned by federal authorities to halt such
sales. It was also argued that executives of both companies made
false statements about the drugs diabetes risks and other side
effects in its warning labels.
The Attorney General stated that ‘these two companies put profits
before people, and they are rightfully being held responsible for
their actions’. (ref: 129)
Misleading marketing (March 2009)
In March 2009 The Food Magazine reported that Benecol Olive
Spread contained only 14% olive oil, and was mostly water and
rapeseed oil. (ref: 45)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
Involvement in genetic modification (July 2012)
The document ‘Genetically Engineered Organisms’ was
downloaded by Ethical Consumer from the Johnson & Johnson
website, www.jnj.com, in July 2012. It stated that the company
was conducting research into recombinant proteins and products
from modified organisms for medical purposes. “New bio
pharmaceuticals produced through recombinant technology have
significantly improved the treatment and quality of life of patients
suffering from such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s
disease and psoriasis. Our bio pharmaceutical companies work
closely with regulatory authorities around the world to ensure
that appropriate standards and controls are in place when these
technologies are used and that patient safety and the environment
are protected.”
The document went on to discuss the use of genetic engineering
for non-medical purposes: “Today, scientists are also able to
alter the genetic makeup of plants to make them more resistant
to disease and pests. While a small percentage of ingredients in
some of our consumer products may be derived from an approved
genetically modified agricultural source, such as corn derivatives,
these ingredients must meet our high standards for purity, quality
and safety.” (ref: 130)
GM policy does not include animal feed (November 2008)
In October 2008 Ethical Consumer emailed McNeils Nutritionals
Ltd and attached a questionnaire that included a question regarding
whether or not the company had a policy on genetic modification.
The company responded as follows: “McNeil Nutritionals Ltd
is committed to not using any genetically modified organisms
or their derivatives as ingredients in any of our foodstuffs. In
addition, we require that all process aids, enzymes and cultures
are non-genetically modified (GM). All necessary steps, where
feasible, are taken by McNeil Nutritionals Ltd and Suppliers
(of McNeil products and ingredients) to ensure that ingredients,
additives, process aids, enzymes and cultures used in our products
are obtained from identity preserved or non-GM sources.” When
asked by Ethical Consumer whether this policy included animal
feed, the company responded “McNeil Nutritionals policy is
to source non-GM ingredients including milk. We ensure milk
is purchased from approved local suppliers. We are currently
reviewing the policy regarding feed and the potential to source
milk from 100% guaranteed GM-free feed sources in the current
market place.” Ethical Consumer welcomed this positive policy
in relation to genetic modification, but due to the fact that at the
time of writing the milk used by the company was likely to come
from animals that had been fed genetically modified feed as a
result of the prevalence of such feed on the market, the company
also received a criticism under Ethical Consumer’s rating system.
(ref: 131)
Boycott Call
Boycott call by Uncaged campaign (May 2009)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
Johnson & Johnson as a company to boycott when viewed by
Ethical Consumer in May 2009. It was named as a company
that either openly used animal-tested chemicals, or failed to
demonstrate that the finished products and ingredients it used had
not been tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 132)
Political Activities
Member of AMCHAM (January 2012)
Johnson & Johnson was listed as a member of the American
Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) EU on its website www.
amchameu.be, viewed by Ethical Consumer on 30 January 2012.
ECRA regarded AMCHAM-EU to be a corporate lobby group
which lobbied for free trade at the expense of the environment,
animal welfare, human rights or health protection. (ref: 133)
Member of one international lobby group (2010)
According to the organisation’s website www.wbcsd.org, viewed
by ECRA in November 2010, in 2010 Johnson and Johnson
was a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development. This was regarded by ECRA as an international
corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence on
policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially
detrimental to the environment and human rights. (ref: 134)
Membership of NFTC lobby group (25 May 2007)
According to the website of the National Foreign Trade Council
(NFTC), www.nftc.org, visited on 25th May 2007, Johnson
& Johnson was listed as a director. The NFTC’s motto was
‘Advancing Global Commerce’ and it also claimed to be “the
only business association dedicated solely to trade policy, export
finance, international tax, and human resource issues on behalf
of its members”. It also stated the organization advocated open
world markets and fought against protectionist legislation and
policies. It also offered rapid and effective response to fast-moving
legislative and policy developments by a team with a reputation
for tackling tough issues and getting results, and participation in
NFTC-led business coalitions on major international trade and
tax issues. These were listed as benefits of membership of the
organisation. (ref: 135)
Anti-Social Finance
Under investigation for anti-competitive practices (21
October 2011)
On 21 October 2011 it was reported on the BBC news website,
www.bbc.co.uk, that the EU had launched an investigation into
whether pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Johnson &
Johnson had colluded to keep a generic painkiller out of the
market in the Netherlands. The EU Competition Commissioner
was quoted as saying “Paying a competitor to stay out of the
market is a restriction of competition that the commission will
not tolerate”. (ref: 136)
Subsidiaries in tax havens (2012)
Johnson and Johnsons SEC 10-K form Exhibit 21, downloaded
from SEC website, listed all the subsidiaries the company had as
of January 2012. The company listed subsidaries in Switzerland,
Ireland, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and Singapore. At the time of
writing each territory was considered by Ethical Consumer to be
a tax haven. (ref: 127)
Excessive Directors’ Remuneration (2010)
In January 2011 the Proxy Statement 2010 of the company
Johnson and Johnson, Pursuant to Section14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act, was downloaded from the website for the US
Securities Exchange Commission, www.sec.gov.
The Summary Compensation Table stated that the Chairman /
CEO William C. Weldon had been paid a total of $30,813,844 in
2009. Russell C. Deyo VP. HR & General Counsel had been paid
a total of $8,631,394 in 2009. Colleen A. Goggins WW Chairman,
Consumer Group had been paid a total of $8,316,896 in 2009.
All ‘Faith in Nature’ products completely avoid all artificial
fragrances and colours, parabens and harsh surfactants, in order
to bring the most natural and trusted products to the market
place.”
Ethical Consumer deemed any annual amount over £1m to be
excessive. (ref: 34)
Additionally, the Ethical Consumer Company Questionnaire stated
that “We have been members of the BUAV since its formation
approximately 25 years ago, and all our products, including the
cleaning products are approved.” (ref: 138)
Faith in Nature deodorant
Owned by Faith Products Ltd
Product sustainability
Faith Products Ltd, Faith House, James Street, Radcliffe,
Manchester, M26 1LN, UK
Other Sustainability Features
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Faith Products Ltd responded to Ethical Consumer’s Company
Questionnaire in March 2012, which had asked, among other
things, for the company’s environmental policy or report. The
company responded that it was an SME, with a turnover below £5m,
and added that “although we don’t have a formal environmental
statement, much of what we do is driven by the desire to be as
environmentally responsible as possible. Hence we have moved
the large majority of our bottles over to 100% rPET (recycled
PET) within the last few months, and we believe we were the
first company to offer a reusable roll-on deodorant by way of a
refill cartridge etc.”
As an SME producing environmental alternatives, the company
received Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this category. (ref:
137)
People
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2012)
Faith Products Ltd returned an Ethical Consumer company
questionnaire in March 2012 which had asked, among other things,
for the company’s supply chain management information.
The company responded that “We are members of SEDEX, the
Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, the not for profit membership
organisation for businesses committed to the continuous
improvement of ethical and responsible practices in their supply
chain.
We will also audit individual suppliers if we think there is potential
for the abuse of workers’ rights etc.”
The company’s own factory was in Radcliffe, Manchester in
the UK.
As a small company, demonstraing effective management of its
supply chain, it received Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this
category. (ref: 137)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company ethos (2012)
In March 2012 the Faith in Nature website, www.faithinnature.
co.uk, stated that: “We use no animal ingredients whatsoever in
any of our products, so they are all suitable for vegetarians.
Vegans further require that our products should have no animal
involvement at all. With the exception of Propolis, a product
manufactured by bees and which we include in our Neem and
Propolis hair care products, every Faith in Nature product is
Vegan and has been registered with the Vegan Society, entitling
us to use their trade mark on our products.
Limited toxics use (July 2012)
According to the Faith In Nature website the company did not
use the following chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the
environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* MIT
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 138)
Animal Welfare Features
Vegan Society approved (July 2012)
According to Faith in Nature’s website (www.faithinnature.
co.uk/index.asp) all products were vegetarian and all excluding the
Neem & Propolis product ranges were Vegan Society approved.
(ref: 138)
Gillette shaving gel/foam
Owned by Procter & Gamble Company
Procter & Gamble Company, One Procter & Gamble Plaza,
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Middle ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2011)
The Procter & Gamble Sustainability Report 2011 was downloaded
from the company’s website (www.pg.com) in March 2012. This
document identified the company’s main environmental impacts
as centering around either its products, or its operations. The
operational impacts mentioned were waste disposal, water usage,
CO2 emissions and energy usage. It did not identify sourcing
raw materials from sustainable resources as an environmental
concern, although the report did discuss these issues for some
isolated cases for materials such as wood pulp.
It included several dated (2020) and quantified future targets
including; replacing 20% of peroleum-based products with
sustainably sourced renewable materials, having renewable
energy powering 30% of the company’s plants and reducing truck
transportation by 20%. However, no evidence could be found to
say that the environmental data had been independently verified.
As a result, the company received Ethical Consumer’s middle
rating in this category. (ref: 139)
Climate Change
Inadequate palm oil policy (2012)
The Procter & Gamble Company website (www.pg.com) was
searched by Ethical Consumer in March 2012 for the company’s
policy on palm oil.
The website stated that: “P&G is committed to the sustainable
sourcing of palm oil. By 2015, we intend to purchase and use
only palm oil that we can confirm to have originated from
responsible and sustainable sources.” It added that the company
would encourage and reward “sustainable behavior” on behalf
of its partners and suppliers - to include visiting suppliers and
conducting audits to ensure that their practices would meet or
exceed the company’s ‘Sustainability expectations’. It also said
it recognised the criteria and certification of the Roundtable for
Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) as evidence of sustainable palm
oil sourcing.
However, due to the massive environmental and social impacts
of palm oil production, companies which used palm oil and had
an insufficient policy on sourcing this responsibly (currently
and not just a future target) received negative marks under the
Climate Change, Habitats & Resources and Human Rights
categories. (ref: 140)
Pollution & Toxics
Elevated cadmium levels among workers (January 2008)
According to an article posted on the Wall Street Journal website,
http://online.wsj.com, dated January 15th 2008, Mrs Wang, who
for years worked as an engineer for a company making batteries
for companies including Duracell, had suffered kidney failure and
become often too weak to walk. According to her doctors this was
a result of cadmium poisoning from her place of work. 400 other
employees of the firm had also been found to have unsafe levels
of the toxic metal which, in addition to kidney failure, can also
cause lung cancer and bone disease. For years factory workers
had complained about illness - nausea, hair loss and exhaustion.
Following a strike sparked by some workers paying for cadmium
testing and finding they had elevated levels, the factory introduced
cadmium testing. This resulted in around 900 workers quitting their
jobs, they were given compensation packages but many workers
said the amount was not enough to cover their medical bills.
Mrs Wang, who had much less contact with cadmium than most
workers, was suing the company for $400,000 in compensation.
The article also said that more than 10% of China’s arable land
was contaminated with heavy metals such as cadmium and that
the metals were entering the food supply. Academic studies had
found unsafe levels of cadmium in fruit and vegetables grown in
Chinese soil. The article stated that although the battery industry
was not the only source of environmental cadmium contamination
in China it was a major contributor and said that the Chinese
nickel-cadmium battery industry was sickening workers and
poisoning the soil and water. (ref: 141)
Nanotechnology and animal testing (July 2012)
The Uncaged website, www.uncaged.co.uk, contained a page
entitled ‘P&G’s Nanotechnology’ when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012. This stated that the company was
“involved in cruel animal tests of nanoparticles” and were pushing
a big new animal testing programme to assess how poisonous
different nanoparticles are. (ref: 142)
Manufacture or sale of products containing triclosan (2012)
According to the GoodGuide website viewed in March 2012, the
following Procter & Gamble product was listed as containing
Triclosan:
Joy washing up liquid.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent suspected of causing skin or
sense organ toxicity, immunotoxicity and is linked to antibiotic
resistance. (ref: 143)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Inadequate palm oil policy’ in Climate Change
above.)
Bottom of tissue league table (September 2007)
According to Greenpeace’s Tissue Product Guide produced in
September 2007 to assess which tissue products are made from
recycled or FSC certified paper, Procter & Gamble failed to
respond to the survey and so therefore received the worst rating
and came bottom of the league table. They were the only one of
the 14 companies that failed to report. (ref: 144)
Animals
Animal Testing
(See also ‘Nanotechnology and animal testing’ in Pollution
& Toxics above.)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2012)
The Procter & Gamble Company website (www.pg.com) was
searched in March 2012 for the company’s animal testing policy.
The website stated that the company was committed to removing
animal testing and finding alternatives and that 99% of its products
were not tested on animals. However, it also said: “Sometimes,
to ensure that materials are safe and effective, we must conduct
research that involves animals. This is a last resort. We consider
such research only after every other reasonable option has been
exhausted. The vast majority of our tests do not use animals and
our ultimate goal is to completely eliminate animal testing.”
As a result, the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst
rating in this category. (ref: 140)
Manufactures animal-tested products (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, Procter &
Gamble was listed in a pdf called ‘Companies that test on animals’
produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufacture cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it is not required by law. (ref: 8)
Factory farming
Sale of factory farmed meat (2012)
Procter and Gamble brand Iams’ range of pet foods, viewed on
its website, www.iams.com, by Ethical Consumer in March 2012,
had meat as a major ingredient. The meat used by the company,
which included chicken lamb and beef, did not appear to be organic
or free range and was therefore assumed to be from factory farm
sources. (ref: 145)
Animal Rights
(See also ‘Sale of factory farmed meat’ in Factory farming
above.)
Recall of poisonous pet food (2007)
According to the Summer 2007 issue of Earth Island Journal,
March 2007 saw the biggest recall of product in the history of the
pet food industry. Iams and Eukanuba were two of the companies
implicated in the scandal, which had seen over 153 brands of pet
foods and treats taken off the shelves all over the USA due to it
containing wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate which had
been contaminated with melamine, a material used to manufacture
kitchen utensils and, in China, fertiliser. It said the melamine
had been added to the wheat and rice in a bid to increase their
protein levels, and had been imported by two US companies
from China. The number of reported deaths and illnesses in pets
ranged from 16 to more than 3,000, depending on the source. In
addition as the meat based petfood was not labelled as organic
or free range it was assumed to have been sourced from factory
farms. (ref: 146)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Inadequate palm oil policy’ in Climate Change
above.)
Investment in an oppressive regime (3 February 2011)
On 3rd February 2011 it was reported on the website Dirt Diggers
Digest, dirtdiggersdigest.org, that a number of U.S. and European
corporations had heavily invested in Egypt, “thereby shoring up
the regime” At the time of writing, Egypt was experiencing major
civil unrest that was being met with violence by the government
of Hosni Mubarak. On the same day the BBC reported that there
had been “dozens of deaths at the hands of the security forces”.
Procter & Gamble was said to manufacture in the country, and in
June 2010 had announced plans to build a $176 million facility,
which would double the value of its Egyptian operations. At
the time of writing, Egypt was on Ethical Consumer’s list of
oppressive regimes. (ref: 147)
Operations in 13 oppressive regimes (2011)
The Procter & Gamble Sustainability Report 2011 included a
list of the company’s plant locations. This list included plants in
the following countries which were on Ethical Consumer’s list
of opporessive regimes at the time of writing: China, Colombia,
India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. The Hoovers website (www.
hoovers.com) listed subsidiaries of the company in Israel and
Srti Lanka, which were also on the list of oppresive regimes at
the time of writing. (ref: 139)
Workers’ Rights
(See also ‘Elevated cadmium levels among workers’ in
Pollution & Toxics above.)
Self disclosure of pollution and health and safety violations
(2009)
The Proctor and Gamble 2009 Sustainability Report was viewed
by Ethical Consumer in January 2010. The report contained a
section entitled ‘Notice of Violations (NOVs)’ which listed global
data on environmental, transportation, and worker health and
safety violations over the past three years. It stated that in 2009,
the number of fines decreased in every category, particularly in
its focus area of transportation. It gave figures for number of
violations and total cost of fines as follows: 2009: 34 $15,285,
2008: 82 $305,328, 2007:37 $106,257. It then gave a more
detailed breakdown of global Notices of Violation (NOVs) and
including U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) interventions for 2009, giving both the
number of violations and cost of fines: Water-Based 16 $6,000 ,
Air-Based 4 $0, Solid Waste-Based 0 $0, Paperwork 0
$0, Transportation-Based 5 $3,000 Other 1 $0, Worker Safety 8
$6,285, Total 34 $15,285. (ref: 148)
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (poor)
No mention found.
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
The Sustainability Report stated that in the financial year 2010/11
the company had re-launched its supplier assessment program. It
said that this effort had stemmed from its membership in a trade
association, AIM-PROGRESS, where 23 member companies
were working together to increase the efficiency of the supplier
auditing process. Half of the members, including P&G, were using
the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) system.
During the year the company stated that it had “identified our
preferred third-party audit firm” and that this firm had begun
to conduct assessment of some of the company’s high-risk
suppliers. However, a full audit schedule was not given, nor was
a committment made to auditing the entire supply chain.
The document also stated that compliance with P&G’s
‘Sustainability Guidelines for Supplier Relations’ was a condition
of business and that this “therefore makes noncompliance grounds
for disqualification for all new and ongoing supply agreements.”
It said that when potential
noncompliance issues were identified, they were communicated
to the supplier “as part of the closing meeting”. Corrective
actions, including
formal notification and a remediation action
plan, were then implemented. In some cases, the company said
it required immediate action to achieve compliance, or it halted
business. These included “child labour or forced labour, and
egregious health and safety violations presenting immediate
danger to human health. If a compliance issue is not resolved in
a timely manner, the business
relationship is terminated.”
No mention was made of whether the company or supplier paid
the costs of audits.
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
The Procter & Gamble Company website for suppliers and
supplier-related information (www.pgsupplier.com) was searched
by Ethical Consumer in February 2012 for the company’s supply
chain management information.
Procter & Gamble Company did not respond to an Ethical
Consumer’s company questionnaire in February 2012 which had
asked for this information, among other things.
Some information was found on the website www.pgsupplier.
com, and some in the company’s latest Sustainability Report
(dated 2011).
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (rudimentary)
The information found on www.pgsupplier.com stated that the
company’s ‘Sustainability Guidelines for Supplier Relations’
dictated that it would not would not use child labour (defined
as according to ILO standards, wouild not use forced labour,
would not allow discrimination and respected workers freedom
of association. However, it only committed to wages, overtime
limits and working hours which complied with local law. In some
countries that the company operated in, the minimum wage would
not be sufficient to cover the basic costs of living and working
hours and overtime limits might be higher than the ILO standard
(48 hours plus 12 hours overtime a week).
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No mention found.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 149)
Irresponsible Marketing
(See also ‘Recall of poisonous pet food’ in Animal Rights
above.)
Recall of nasal sprays due to bacterial contamination
(November 2009)
According to an article posted on the bbc news website Procter &
Gamble had announced it was recalling 120,000 bottles of Vicks
Sinex nasal spray after small traces of bacteria were found in the
product. Bottles shipped to the US, the UK and Germany were
being recalled after traces of the B. cepacia bacteria were found
at a German plant in Gross Gerau. Procter and Gamble said no
illnesses had been reported, but the bacteria can affect people with
lung problems. The consumer products giant stressed the recall
was just a precautionary measure, but added that “the bacteria
could cause serious infections for individuals with a compromised
immune system, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as
cystic fibrosis.” (ref: 150)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
Experiments involving transgenic mice (January 2010)
The following was found on the Uncaged website, www.uncaged.
co.uk, by Ethical Consumer in January 2010. ‘P&G are involved
in genetically-engineering mice to create new ways of testing
ingredients for use in products such as laundry liquids, Fairy liquid,
Flash cleaner, skin care, hair products, and other cosmetics.
Genetic engineering is known to cause serious animal welfare
problems due to the fact that large numbers of animals are involved,
surgery and other invasive procedures are used in their creation, and
that genetic modification is likely to cause harmful deformities.
In these experiments, mice were genetically engineered to be
more vulnerable to asthma and lung damage. The substance (a
P&G-patent detergent enzyme called ‘subtilisin’) was repeatedly
injected into the bodies and up the noses of the mice, causing
their lungs to become damaged and filled with blood, followed
by pneumonia. (ref: 54)
No GM policy found on company website (2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the Procter and Gamble website, www.
pg.com, in March 2012. No such policy could be found and the
only reference to GM was in relation to the sourcing of wood
pulp. The company sold pet food containing meat, therefore it
was considered likely that it was selling products containing both
genetically modified grains and animal products from animals
fed GM crops. A Soil Association report published in November
2008, entitled ‘Silent invasion: the hidden use of GM crops in
livestock feed’, estimated that around 60% of the maize and 30%
of the soya in the feed used by dairy and pig farmers is GM.
Therefore without a policy to the contrary we would assume there
was a high probability that such products would be derived from
animals fed GM feed. (ref: 140)
Boycott Call
Boycott call by Uncaged (2012)
The Uncaged website, www.uncaged.co.uk, viewed by Ethical
Consumer in February 2012 highlighted the campaign group’s
ongoing boycott of Procter & Gamble. The boycott called for
consumers to boycott the company and its products because of the
company’s ongoing “cruel and unnecessary” testing on animals
for the sake of cosmetics and cleaning products.
Uncaged was urgently calling on the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) to pull out of London 2012 sponsorship talks with
the company over its controversial animal-testing. (ref: 31)
Boycott call by Peta (2012)
Peta’s Iams website (www.iamscruelty.com) confirmed that the
boycott of Iams products was ongoing when it was viewed by
Ethical Consumer in March 2012. According to Peta, the boycott
would continue until Iams stopped conducting experiments on
animals, and instead used laboratory analysis of formulas for
nutritional composition and in-home studies using dogs and
cats who had been volunteered by their human companions.
(ref: 151)
USCIB was founded in 1945 to promote an open world trading
system and claimed to be one of the “premier pro-trade, pro-market
liberalization organisations”. According to the USCIB website
the organisation “provides unparalleled access to international
policy makers and regulatory authorities”. (ref: 153)
Member of WBCSD lobby group (January 2012)
According to the organisation’s website www.wbcsd.org, viewed
by Ethical Consumer in January 2012, at that time Procter and
Gamble was a member of the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development. This was regarded by ECRA as an
international corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate
influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that
were potentially detrimental to the environment and human
rights. (ref: 56)
Member of AMCHAM (January 2012)
P&G was listed as a member of the American Chamber of
Commerce (AMCHAM) EU on its website www.amchameu.
be, viewed by Ethical Consumer on 30/01/12. ECRA regarded
AMCHAM-EU to be a corporate lobby group which lobbied
for free trade at the expenseof the environment, animal welfare,
human rights or health protection. (ref: 133)
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in four tax havens (2012)
According to the Hoovers website (www.hoovers.com), viewed
by Ethical Consumer in March 2012, Procter & Gamble had
subsidiaries in Guatemala, Ireland, Luxembourg, Panama and
Singapore, all of which were on Ethical Consumer’s list of tax
havens at the time of writing. (ref: 77)
Excessive Directors’ Remuneration (2012)
According to the CEO Pay Watch Database www.aflcio.org,
viewed in July 2012, the Procter & Gamble Company CEO was
paid $13,115,228 in 2011, which equals roughly £8,458,800.
Ethical Consumer deems any amount over £1 million annually
to be excessive. (ref: 26)
Fined for price fixing (April 2011)
In April 2011 it was reported on the Guardian website, www.
guardian.co.uk, that Proctor & Gamble was one of two European
firms fined for price fixing. The European Commission was said
to have found that the companies “colluded” over the price of
washing machine powder in 8 countries over 3 years. According
to the article, Proctor & Gamble’s fine was reduced by 50% to
€211.2m as it had “co-operated with the investigation and agreed
to settle”. (ref: 154)
Green People shampoo [O,S,A]
Owned by Green People Company Ltd
Green People Company Ltd, Pondtail Farm, Coolham Road,
West Grinsted, West Sussex, RH13 8LN
Green People Company Ltd is owned by Desford Holdings
Environment
Boycott of shampoo brand (2012)
According to the Hurtful Essences website (www.hurtfulessences.
org), viewed by ECRA on 12 March 2012, the Hurtful Essences
campaign, run by Uncaged, was calling on consumers to boycott
Procter & Gamble’s brand Herbal Essences because these products
were tested on animals. (ref: 152)
Environmental Reporting
Political Activities
Green People replied stating that it was certified and inspected
annually by three independent organic certification bodies (Soil
Association, Organic Food Federation and EcoCert) each of
which had set strict standards regarding environmental impact
limitation. The response continued stating that the company
was committed to minimising the environmental impact of its
entire business, from sourcing of raw materials and packaging,
Member of United States Council for International
Business (February 2012)
The USCIB (United States Council for International Business)
website www.uscib.org viewed by Ethical Consumer in February
2012 listed the Procter & Gamble Company as a member. The
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed the Green People
Company Ltd and attached a questionnaire that included a request
for a copy of the company’s environmental policy, statement or
report.
through manufacturing and transportation, through to disposal
of packaging once the products have been used.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 155)
Pollution & Toxics
Nanotech particles in sunblock (June 2012)
Green People returned a questionnaire to Ethical Consumer in June
2012. In response to a question regarding whether the company
used nano-technology, it stated: “We are against the use of novel
nano ingredients in all aspects of society. However, we do use
nano-grade Titanium dioxide in some of our sun lotions. We
believe that this is justified due to the long history of safe use of
this particular ingredient, and the huge amount of research that
has repeatedly demonstrated its safety. Nano Titanium dioxide
is a very effective UV filter, protecting skin from sun-induced
damage that can cause premature aging and increases the risk of
skin cancer. Other EU-approved UV filters have adverse effects
either on the user or the environment and in our opinion are not
viable alternatives.” (ref: 155)
People
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain policy (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed the Green People
Company Ltd and attached a questionnaire that included a
request for a copy of the company’s supply chain management,
statement or report.
Green People responded to the questionnaire stating the majority
of ingredients that it used were certified organic by IFOAM
accredited certification bodies. A condition of that certification is
that workers rights must be respected and upheld right throughout
the production process, from the farmers or gatherers of the crops,
through the processing and transportation of ingredients to the
manufacture and distribution of the finished product. Non-organic
ingredients and componentry were bought from manufacturers and
suppliers who operated within the EU and Scandinavia and who
conform to the International Declaration of Human Rights.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for supply chain management. (ref: 155)
Politics
Company Ethos
Vegetarian company (February 2010)
In February 2010 the Green People website, www.greenpeople.
co.uk, stated that all of the company’s products were vegetarian
and most were vegan. (ref: 156)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Vegan and organic products (July 2012)
The Green People website (www.greenpeople.co.uk), viewed by
ECRA in July 2012, stated that its shampoos carried the Vegan
Society logo and were certified organic. (ref: 156)
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* polyethylene glycol “PEG” and “-eth”
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 155)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Vegan and organic products’ in Organic Product
above.)
Honesty shampoo
Owned by Honesty Cosmetics
Honesty Cosmetics, Lumford Mill, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45
1GS
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2007)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Honesty Cosmetics and
attached a questionnaire that included a request for a copy of the
company’s environmental policy, statement or report.
No response was received. Ethical Consumer searched the
company’s website for a report and it found that the company
produced cruelty free products and it was increasingly adding
products with organic ingredients.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 157)
People
Human Rights
Best ECRA rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
A search was made by Ethical Consumer for Honesty Cosmetic’s
palm oil policy on its website in July 2012. No policy was found,
however the company stated ‘we try our best to ensure the
source of raw materials does not exploit or adversely affect the
environment or its people’.
The company had a turnover of under £8 million per year, the
threshold above which Ethical Consumer expected to companies
to have a more robust palm oil policy. This reference is for
information only. (ref: 157)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed the Honesty Cosmetics
and attached a questionnaire that included a request for a copy of
the company’s supply chain policy, statement or report.
No response was received. A search of the website found that the
company manufactured all its products itself in the UK.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 157)
Politics
Other Sustainability Features
Company Ethos
Toxic Free (April 2011)
According to the Green People website the company did not
use the following chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the
environment and human health:
All products comply with BUAV not tested on animals
criteria (2012)
The BUAV website www.buav.org viewed by ECRA in July
2012 listed Honesty Cosmetics as a Humane Cosmetics Standard
approved company selling non-animal tested cosmetics. To be
approved for the Humane Cosmetics Standard, a company must
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Parabens or “-paraben”
no longer conduct or commission animal testing and must apply
a verifiable fixed cut-off date - an unmoveable date after which
none of the products or ingredients have been animal tested. The
scheme requires each company to be open to an independent
audit throughout the supply chain to ensure that they adhere to
the animal testing policy criteria.
Certified Sustainable Palm Oil via RSPO approved supply chain
mechanisms and to promote and communicate sustainable palm oil
production, procurement and consumption to customers, suppliers,
sub-contractors and to wider value chains as appropriate.” This
target was 100% by 31 May 2015.
Product sustainability
Due to the massive environmental and social impacts of palm
oil production, companies which used palm oil and had an
insufficient policy on sourcing this responsibly (currently and not
just a future target) PZ Cussons received negative marks under
the Climate Change, Habitats & Resources and Human Rights
categories. (ref: 160)
Other Sustainability Features
Pollution & Toxics
Free from some toxic chemicals (July 2012)
According to the Honesty Cosemtics website viewed in July 2012,
the company did not use petrochemicals, synthetic colours and
fragrances or parabens. The company therefore received a ‘less
significant’ sustainability rating because there was no mention
of PEG or MIT use. (ref: 157)
Poor chemical risk management (April 2009)
According to an article published in issue 411 (April 2009) of the
ENDS Report, a survey conducted by an investment company
found that PZ Cussons was exposed to high levels of product and
chemical safety risk but had poor systems in place to manage
them. (ref: 161)
Animal Welfare Features
Habitats & Resources
Vegan Society approved (2010)
According to the Vegan Society’s 2010 Animal Free Shopper,
Honesty products were all suitable for vegans and vegetarians and
did not include any animal ingredients. The company’s products
were also all approved by the Vegan Society. (ref: 159)
(See also ‘Palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Honesty Cosmetics was also listed as making Vegan Society
approved products and all of its products are animal free.. (ref:
158)
Imperial Leather shampoo
Owned by PZ Cussons PLC
PZ Cussons PLC, PZ Cussons House, Bird Hall Lane, Stockport,
SK3 0XN, Great Britain
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The PZ Cussons website (www.pzcussons.com) was searched
by ECRA on 5 March 2012 for the company’s environmental
policy or report. An undated page entitled “The Environment”
was found. This stated that the group was committed to protecting
the environment. It stated that it would set targets to reduce its
environmental impacts, but did not give any further details about
these targets, nor report on previous ones. It also said that it would
continue to minimise the consumption of energy and water, as
well as minimising the production of trade waste and waste to
landfill, through efficient practices in the office, factory and
warehouse environments. It only committed itself to comply with
environmental laws and regulations, as a minimum standard. There
was no meaningful carbon disclosure, no mention of independent
verification and ECRA did not feel that the information provided
demonstrated a reasonable understanding of the company’s main
impacts. As a result, PZ Cussons received ECRA’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 160)
Climate Change
Palm oil policy (2012)
PZ Cussons did not respond to ECRA’s written request in February
2012 for the company’s policy on the sourcing of palm oil. When
ECRA searched its website in February 2012, the company’s 2011
Annual Report mentioned the company’s 31% stake in a Ghana
palm oil plantation, Norpalm Ghana Ltd. This was said to allow
the company to source palm oil more locally. However, since the
company operated in Asia, Africa and Europe, ECRA considered
it likely that it was sourcing palm oil from elsewhere too. The
company was listed on the RSPO’s website as a member and it
appeared to have some committment to the use of sustainable
palm oil. The company stated that: “As a member of the RSPO,
PZ Cussons will make a time bound commitment to source 100%
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2012)
ECRA searched the PZ Cussons website (www.pzcussons.com)
on 24 February 2012 for the company’s policy on animal testing.
The following statement was found: “The Group does not conduct
any animal testing or commission others to conduct any animal
testing. We continue to support the development and acceptance
of alternative methods which reduce or replace the use of animals
in product safety evaluation and we work with our suppliers
to ensure that our values on this subject are shared and, where
feasible, that they work to similar standards.”
This statement only made vague suggestions that it would require
suppliers to operate a similar policy and also, did not exclude
the use of ingredients which had been tested on animals. As a
result, ECRA considered it likely that the company used such
ingredients in its products and it received ECRA’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 160)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Operations in three oppressive regimes (2012)
According to the PZ Cussons entry on www.hoovers.com,
viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, the company had
subsidiaries in India, Nigeria and Thailand. All these countries
were on Ethical Consumer’s list of oppressive regimes at the
time of writing. (ref: 77)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for Supply Chain Policy (2012)
ECRA searched the PZ Cussons website (www.pzcussons.com)
on 24 February 2012 for the company’s supply chain policy. No
such document could be found on the website or in the company’s
latest Annual Report (2011). The company had not responded to
ECRA’s written request for this information.
The website did contain some information on the rights of workers
diectly employed by the company. e.g. the right to join (or not join)
a trade union, a Group-wide commitment not to employ any person
below the local legal working age and not, in any circumstances,
below the age of 16 and the guarantee that all of the Group’s
businesses will pay wages which, at a minimum, meet all relevant
local legal standards. It also mentioned discrimination.
The company did also have the following statement on its website:
“Using auditors who are trained to recognised international
standards, we conduct extensive audits of our 3rd party suppliers
of products and raw materials to ensure that they meet PZ Cussons’
strict product safety and quality requirements. We also confirm
that suppliers have suitable emergency procedures in place
to ensure business continuity.” But this did not seem to cover
workers rights issues.
PZ Cussons was a large company operating in several countries
which were on ECRA’s list of oppressive regimes at the time of
writing. ECRA felt that a company of this size should have a policy
in place protecting workers’ rights so as a result, the company
received ECRA’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 160)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott called for animal testing policy (2012)
PZ Cussons was listed on the Uncaged website (www.uncaged.
co.uk/crueltyfree.htm) as a company to boycott, when it was
viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012. According to Uncaged,
the boycott had been called because the company either openly
used animal-tested chemicals, or failed to demonstrate that the
finished product and the ingredients they used had not been tested
on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 118)
Inika’s use of natural ingredients throughout its product range
the company was considered by Ethical Consumer to produce
innovative environmental alternatives. (ref: 162)
Positive animal testing policy (July 2012)
A search of Inika cosmetics website, www.inikacosmetics.co.uk,
by Ethical Consumer in June 2012 found that the company was
certified vegan, halal and crulty free which means INIKA products
were not tested on animals and none of its ingredients were tested
on animals either.
A search of the Vegan Society’s website found that the company
was certified vegan through the group.
The company was considered to have a positive policy on animal
testing. (ref: 162)
(See also ‘Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting’
in Environmental Reporting above.)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Certified Organic (July 2012)
According to the company website Inikas products were certified
either by Australia’s Organic Food Chain or Italy’s certifying
body, Organic Cosmetic. (ref: 162)
Other Sustainability Features
Inika makeup
Owned by Inika
Reduced toxic content (July 2012)
According to the Inika website the company did not use the
following chemicals in any of it products. These potentially pose
a risk to the environment and human health:
Environment
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
Environmental Reporting
* Parabens or “-paraben”
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Inika Ltd and attached a
questionnaire that included a request for a copy of the company’s
environmental policy, statement or report. No response was
received.
* polyethylene glycol “PEG” and “-eth”
Inika’s website stated that all products in the natural cosmetic
range are Certified Organic or Vegan, Certified Halal and Certified
Cruelty Free. INIKA used the finest Australian botanicals
and would never use harsh or harmful chemicals, additives or
fillers.
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 162)
Animal Welfare Features
Vegan (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the inika website in July 2012 and
found that all the products on the Inika website were Vegan
Society approved. (ref: 162)
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 157)
Owned by JASON Natural Products
People
JASON Natural Products, 5500 w. 83rd Street, Los Angeles, CA
90045, USA
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Inika and attached a
questionnaire that included a request for a copy of the company’s
supply chain policy. No response was received. A search was made
of the company’s website, www.inikacosmetics.co.uk, no policy
or statement relating to Inika’s supply chain was found.
Due to the lack of information available the company received
Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for suppply chain management.
(ref: 162)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company Ethos (July 2012)
Inika’s website, www.inikacosmetics.co.uk, when viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012 found that the company used
natural ingredients throughout its product range. In a sector
where the use of petrochemicals and other toxics were prevalent
JASON baby & kids toiletries
JASON Natural Products is owned by Hain Celestial Group
Inc
Hain Celestial Group Inc, 58 South Service Road, Melville, New
York State, 11747, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Middle ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2011)
The Hain Celestial website www.hain-celestial.com was visited
in July 2012. There was a 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility
Report available to download. There were environmental
performance improvements but these were mainly given
in absolute terms rather than assessed against a target. And
environmental targets were mainly not quantified:
“As we increase production, our five environmental goals are
to:
Reduce relative waste and water consumption.
Reduce greenhouse gases.
Improve usage of renewable energy.
Reduce natural gas and electricity usage.
New for 2011: Reduce usage of fuel and increase use of green
transportation by our common carriers.”
There were however, two quantified targets:
1) In 2008 we set a goal to reduce packaging (by weight) by 5%
within five years, in addition to efforts to generally improve our
sourcing and usage.
2) Hain Daniels is working to achieve significant reductions to
support the target of reducing water usage by 20% (compared to
2007) by March 2020
The report was not independently verified.
The company specialised in organic and ‘natural’ foods, but
because of its size, it did not meet the reporting requirements
necessary for a best rating at Ethical Consumer at the time of
writing. (ref: 163)
Climate Change
Use of palm oil likely to have been unsustainably sourced
(July 2012)
According to the Hain Celestial CSR 2011 report “Our palm oil
suppliers for both our North American and European businesses
are affiliated with recognized programs including the Roundtable
for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSP), ProForest, and the International
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).”.
At the time of writing, ECRA policy was only to accept use of
100% certified sustainable or organic palm oil as a guarantee of
sustainable sourcing. Because of this, the company received
marks in the climate change, habitats and resources and human
rights categories due to the problems associated with palm oil
plantations. (ref: 163)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Use of palm oil likely to have been unsustainably
sourced’ in Climate Change above.)
Animals
Factory farming
Sells meat products (July 2012)
According to the Hain Celestial website, the company made a
number of brands containing meat that was not labelled as free
range or organic: Rosetto pasta, Ethnic Gourmet curry and New
Covent Garden soups. (ref: 164)
Animal Rights
Poultry farm operations (2012)
According to the Hain Pure Protein website, viewed by ECRA in
July 2012, it produced “All Natural, Antibiotic Free, Vegetarian
Fed, Humanely Raised poultry products.” At two of the poultry
companies - Freebird and Plainville Farms - poultry was raised
with 30-30% more space than conventional growers and fed a
vegetarian and anitbiotic free diet. The third company - Epicurean
Farms - used the French government certified Label Rouge
program and are given double the space of a conventional flock.
(ref: 165)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Use of palm oil likely to have been unsustainably
sourced’ in Climate Change above.)
New joint venture in China (January 2010)
According to Hoovers.com, viewed in January 2010, “In order to
increase its footprint in China and the rest of Asia, in 2009 Hain
formed a 50-50 joint venture, Hutchison Hain Organic Holdings,
with Chi-Med, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa. The joint
venture markets and distributes Hain’s Earth’s Best brand of infant
and toddler feeding products, along with its own Zhi Ling Tong
brand of infant-nutrition supplements.” China was considered
by Ethical Consumer to be an oppressive regime at the time of
writing. (ref: 166)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2011)
The Hain Celestial website www.hain-celestial.com website
was visited in July 2012. There was a 2011 Corporate Social
Responsibility Report available to download in which it stated:
“All ingredient suppliers are audited by accredited third-parties,
and we personally audit ingredient suppliers based on a priority
schedule established by our Quality and Procurement teams. An
enhancement to our referenced Food Safety and Quality manual
is the implementation of a new Social Accountability Affidavit
which all suppliers must sign, verifying that they comply with
our high standards to safeguard human, animal and environmental
health with fair and equitable treatment of qualified employees.
In addition to product safety requirements, the issues it addresses
include:
Prohibition of child or compulsory labor.
Required safe and healthy workplace environment.
Freedom of association.
Prohibition of discrimination.
Dignified treatment of all employees.
Appropriate working hours and remuneration.”
These statements did not, however, constitute an undertaking of
clear minimum standards for suppliers.
There was not a clear enough statement on working hours and
remuneration and so received a rudimentary rating for supply chain
policy. There did not seem to be any stakeholder engagement. It
did state that it audited suppliers, including third party audits but
there was no mention of disclosure, remediation schedule and so
received a poor rating here too. There was no mention of diffiult
issues like homeworkers, living wage and audit fraud.
The company specialises in organic and ‘natural’ and vegetarian
foods - and is probably sincere in its claims to “support family
farms and conversion to organic farming” - but for a company of
its size we would expect more robust policies. It therefore received
ECRA’s worst rating for supply chain policy. (ref: 163)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Excessive Directors’ Remuneration (2010)
In January 2011 the Proxy Statement 2010 of the company Hain
Celestrial Group, Pursuant to Section14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act, was downloaded from the website for the US
Securities Exchange Commission, www.sec.gov.
The Summary Compensation Table stated that President, Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Irwin D Simon,
had been paid a total of $4,320,927 in 2010. He had been paid
previously in 2008 a total of $15,169,827. (ref: 34)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Free from some toxic chemicals (July 2012)
JASON products were free from the following chemicals when
Ethical Consumer checked the company’s ingredients in July
2012: synthetic colors, parabens and mineral oil/petrolatum
(petrochemical derivatives). JASON therefore received a ‘less
significant’ sustainability mark. (‘Significant’ marks given to those
products free from synthetic colors and fregrances, parabens,
mineral oil/petrolatum, PEG and MIT.) (ref: 167)
Animal Welfare Features
Vegetarian product (July 2012)
The JASON website viewed in July 2012 stated that all JASON
products are vegetarian. (ref: 167)
Criteria for sustainable palm oil production in 2005. As a result
the company received marks against it for climate change, habitats
and resources and human rights. (ref: 168)
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanotechnology (March 2010)
It was reported in the document “Research & Development and
Intellectual Property”, downloaded from the Kao Corporation
website, www.kao.com, in March 2010, that the company had
rapidly created nano-sized crystals using a high speed technology.
Nanotechnology was considered by environmental campaigners
to pose a significant threat to the environment and human safety.
(ref: 169)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
John Frieda shampoo
Animals
Owned by John Frieda Professional Hair Care, Inc
Animal Testing
John Frieda Professional Hair Care, Inc is owned by KAO Brands
Company which is owned by Kao Corporation (Japan)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
A search was made of Kao Corporation website, www.kao.com
in July 2012 by Ethical Consumer for the company’s animal
testing policy.
Kao Corporation (Japan), Kao Corporation , 14-10 Nihonbashi
Kayabacho, 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8210, Japan
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Kao Corporation a
questionnaire requesting its environmental report. No response
was received. A search was made of Kao Corporation’s website
and found its Sustainability Report 2011.
On page 2 of the report the company stated that the report was
verified by the Responsible Care Verification of the Japan Chemical
Industry Association. Contained within the report were two dated
and quantified environmental targets for 2020. It included a target
for CO2 emissions from products to be reduced by 35% and a
30% reduction in water use during production. The figures were
based on a 2005 baseline.
The company went onto talk about the impact of products on the
environment including initiatives to reduce packaging size and
to make products more compact which in turn will reduce CO2
emissions. Kao also stated that it worked in accordance with
Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management
(SAICM) in its management of chemical substances and also had
seven basic policies on conservation of biodiversity.
Given that the company had dated quantified targets, showed
reasonable understanding of its main impacts and the report was
independently verified it received Ethical Consumer best rating
for environmental reporting. (ref: 168)
Climate Change
Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer searched Kao’s website, www.kao.com, in
July 2012 for its palm oil policy. Kao stated on its website that
it had been a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm
Oil (RSPO) since 2007 and had started to purchase palm oil
certified under the Book and Claim system (certified palm oil)
from September 2010.
According to its website, Kao planned to use only certified
palm oil and palm kernel oil by 2015 as long as it could secure
a sufficient amount.
While Kao did have a target for then phase out of non-certified
palm oil by 2015, Ethical Consumer did not take into account
future commitments to source sustainable palm oil due to the fact
the negative effects of palm oil production had been apparent for
at least seven years. The RSPO first published its Principles and
No statement could be found which stated the company did not
test on animals, the company did have a section about ‘developing
safety tests without the use of animals’. Kao appeared to have
been developing safety test methods utilising cultured cells.
However, without a statement stating the company had stopped
testing on animals or it had a fixed cut off date for ingredients
tested on animals, the company received a worst Ethical Consumer
rating for its animal testing policy. (ref: 168)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating for palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Operations in oppressive regimes (2012)
A search of Kao Corporation website in July 2012 by Ethical
Consumer found Kao’s Sustainability Report 2011 which on page
69 listed the company’s principle subsidaries and affiliates. Kao
had operations in China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand.
All countries were considered by Ethical Consumer to be govern
by oppressive regimes. (ref: 168)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Kao Corporation a
questionnaire asking for its supply chain management policy.
No response was received. Ethical Consumer searched Kao
Corporation website and found several documents which contained
some provisions for workers rights.
Supply chain policy (poor)
Kao Corporations Compliance document in 2011 stated that
employment should be free from discrimination. In a document
called Principles of Corporate Ethics it stated that the company
supported and implemented the Global Compact 10 principles
which included freedom of association, prohibited forced
and child labour and guaranteed employment was free from
discrimination. However, the company did not define the age of
a child, or have a provision for working hours or living wage. The
document did not state that the provisions applied to the whole
supply chain. Due to the lack of clarity over the provisions for
supply chain employees Kao Corporation received a poor supply
chain policy rating.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
People
A search of Kao Corporation’s website found no evidence that it
had engaged with multi-stakeholder initiatives, NGO’s or NFP’s
in improving workers’ rights within its supply chain. The company
had both an internal and external reporting hotline for employees
wishing to report non-compliance. The external hotline was set up
for subsidiaries outside of Japan and callers could report violations
in their language. Due to the lack of stakeholder engagement within
its supply chain the company received a poor rating.
Human Rights
Auditing and reporting (poor)
Kao’s Sustainability report 2011 mentioned that internal audits
took place with the company. However the company did not
list its factory suppliers nor did it disclose any audits which had
taken place and the results. There appeared to be no schedule for
auditing suppliers and no commitment from the company to audit
the whole supply chain. It was unclear how the company dealt
with noncompliance and therefore Kao Corporation received a
poor rating for auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
A search of the company’s website found no information relating
to difficult issues such as illegal freedom of association and the
payment of living wages within its supply chain. For this reason
the company received a poor rating for difficult issues.
Overall Kao Corporation received Ethical Consumer’s worst
rating for supply chain management. (ref: 168)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in tax havens (2012)
A search of Keo Corporation website in July 2012 by Ethical
Consumer found Kao Sustainability Report 2011 which on page
69 listed the companies principle subsidaries and affiliates. Kao
had subsidaries in Switzerland, the Philippines and Singapore.
All territories were considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax
havens. (ref: 168)
Kingfisher toothpaste [S,A]
Owned by Rainbow Wholefoods
Rainbow Wholefoods, Rainbow Wholefoods, 21 White Lodge
Estate, Hall Rd, Norwich, NR4 6BG
Palm oil policy (June 2012)
Kingfisher Wholefoods provided Ethical Consumer with its policy
on palm oil sourcing in June 2012. This stated: “Kingfisher
Natural Toothpaste confirms that SLS is derived from palm/
coconut oil and the forests where the palm/coconut comes from
are totally sustainable and renewable in compliance with Round
Table regulation”.
Kingfisher Wholefoods had a turnover of below £8 million, the
threshold above which Ethical Consumer would expect to see a
more robust palm oil policy in place, with details of certification
bodies. This reference is for information only. (ref: 170)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
Rainbow Wholefoods returned an Ethical Consumer company
questionnaire in June 2012 which had asked for, among other
things, the company’s supply chain management information.
The company responded that all its suppliers were located within
the British Isles and therefore were covered by UK law regarding
workers’ rights issues.
As a small company demonstrating an effective if not explicit
management of its supply chain, it received Ethical Consumer’s
best rating in this category. (ref: 170)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company ethos (July 2012)
As a company producing only vegan toothpaste without any
petrochemicals this was considered enough to warrent a company
ethos mark for producing innovative environmental alternatives.
(ref: 170)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Sustainability features (2012)
According to an Ethical Cosumer company questionnaire filled
out by a representative of Kingfisher Toothpaste in June 2012,
the company did not use any of the following ingredients in its
products: petrochemcials, artificial colours and preservatives.
Additionally, its toothpastes were marketed as being suitable
for vegans. (ref: 170)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Sustainability features’ in Other Sustainability
Features above.)
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Lavera deodorant
Best ECRA rating for environmental report (2012)
Rainbow Wholefoods returned an Ethical Consumer company
questionnaire in June 2012 which had asked for, among other
things, the company’s environmental report.
Owned by Laverana GmbH & Co KG
The company responded that: “As a matter of principal Rainbow
Wholefoods does all it can to care for the environment. This
includes buying green electricity, recycling and composting, using
recycled materials whenever possible including all printing and
stationery and so on.”
Environment
As a small company providing environmentally alternative
products, it received Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this
category. (ref: 170)
Laverana GmbH & Co KG, Am Weingarten 4, Wennigse, 30974,
Germany
Environmental Reporting
Worst rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Laverana GmbH & Co KG website (www.lavera.de), viewed
by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, included the following
information on the company’s environmental policy, which was
translated using an online translator.
“Production at the Laverana is under protection of natural
resources.Thus produced sustainably with green green energy,
renewable resources, special packaging. It uses no chemical
preservatives, fragrances or flavours.” Elsewhere the website
stated that the company used renewable energy and green web
hosting.
There did not appear to be any discussion of the company’s
main environmental impacts, nor any targets set to reduce these.
As a result the information was not considered to constitute an
environmental report.
People
The company did use organic ingredients, but not all of its
products were organic. The website of the UK Lavera distributor
said that:
Supply Chain Management
“All lavera products are free from: - Synthetic preservatives
(e.g. parabens)
- Synthetic colours
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Worst rating for supply chain policy (2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer searched the Laverana GmbH
and Co KG website (www.lavera.de) for the company’s policy
addressing workers rights at supplier companies or any policies
regarding sourcing.
- Synthetic fragrances
- Petroleum ingredients (e.g. mineral oils)
- Irritating emulsifiers (e.g. PEG)
- Irritating detergents (e.g. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)”
It was apparent from the website that the company sourced a
significant proportion of its raw materials from German suppliers.
however, a policy stating the company’s minimum standards for
workers could not be found, and it received Ethical Consumer’s
worst rating in this category. (ref: 171)
The company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 171)
Politics
Climate Change
Company Ethos
Worst rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
When viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 the Lavera
GmbH website, www.lavera.com, displayed a number of products
containing palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives. No information
could be found regarding the way the company sourced the
ingredient or how it sought to ensure that the way it had been
produced did not result in environmental destruction and human
rights violations. The company lost half marks in the climate
change, habitats and resources and human rights categories due
to problems associated with sourcing palm oil. (ref: 172)
Product sustainability
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanoparticle ingredients (July 2012)
When viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 the Lavera
GmbH website, www.lavera.com, stated that the company used
coated, nano-scale zinc oxide in its sunscreens as well as titanium
dioxide which may include nano-scale particles. The website
stated: “While our preference is not to use nanoparticles, we
believe that the added protection against UVA far outweighs any
health risks posed by the coated, nano-scale zinc. We follow the
latest research in sun protection to provide you with the safest
products possible”. Ethical Consumer noted that this position
was in line with the Environmental Working Group, which had
found that nano-scale zinc and titanium dioxide were effective in
sun screens. However, the EWG also urged that manufacturers of
mineral-based powder and spray products not to use nano-scale
particles. The website for the UK distributor of Lavera products,
www.pravera.co.uk, displayed Lavera sun spray that contained
zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. (ref: 172)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Company ethos (August 2012)
According to the www.pravera.co.uk website viewed in August
2012, Lavera “use raw plant materials, as much as possible
from certified organic agriculture, our products are 100% free
from synthetic perfumes, colourants and preservatives.” Many
products are certified by the Vegan Society. As such, we judged
that they only produced innovative environmental alternative
products. (ref: 174)
Organic Product
Sustainability features (2012)
According to the Lavera catalogue found on the website of Lavera
UK distributor Pravera www.pravera.co.uk (viewed in July 2012)
the company sold deodorant which was marketed as organic and
approved by the Vegan Society.
All lavera products are free from: - Synthetic preservatives (e.g.
parabens, MIT)
- Synthetic colours
- Synthetic fragrances
- Petroleum ingredients (e.g. mineral oils)
- Irritating emulsifiers (e.g. PEG)
- Irritating detergents (e.g. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) (ref: 174)
Other Sustainability Features
(See also ‘Sustainability features’ in Organic Product
above.)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Sustainability features’ in Organic Product
above.)
Animals
Little Satsuma crystal deodorant
Animal Rights
Owned by Little Satsuma
Animal derived ingredients (February 2010)
In February 2010 the Lavera website, www.lavera.co.uk, showed a
number of lipsticks that contained carmine, an ingredient derived
from crushed insects. (ref: 173)
Little Satsuma, Wirral., CH63 9HD
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Little Satsuma website (www.littlesatsuma.com), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012, included the following information
on the company’s environmental policy.
“Our packaging and containers are glass where possible, our bags
are paper from sustainable sources and we recycle wherever we
can. All our packaging is re-used from our suppliers and from local
collections that we make from other shops (boxes, bubble wrap
etc). That way your order arrives intact and we re-use existing
resources. Please help us to be environmentally friendly and recycle
any of the packaging and containers you receive from us.
We provide natural products that are animal friendly - in that
they are not tested in animals and do not contain animal fat. Our
soaps are handmade and contain only natural ingredients; they
are soft and kind to your skin; no harsh chemicals, no synthetics
or detergents.”
As a small company with a turnover of less than £8 million and
proividing environmental alternatives, Little Satsuma received
Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this category. (ref: 175)
People
Human Rights
Palm oil policy (2012)
The Little Satsuma website www.littlesatsuma.com was searched
by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, for the company’s policy on
the use of palm oil in its products. It stated:
“We do not use Palm Oil from Indonesia as it is destroying the
rainforest and pushing the Orangutans to extinction. However,
we are working on a soap using Palm Oil from Africa to show it
can be beneficial and sustainable in another part of the world.”
Ethical Consumer considered this to a be a reasonable policy
for a small company providing environmental alternatives. This
reference is for information only. (ref: 175)
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
A search was made of Little Satsuma’s website, www.littlesatsuma.
com, by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 for the company’s supply
chain policy. No supply chain policy was found however as the
company had a turnover of less than £8 million it was exempt
from the criteria and received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for
supply chain management. (ref: 175)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company Ethos (2012)
According to the Little Satsuma website, www.littlesatsuma.com,
viewed July 2012, all of the companies products were vegan.
In a sector where cosmetics produced with petrochemicals was
common practice, Ethical Consumer awarded a company ethos
mark for producing products without petrochemicals and for
providing an innovative environmental alternative. (ref: 175)
Product sustainability
Animal Welfare Features
Sustainability feature (2012)
According to the Little Satsuma website (www.littlesatsuma.
com) viewed July 2012 all of the company’s products were
vegan. (ref: 175)
Living Nature soap & hand wash
Owned by Living Nature Natural Products Ltd
Living Nature Natural Products Ltd, Living Nature, Box 193,
Kerikeri, New Zealand
Environment
livingnature.com), viewed by Ethical Consumer in July
2012, included the following information on the company’s
environmental policy:
“Living Nature contains absolutely no synthetic ingredients or
endocrine disruptors. Our full range is Certified Natural by BDIH
Germany, and many of our products carry the Whole Foods
Premium Body Care standard. Our products are independently
verified for safety, plus we have one of the best ratings in the Skin
Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. Our policy: if there is any doubt
about the safety of an ingredient, we don’t use it. Instead, we
harness the incredible bioactive power of New Zealand’s native
plants with their nourishing, purifying and healing skin benefits.
Our highly effective energetic skincare is designed to enhance
your skin’s own natural function. This efficacy is reviewed with
ongoing independent testing.
Our Kerikeri facility uses only carbon-neutral hydro and wind
energy and filtered rainwater. Our packaging is fully recyclable,
meets the highest EU environmental standards and is 100% free
from harmful phthalates and Bisphenol-A (BPA). Paper and
cartons are sourced from renewable, managed forests and, like
our inks, are free from dioxin and elemental chlorine. We use no
animal products, other than humanely-obtained beeswax, honey
and lactose. We will never test our products on animals.”
While this was positive, Ethical Consumer could not find evidence
that the company was an SME (and it had not responded to a written
request for this information). Under Ethical Consumer’s rating
system, larger companies are expected to have an environmental
policy in place which identifies the company’s main environmental
impacts and sets dated, quantified targets for reducing them over
time. In the absence of such a policy, Living Nature received
Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 176)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy found (July 2012)
Living Nature did not respond to a written request from Ethical
Consumer for information regarding its palm oil sourcing policy in
June 2012. No related information could be found on its website,
www.livingnature.com, although palm oil and derivatives were
listed on a page entitled ‘Ingredients glossary’. Due to the negative
effects of palm oil production world wide, the company lost half
marks in the categories of climate change, habitat destruction and
human rights. (ref: 176)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy found’ in Climate Change
above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Middle ECRA rating for animal testing (2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer viewed the Living Nature company
website, www.livingnature.com, to obtain information on the
company’s animal testing policy.
It stated that “Living Nature, like many of our customers, do NOT
support animal testing. You will notice on our packaging that we
carry the ‘Cruelty Free’ certification, which certifies that none of
our products or ingredients are animal tested.”
A fixed cut off date was not mentioned. The company therefore
received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating for animal testing.
(ref: 176)
People
Human Rights
Environmental Reporting
(See also ‘No palm oil policy found’ in Climate Change
above.)
Worst ECRA rating for environmental policy (2012)
The Living Nature Natural Products Ltd website (www.
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
The Living Nature website (www.livingnature.com), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012, included the following information
on the company’s supply chain management policy:
“All our 100% natural skincare and most of our cosmetics are
made at our purpose-built Kerikeri facility in the pristine Bay of
Islands, where we control every step of product development,
formulation, testing and filling. Living Nature employs over
60 people worldwide. We export to 14 countries, with staff in
Australia and the United Kingdom, and committed distributors
servicing other export markets including Singapore, Malaysia,
Germany, USA, Canada, Korea and Russia.”
The company did not have any policy which guarenteed workers
right within its supply chain and as a result the company received
Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 176)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Sustainability feature (2012)
The company website www.livingnature.co.uk, when viewed in
July 2012, stated that:
“In Living Nature products you’ll find no:
* Endocrine disrupting synthetic preservatives such as:
o Parabens
o Ethelhexyglycerin
o Hydroxymethylglycinate
o Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
o Methylchloroisothiazolinone
o Methylisothiazolinone
o Unigerm
o Suttocide
* Neurotoxic preservatives like phenoxyethanol
* Harsh surfactants like sodium, ammonium and lauryl/laureth
sulphates
* Petrochemicals, including PEGs, paraffin and other
glycols
* Silicones, Mineral oils, artificial fragrances, grain alcohols
* Phthalates
* Bisphenol-A (BPA)
* Genetically modified or irradiated ingredients”
Due to the company’s policy not to include the ingredient above, it
was awarded a positive product sustainability mark. (ref: 176)
L’Oreal make-up
Owned by L’Oréal
L’Oréal, 41 Rue Martre, Clichy, 92117, France
L’Oréal is owned by Liliane Bettencourt (31%)
L’Oréal is also owned by Nestlé SA (30%)
Nestlé SA, Avenue Nestlé 55, Vevey, Vaud 1800, Switzerland
Figures were published on the progress towards this target from
2011.
The report also showed a good understanding of the companies
main impacts. For instance the report contained information on
the increased us of natural products, reduced waste including
during research, an acknowledgement of high water consumption
and water pollution, and the development of life cycle analysis
for all its products.
The report was verified by Deloitte & Associés and
PricewaterhouseCoopers Audit. (ref: 37)
Pollution & Toxics
Top nanotechnology patent-holder in the USA (July 2012)
According to a post on Bloomberg Businessweek, bx.businessweek.
com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, the L’Oréal Group
was the top nanotechnology patent-holder in the United States.
The 2007 Corporate Watch report ‘Nanotechnology: undersized,
unregulated and already here’, documented the growing evidence
that nanomaterials pose a unique but so far poorly understood
range of toxicity problems, along with concerns about the wider
social and economic impacts of nanotechnology. (ref: 38)
Red lipstick found to contain measurable levels of lead
(2008)
According to The Ecologist December/January 2008 a significant
quantity of US-manufactured red lipsticks, including those made
by L’Oréal, had been found to contain measurable levels of lead
in independent tests.
The research carried out by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
found between 0.03 and 0.65 parts per million, despite there
being no mention of metal on the ingredients list. Mark Mitchell,
president of the Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice,
said: “Lead builds up over time and lead-containing lipstick
applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant
exposure levels. The latest studies show there is no safe level of
exposure.” (ref: 39)
Lipstick contains unsafe levels of lead (October 2007)
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (www.safecosmetics.org)
published a report, “A Poison Kiss: the Problem of Lead in
Lipstick,” in October 2007. According to the report one third of
the lipsticks tested exceeded Food and Drug Administration’s
(FDA) 0.1 ppm limit of set for lead in children’s confectionery
- a standard established to protect children from directly ingesting
lead. The report noted that lipstick is also ingested directly but
that the FDA did not set limits for lead in cosmetics.
Those listed included L’Oreal and the company’s Maybelline brand.
Lead was not listed as an ingredient on the product.
The report noted that “Lead is a proven neurotoxin that can
cause learning, language and behavioural problems... Pregnant
women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead
exposure.... Lead has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced
fertility in both men and women, hormonal changes, menstrual
irregularities and delays in the onset of puberty.” Furthermore
lead is bio-accumulative, building up in the body with repeated
exposure. (ref: 40)
Animals
Environment
Animal Testing
Environmental Reporting
Animal testing of non medical products (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, L’Oreal
was listed in a document called ‘Companies that test on animals’
produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufactured cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it was not required by law. (ref: 8)
Best ECRA rating for environment report (July 2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer rated the L’Oreal 2011 Sustainability
report. This contained three future quantified targets and stated
that: “As part of its 10-year environmental strategy (2005-2015),
L’Oréal has set three clear targets for its plants and distribution
centres: to reduce by 50% greenhouse gas emissions (in absolute
value), water consumption per finished product unit and waste
production per finished product unit.”
Use of animal test condemned as brutal (2009)
The Spring 2009 issue of the Uncaged Campaigns Bulletin stated
that vivisectors from L’Oréal were involved in the ‘sacrifice’
of 128 rats in a repeat poisoning test for the commonly-used
chemical ingredients butylparaben and methylparaben. The test,
which took place at a lab in Pennsylvania, USA, was published
in 2008 in the Journal Birth Defects Research (Part B). The test
involved chemicals being administered in the animals’ food
everyday, plus the taking of blood samples by a method called
‘retro-orbital bleeding’. This is an extreme procedure involving
the puncturing of the eye socket. According to the article, there
was widespread condemnation of this method, even among
some animal researchers, indicating the extreme brutality of
this test. The UK National Centre for the 3Rs stated that it was a
technique that can have strong consequences for the animal and,
therefore, it is not recommended for use with recovery.” In other
words, because of the devastating injuries caused by retro-orbital
bleeding, animals should be put down before they can regain
consciousness”. (ref: 41)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer visited the L’Oréal website, www.loreal.com, in
July 2012 and searched for the company’s animal testing policy.
No explicit policy could be found, although some information on
research the company had done into alternatives was available.
L’Oréal was however on Uncaged’s list of companies to boycott
at the time, which it said included companies which either
openly use animal-tested chemicals, or fail to demonstrate that
the finished product and the ingredients they use have not been
tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date. The company did
state that, “We want an end to animal testing in our industry, and
we contribute to the development and acceptance of alternative
methods. We actively seek out and favour business partners who
share our values and our ethical commitments.” but this was not
considered a policy.
L’Oréal was therefore awarded Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
for animal testing. (ref: 42)
Animal Rights
2009, strangers arrived at the home of Gustavo Gomez, knocked
on the door and when he answered shot him 10 times.
Gustavo was a worker at La Rosa SA Nestlé and a member of
the trade union Sinaltrainal. He was immediately taken to a local
clinic where he died hours later. Gustavo Gómez was a member
of the Board of Sinaltrainal Sectional Dosquebradas from 1997
until 2000, was a cousin of Jose De Jesus Marin-Vargas, a worker
at Nestlé SA Comestibles La Rosa and member of Sinaltrainal,
also murdered on November 22, 2007.
According to the article, unfortunately, this crime occurred at a
time when Sinaltrainal had submitted a petition to Nestle Purina
PetCare Company de Colombia SA. It stated that this brought the
number of Nestlé Sinaltrainal members murdered in Colombia
to 12 employees. Luis went on to say the union had previously
reported to the authorities the constant threats of death, which
Sinaltrainal members in Colombia had received, and had asked the
authorities to investigate and punish those responsible. However,
the murders continued while the international community was
prepared to accept that unionists are offered state protection and
therefore continued to accept the current regime. He went on
to state: “We demand that the Colombian State, investigate and
punish the perpetrators and instigators of this crime, protect the
lives of members of Sinaltrainal and their families and ensure
the right of union activity.” (ref: 46)
Consolidation of water causing shortage for local peoples
(2007)
According to the Ecologist (September 2007 issue) “the bottled
water culture creates its own insatiable marketplace.” Large
multinational corporations such as Nestle and another major
multinationals had “identified water as the new oil and are busy
buying up water supplies throughout the world.” The result of
this is that local people – often living in very poor parts of the
world - can lose access to vital water supplies. (ref: 47)
Operations in 8 oppressive regimes (July 2012)
ECRA searched the L’oreal company website in July 2012
and found that the company had operations in the following
regimes:
Use of factory farmed meat (September 2011)
According to the Nestlé website viewed in September 2011, the
company produced the following products containing meat which
was not free range or organic: Herta frankfurters and pet food. Pet
food accounted for nearly 12% of the company’s sales in 2010,
according to its Financial Statements 2010. (ref: 43)
China, Philippines, Venezuela, Thailand, Colombia, India,
Vietnam and Russia.
Dairy is core part of its business (September 2011)
According to its 2009 Creating Shared Value report, “nearly 40%
of our raw materials expenditure goes towards the procurement of
three key commodities – milk, coffee and cocoa”. Of that nearly
90% went on milk. “In terms of sales value, Nestlé is the world’s
largest milk company, and sources over 12 million tonnes of fresh
milk equivalent from more than 30 countries including Kenya,
Uganda, Mexico and China. (ref: 44)
Fined for death at Halifax factory (March 2012)
On 9 March 2012 it was reported on the website for the Health
and Safety Executive, www.hse.gov.uk, that Nestlé had been
fined £180,000 for safety failures which resulted in the death of
a worker at its Halifax factory in December 2008. According
to the article, the company had received written advice about
improving the guarding on the type of machine being used by the
employee in 2002. It had not applied that advice to the machine
being operated. (ref: 48)
Product contained unexpected animal derived ingredients
(March 2009)
In March 2009 The Food Magazine reported that strawberry flavour
Nestle’s Nesquik Magic Straws were coloured with cochineal,
which was derived from crushed insects, but that the product was
not labelled as being ‘unsuitable for vegetarians’. (ref: 45)
People
Human Rights
Nestlé worker and union leader killed in Colombia (21
August 2009)
According to a statement posted on the website of the Colombia
Solidarity Campaign, www.colombiasolidarity.org.uk, dated
August 24th 2009 and signed by Colombian trade union
Sinaltrainal’s president, Luis Javier Correa Suarez, on 21 August
At the time of writing ECRA considered these to be governed by
oppressive regimes. (ref: 37)
Workers’ Rights
Guilty of racial discrimination (June 2009)
According to an article published on the Times online website on
the 25th of June 2009, L’Oréal had been found guilty, in France’s
highest court, of racial discrimination for considering black, Arab
and Asian women unworthy of selling its shampoo. The company
had sought an all-white team of sales staff to promote one of its
hair care products the court heard, with the word going out that the
hostesses (shampoo saleswomen) should be ‘BBR’ - ‘bleu, blanc,
rouge’ the colours of the French flag - a term widely known in
the world of French recruitment as meaning white French people
born to white French parents. The court said such a policy was
illegal under French employment law. (ref: 49)
Marketing cosmetics containing banned ingredients (2007)
According to the November/December 2008 issue of Multinational
Monitor, L’Oreal had been sued in 2007 by a former Director of
Regulatory Affairs, Jerome Chevallier. In the lawsuit he claimed
he was fired because he “voiced strong objections and complained
about unlawful activities”. Chevallier said that L’Oreal marketed
its Maybelline-brand lip gloss containing Debutyl phthalate
(DBP) to South America, despite the fact that DBP was banned
there due to its carcinogenity and risks to reproductive health.
He said the company untruthfully marketed a product called
Pureology as formulated with vegan inputs, and that it used a
banned substance called Triclosan despite saying it wouldn’t.
Chevallier said that in July 2007 he discovered that L’Oreal
products in Europe contained a preservative, Kathon CG, above
lawful levels, and that this information had been omitted from the
company’s computer system “so as to avoid regulatory department
scrutiny”. After requesting the recall of the products, Chevallier
says he was prohibited from having any further communications
with his counterparts in Europe. And after a dust-up with superiors
over this issue, he was fired. L’Oreal however, said that he was
fired for selling free L’Oreal products on eBay. It denied all
Chevallier’s allegations. Chevallier admitted that he did sell
free L’Oreal products on eBay, but that that was not why he was
fired. (ref: 50)
Irresponsible Marketing
Supply Chain Management
The Cochrane Library had reviewed research on ingredients that
Nestle and other companies highlight such as DHA and ARA Long
Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (LCPUFAs) and concluded ‘It
has been suggested that low levels of long chain polyunsaturated
fatty acids (LCPUFA) found in formula milk may contribute to
[higher] IQ levels and vision skills in term infants. Some milk
formulas with added LCPUFA are commercially available. This
review found that feeding term infants with milk formula enriched
with LCPUFA had no proven benefit regarding vision cognition or
physical growth.’ Similarly Cochrane Library reviews have found
no benefit from adding prebiotics and probiotic. After receiving
thousands of emails and letters from members of the public,
Nestle has finally acknowledged the Cochrane Library findings
but still refused to remove the logos and stop the aggressive
marketing saying ‘we do not make any claim on product labels
that contradicts the Cochrane Library’s reviews’ this was despite
the company’s global marketing campaign being based around
the added ingredients. Baby Milk Action said that more pressure
was clearly needed. (ref: 52)
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (July
2012)
In a statement on the L’Oreal website found by Ethical Consumer
in July 2012 it stated that, “L’ORÉAL seeks to ensure that
human rights are respected throughout its supply chain. Through
L’ORÉAL’s Buy & Care programme, all our suppliers and
subcontractors are asked to comply with the Group’s General
Terms of Purchase and Payment, which include an undertaking
to comply with the Fundamental Conventions of the ILO”
These were:
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise
Convention
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
Forced Labour Convention
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
Minimum Age Convention
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
There was no mention of a payment of a living wage or limiting
working hours. The statement also gave the company Group
Purchasing Director the right to waive the minimum working
age convention.
Stakeholder engagement
No mention
Auditing
There was a mention of audits but the results were not published.
In 2010 for example the company was said to have audited 2148
suppliers.
Difficult issues
No mention
The company therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
for its supply chain management. (ref: 37)
Claims that infant formula ‘protects’ babies (December
2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010, Nestle had come under fire for making claims that its formula
‘protects’ babies and has ‘new active immunity’ and using a
‘protect’ logo to do so. The company had attempted to justify its
claims saying that ‘The ‘Protect’ logo is used on a new generation
of sophisticated infant formula with a unique combination of
specific strains of probiotics, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty
acids, immune-nutrients and selected proteins. This unique
combination has positive effects on the infant’s physiology
and metabolism with other formula without these ingredients.
However, we in no way suggest that the formula is equal or
superior to breastmilk.’
Article 9.2 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk
substitutes states ‘Neither the container nor the label should have
pictures of infants, nor should they have other pictures or text
which may idealise the use of infant formula’
Abuses of Global Compact principles (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010,Baby Milk Action and other campaign groups concerned
about ‘egregious’ violations of the Global Compact Principles
by Nestle registered a complaint with the UN Global Compact
Office in 2009 under its ‘Integrity Measures’. Concerns raised in
the joint report included aggressive marketing of baby milks and
foods and undermining of breastfeeding, in breach of international
standards, trade union busting and failing to act on related court
decisions, failure to act on child labour and slavery in its cocoa
supply chain, exploitation of farmers, particularly in the dairy
and coffee sectors, and environmental degradation, particularly
of water sources. In its responses the Global Compact Office
stressed that the Global Compact was a voluntary initiative and
the Office had no mandate or resources to conduct investigations,
but would promote ‘dialogue’. As the campaign groups were
already in ‘dialogue’ with Nestle – and finding it unwilling to
stop its violations of the principles – Baby Milk Action asked the
Global Compact Office to conduct a review of the communications
cited in the provisions of the ‘Integrity Measures’. These give the
Office the power to exclude companies and de-list them from its
website. The UN Global Compact Office refused to conduct the
review and continued to post Nestle’s ‘Creating Shared Value’
and other reports on its website and accepted Nestle as a Patron
Sponsor for its 10th anniversary summit in New York in 2010.
The UN Global Compact Office stated in a telling phrase about the
initiative ‘Of course, abuses of the 10 principles do occur; however
we believe that such abuses only indicate that it is important
for the company to remain in the Compact and learn from its
mistakes’. Baby Milk Action said that the Office had been asked
for information on how Nestle had ‘learned from its mistakes’
and had provided no further information, though a briefing paper
had been promised. It admitted that not a single company had
been excluded from the initiative as a result of complaints being
registered. Companies were only excluded if they failed to provide
reports, whether misleading or not. A leading Global Officer had
recently been appointed a Nestle Vice President, replacing the
head of the company’s anti-boycott team. (ref: 52)
United Reform Church backs boycott despite Nestlé
misinformation (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010 the United Reformed Church Assembly had agreed to
continue supporting the Nestle boycott until the company made
the required changes to its baby food marketing. The Assembly
referenced the FTSE4Good criteria which are similar to the fourpoint plan which Baby Milk Action has put to Nestle, calling on
it to bring its policies and practices into line with World Health
Assembly standards. The Assembly rejected a proposal to end
the church’s long-running support for the boycott. Nestle’s vice
president had met with representatives of the URC and other
churches at the Churches Investment Group and insisted that
Nestle had changed its ways and accused the International Baby
Food Action Network (IBFAN) of continuing to level criticisms
at Nestle for publicity purposes and said that the organisation’s
latest report contained only two genuine violations, which Baby
Milk Action said spoke volumes about how dismissive Nestle is
of complaints. (ref: 52)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call for animal testing due to L’Oreal ownership
(September 2011)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
Body Shop as a company to boycott when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. It was listed as either openly
using animal-tested chemicals, or failing to demonstrate that the
finished product and the ingredients they use have not been tested
on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 53)
Boycott call by Uncaged (September 2011)
The Uncaged campaign website, www.uncaged.co.uk, listed
L’Oreal as a company to boycott when viewed by Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. It was listed as either openly
using animal-tested chemicals, or failing to demonstrate that the
finished product and the ingredients they use have not been tested
on animals since a fixed cut-off date. (ref: 54)
Boycott call by Baby Milk Action (September 2011)
The Body Shop was on Baby Milk Actions boycott list when
viewed on the organisation’s website, www.babymilkaction.org,
by Ethical Consumer in September 2011 due to its ownership
links with Nestlé. Nestlé is boycotted by the group because
independent monitoring has found it has violated the International
Code of Marketing for Breastmilk Substitutes more than any other
company. Nestlé owned approximately 30% of L’Oreal, the Body
Shop’s parent company, at the time of writing. (ref: 55)
Political Activities
Member of one international lobby group (February 2012)
According to the organisation’s website www.wbcsd.org, viewed
by Ethical Consumer on 13/02/2012, L’Oreal was a member of the
World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This was
regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby
group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers
in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to
the environment and human rights. (ref: 56)
‘Buying’ MP with free trips and tickets (December 2010)
According to the Baby Milk Action Update, Issue 43, December
2010, the former MP covering Buxton, where Nestle bottles water,
stood down at the May General Election. Mr Tom Levitt became
notorious for defending Nestle after receiving free tickets to the
Wimbledon tennis tournament and Lords cricket matches, and an
all-expenses-paid trip to South Africa – where he failed to notice
Nestle advertising formula in supermarkets, something that even
its competitors labelled as a breach of the marketing requirements.
Mr Levitt refused to meet with Baby Milk Action. (ref: 52)
Illegal political donations (July 2010)
On 9th July 2010 it was reported on the Guardian website, www.
guardian.co.uk, that Liliane Bettencourt was being investigated
for claims that she had made an illegal donation to French
President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign for the presidency,
via employment minister Eric Woerth. (ref: 57)
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in 6 tax havens (July 2012)
Accoring to the L’oreal fact sheet on www.hoovers.com, viewed
by ECRA in July 2012, the company had subsidiaries in the
following tax havens: Monaco, Uruguay, Ireland, Hong Kong,
Singapore, Switzerland. (ref: 37)
Excessive director’s remuneration (July 2012)
According to a document entitled “Publication of the remuneration
components of L’Oréal’s Chairman & CEO made pursuant to the
AFEP MEDEF code of corporate governance for listed companies
of April 2010” located on the L’oreal website, the remuneration
of CEO “Jean-Paul Agon had previously been set by the Board
of Directors at 2,100,000 euros in respect of 2011.” (ref: 37)
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on the Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, L’Oreal along with twelve other French perfume giants
had been fined 40 million Euros for colluding to keep prices high
between 1997 and 2000.
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Lush deodorant
Owned by Lush Ltd
Lush Ltd, 29 High Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1AB
Lush Ltd is owned by Lush Cosmetics Ltd
Lush Cosmetics Ltd, Ethics Dept, 29 High Street, Poole, Dorset,
BH15 1AB, UK
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (March
2010)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Lush Ltd and attached
a questionnaire that included a request for the company’s
environmental policies and reports. Although Lush responded
by pointing to a number of important initiatives, for example
regarding packaging, sourcing and palm oil, the company did
not issue a formal envrionmental policy statement or report, or
publish any future targets for improvement. It therefore received
ECRA’s worst rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 177)
Product sustainability
Animal Welfare Features
Vegan Society approved (July 2012)
According to the Lush website viewed in July 2012, the company
made liquid, solid and powder deodorants that were certified by
the Vegan Society. (ref: 180)
People
Human Rights
Operations in five oppressive regimes (February 2010)
In July 2012 the global website for Lush Cosmetics Ltd, www.
lush.com, stated that the company was trading in 43 countries
around the world. These were said to include India, Kazakhstan,
Philippines, Russia and Saudi Arabia, all of which were considered
by Ethical Consumer to be governed by oppressive regimes at
the time of writing. (ref: 178)
Positive palm oil policy (March 2010)
In February 2010 Ethical Consumer emailed Lush Ltd and attached
a questionnaire that included a question regarding whether or not
the company had a policy about using palm oil in its products and
how this was sourced. The company replied as follows:
“We are currently attempting to eliminate all palm from our
products. We have found it difficult at times to get information
regarding tracability from some of our suppliers, due to the practice
of trading ‘mixed vegetable oils’ and fats on the world market.
“However we have done much work on eliminating it where we
have been able to identify it. This has meant that we have been
able to eliminate it from our soapbase – which we suspect is
our biggest use of palm. We have also run window and in store
campaigns regarding palm. Our buyers and campaigns teams
have made several visits to the palm affected regions, looking at
the effects on wildlife and local people. We believe that there
is no such thing as sustainable palm and that the only solution
is to reduce the developed worlds consumption of palm.” This
was considered by Ethical Consumer to be a positive palm oil
policy. (ref: 179)
Supply Chain Management
Middle ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Lush Ltd and attached
a questionnaire that included a request for the company’s
policy addressing workers rights at supplier companies or any
policies regarding sourcing. Lush replied by sending a copy of
their Buying Policy/Supplier Questionnaire which contained a
list of requirements for workers rights at supplier companies
which included adequate clauses for: Children, Forced labour,
Discrimination, Freedom of association, Living Wage, Max 48hrs
week. Without an unequvivocal ‘whole Supply Chain statement’
this was rated a ‘reasonable’ policy.
A separate document entitled ‘Lush Buying’ explained how
the broader audit document was being rolled out across the
whole supply chain and how they had remediation strategy of
working and support for suppliers where issues are identified.
This document also explained how special funding line (slush
fund) existed to work in partnership with suppliers to improve
their compliance.
Overall the company received a middle ECRA rating for supply
chain management. (ref: 177)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company ethos (February 2010)
In a questionnaire from Lush Ltd, received by Ethical Consumer
in February 2010, it was stated that all of the company’s products
were approved by the Vegetarian Society. (ref: 179)
Mitchum deodorant
Owned by Revlon Inc
Revlon Inc, 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017, USA
Revlon Inc is owned by MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc
(66%)
MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc, 35 E 62nd Street, New
York, NY 10021, USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Revlon Inc did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request
in June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy.
The company’s website (www.revlon.com) was searched for
this information. It included a vague statement about respecting
local laws and regulations regarding the environment, but no
environmental policy could be found. The company’s Corporate
Social Responsibility Framework (which was undated) included
environmental ‘Standards’ such as using sustainable ingredients
and packaging where possible, and employing energy conservation
initiatives. However, this document contained no dated, quantified
future targets and did not appear to include independently verified
data.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 181)
Climate Change
Manufacture of ‘gas guzzling’ 4x4 (2007)
According to the AM General - a subsidiary of MacAndrews
and Forbes - website (www.amgeneral.com) viewed on 1st
June 2007, it had introduced its ‘Hummer’ military vehicle to
civilian use in the early 1990s. It had then developed a new
models, including the Hummer H1, the Hummer H2 and the
Humvee, some in conjunction with a major US car manufacturer,
which owned the Hummer brand name. The fuel efficiency of
Hummers was around 10mpg, compared with other cars which
ran at about 90mpg. They therefore used significantly more fuel
and thus contributed significantly more to climate-changing CO2
emissions and other potentially damaging atmospheric pollution
than most other vehicles.
It stated that its main business was the supply of military vehicles
and that the US Military was its largest customer. (ref: 182)
Worst rating for palm oil policy (July 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed MacAndrews & Forbes
and attached a questionnaire that included a request for the
company’s policy in relation to palm oil sourcing. The company
did not respond, no related information could be found on its
website or those of its main cosmetics brands such as Almay and
it was not listed as a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable
Palm Oil on that organisation’s website. The company was a
manufacturer of consumer products that typically contain palm
oil or its derivatives and evidence of this was found in a Product
Formulary and
Cosmetic Guide, downloaded from the Almay website, www.
almay.com. Ethical Consumer expected a company of its size
to have a policy specifically addressing palm oil sourcing. In
the absence of this and as a result of the negative effects of palm
oil production world wide, the company lost half marks in the
categories of climate change, habitat destruction and human
rights. (ref: 183)
The company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 181)
Pollution & Toxics
Potential supply of arms to oppressive regime (October
2011)
According to the article ‘US politicians seek to halt Bahrain
arms deal’, dated October 8th 2011 and published on the English
Aljazeera website http://english.aljazeera.net, members of
Congress concerned about the Bahrain kingdom’s response to a
popular uprising, aimed to block a $53m arms sale by introducing
a rare measure that would halt the sale, including more than 44
armoured vehicles and 300 missiles, 50 of which had bunker
busting capability to the Gulf Arab state.
Concerns over nanotechnology in skin products (2007)
According to the 2007 Corporate Watch report ‘Nanotechnology:
undersized, unregulated and already here’, Revlon’s ColourStay
and New Complexion ranges of cosmetics contained Aluminium
Oxide ‘Alusion’ nanoparticles, as did Almay’s Clear Complexion
concealer. The report documented the growing evidence that
nanomaterials pose a unique but so far poorly understood range
of toxicity problems, along with concerns about the wider social
and economic impacts of nanotechnology. (ref: 184)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing (2012)
Revlon was listed in the Compassionate Shopping Guide 12th
edition (2010) as not being an endorsed company. This was because
it had no Fixed Cut off Date for animal testing. (ref: 116)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst rating for palm oil policy’ in Climate
Change above.)
Operations in two oppressive regimes (2012)
According to the Hoovers.com website and the website of whollyowned MacAndrews & Forbes subsidiary (at the time of writing)
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. www.bydeluxe.com,
the company had operations in India and Venezuela. Both were
on Ethical Consumer’s list of oppressive regimes at the time of
writing. (ref: 77)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
Revlon Inc did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request in
June 2012 for the company’s supply chain management policy.
The company’s website (www.revlon.com), was searched in July
2012 for this information.
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (poor)
Arms & Military Supply
US Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and US Representative James
McGovern of Massachusetts, both Democrats, said they introduced
resolutions in both houses of Congress on Friday to prevent the
sale of US weapons to Bahrain “until meaningful steps are taken
to improve human rights” there.
“Selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful
civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to our
foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all that
the US has worked hard to promote,” Wyden said in a statement
posted on his website.
“The US should not reward a regime that actively suppresses its
people. This resolution will withhold the sale of arms to Bahrain
until the ruling family shows a real commitment to human rights,”
Wyden said.
Prime contractors for the arms sale would be AM General
according to the Defence Security Co-operation Agency, the part
of the Pentagon that oversees foreign arms sales. The company
specifically designs vehicles for the military.
About 30 people, mainly Shia, died when the protest movement
erupted in February, but ongoing clashes and deaths in police
custody have taken the total past 40, according to the Bahrain
Center for Human Rights (BCHR).
McGovern said it was not in the United States’ national security
interest to sell weapons to Bahrain “Human rights ought to matter
in our foreign and military policy,” he said. “Now is not the time
to sell weapons to Bahrain.” (ref: 185)
(See also ‘Manufacture of ‘gas guzzling’ 4x4’ in Climate
Change above.)
Under the heading ‘Transparency in the Supply Chain’ some
commitments were made.
Politics
There were: Prohibition of slave labour, of child labour, physical
disciplinary actions and sexual harassment.
Excessive director’s pay (2012)
According toThe Executive Pay Watch Database www.aflcio.org,
viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012, the Revlon Inc CEO
was paid $3,077,955 in 2011, which equalled roughly £1,984,671.
Ethical Consumer deems any amount over £1 million annually
to be excessive. (ref: 26)
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (poor)
No mention found.
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
The ‘Transparency in the Supply Chain’ page on the company’s
website stated that “Failure to comply fully with Revlon’s vendor/
supplier standards including, without limitation, laws regarding
slavery and trafficking, can result in cancellation of the affected
order(s), termination of Revlon’s relationship with the supplier,
and/or legal action to pursue other equitable remedies to recoup
any financial losses incurred by Revlon.”
There was no further information on how the company audited
it supply chain.
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No mention found.
Anti-Social Finance
Neal’s Yard Fairtrade skincare
[F,S,O,A]
Owned by Neal’s Yard Remedies
Neal’s Yard Remedies, NYR Direct, Peacemarsh, Gillingham,
Dorset, SP8 4EU
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA Rating for environment policy (2012)
Neals Yard Remedies did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s
written request in June 2012 for the company’s environmental
policy.
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.
nealsyardremedies.com), when viewed by Ethical Consumer
in July 2012.
The website stated that the company actively supported and
promoted organic farming and the use of certified organic
ingredients in its products, and that it offered the UK’s largest
range of organic health and beauty care. The website also stated
that the company was carbon neutral and accredited as such by
the CarbonNeutral Company.
Whilst Ethical Consumer considered this to be a positive step,
it also considered there to be problems with carbon offsetting
scheme.
The environmental information available on the company’s
website was not considered by Ethical Consumer to constitute an
environmental report, as it did not discuss the company’s main
environmental impacts or how it was attempting to mitigate them.
As the company was not an SME it consequently received Ethical
Consumer’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 186)
Climate Change
No clear palm oil policy (July 2012)
Neal’s Yard Remedies did not respond to a written request from
Ethical Consumer for information regarding its palm oil sourcing
policy in June 2012. Ethical Consumer viewed the Neal’s Yard
website, www.nealsyardremedies.com, in July 2012. A page
entitled ‘Base Oils in products’ stated that the palm oil in one of
the company’s soap was certified organic and in another it was
sustainably harvested from wild trees. Ethical Consumer noted that
a large proportion of the companies products were certified organic.
However, the company did not appear to have a clear policy
on palm oil sourcing which covered all ingredients, including
palm oil derivatives. A page entitled ‘Technical Ingredients in
products’ indicated that the company used palm oil derivatives.
Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world wide,
the company lost half marks in the categories of climate change,
habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 186)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No clear palm oil policy’ in Climate Change
above.)
People
criteria (May 2012)
The BUAV website www.buav.org viewed by ECRA in May 2012
listed Neal’s Yard Remedies as a Humane Cosmetics Standard
approved company selling non-animal tested cosmetics. To be
approved for the Humane Cosmetics Standard, a company must
no longer conduct or commission animal testing and must apply
a verifiable fixed cut-off date - an unmoveable date after which
none of the products or ingredients have been animal tested. The
scheme requires each company to be open to an independent
audit throughout the supply chain to ensure that they adhere to
the animal testing policy criteria. (ref: 187)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Product sustainability (July 2012)
According to the Neal’s Yard website in July 2012 the company
did not use the following chemicals which potentially pose a risk
to the environment and human health:
* Synthetic Colors and Fragrances
* Petrochemicals
* Parabens
Additonally, some of the company’s skincare products were
certified organic and marketed as suitable for vegans and some
were Fairtrade certified.
These products therefore received positive marks under Ethical
Consumer’s product sustainability category. (ref: 186)
Fairtrade Product
(See also ‘Product sustainability’ in Organic Product
above.)
Other Sustainability Features
(See also ‘Product sustainability’ in Organic Product
above.)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Product sustainability’ in Organic Product
above.)
Nivea deodorant
Owned by Beiersdorf AG
Beiersdorf AG, Unnastrasse 48, D-20245 Hamburg, Germany
Human Rights
Beiersdorf AG is owned by maxingvest ag (50%)
(See also ‘No clear palm oil policy’ in Climate Change
above.)
maxingvest ag, Überseering 18, 22297 Hamburg
Supply Chain Management
Environment
Worst rating for supply chain policy (2012)
Neal’s Yard Remedies did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s
written request in June 2012 for the company’s supply chain
management policy.
Environmental Reporting
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.
nealsyardremedies.com), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in
July 2012. The website did state that “We design, test and make
our own products at our eco-headquarters and physic garden in
Gillingham, Dorset.” While this might suggest a tighter control
of the supply chain, as a larger company which could not be
considered to be an SME, Neal’s Yard Remedies was expected
to have a more formal policy in place protecting workers’ rights
throughout the supply chain.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 186)
Politics
Company Ethos
All products comply with BUAV not tested on animals
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Beiersdorf AG and
attached a questionnaire that included a request for a copy of
the company’s environmental policy, statement or report. No
response was received. Ethical Consumer searched Beiersdorf’s
website for the information and found a section on its website
about sustainable development.
According to its website, the company in 2011 set 3 goals,
relating to people, planet, and products. The planet goal was
to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by 30% per product
sold by 2020 (based on 2005 figures). Its product goal related
to generating 50% of its sales from products with a significantly
reduced environmental footprint. In order to achieve this the
company had developed a sustainability product scorecard that
allowed it to steer product development and help to minimise
packaging waste.
In its annual report from 2011, Beiersdorf stated that it had made
progress in reducing its energy use, water consumption and CO2
emissions. The company had installed an Environmental Protection
and Safety Audit Scheme which was a tool the company used to
monitor its standards over the world.
While the company showed it had made progress in improving
the environmental impacts of its production facilities and offices,
the company did not have two quantified dated environmental
targets, it did not show any meaningful carbon disclosure and
its report was not independently verified. The company also
failed to mention toxics, which as a cosmetics manufacturer
was a major aspect of its business. For these reasons Beiersdorf
received Ethical Consumers’ worst rating for environmental
reporting. (ref: 188)
Climate Change
Worst ECRA rating on palm oil policy (July 2012)
A search of Beiersdorf website, www.beiersdorf.com, by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012 found that the company did not use palm
oil in the manufacture of its cosmetics. However, it did use agents
such as emulsifiers and surfactants which were “usually produced
from mineral and vegetable oils such as such as coconut and
rapeseed oil – or palm oil and palm kernel oil”, according to
the website. In addition one of its products was said to contain
processed palm kernel oil.
It was the company’s aim to ensure by 2015 that all it suppliers
only used sustainably produced and certified palm oil and palm
kernel oil. However, Ethical Consumer felt that the negative effects
of the use of palm oil had been apparent for many years and a
large company such as Beiersdorf could be doing more to assist
the process towards more sustainable palm oil production. The
company received a worst Ethical Consumer rating for its palm
oil policy and lost half marks in the climate change, habitats and
resources and human rights categories. (ref: 188)
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanoparticles (July 2012)
Beiersdorf’s website was searched by Ethical Consumer in July
2012 for its nanotechnology policy. No policy could be found.
The Nivea website, www.nivea.co.uk, stated that the products
Nivea Pure & Sensitive Sun Spray and Sun Lotion contained
Titanium Dioxide (Nano). Other products were said to contain
Titanium Dioxide but did not state the particle size. The company
lost a mark in the pollution and toxics category for its use of
nanotechnology. (ref: 188)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating on palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Animals
usually make statements along the lines that they only conduct
animal tests where no alternatives are available. This is a very
misleading and disingenuous statement because very few nonanimal tests have been validated for the new ingredients that they
will be using all the time, so this statement will still account for
thousands of animal experiments... If these companies wanted to,
they could... end their animal testing immediately.” (ref: 189)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘Worst ECRA rating on palm oil policy’ in
Climate Change above.)
Operations in oppressive regimes (June 2012)
Beiersdorf’s website was searched by Ethical Consumer for a list
of subsidiaries in June 2012. According to its list of worldwide
locations, Beiersdorf had operations in Russia, China, India,
Kazakhstan, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia, and Venezuela. All
were considered by Ethical Consumer at the time of writing to
be governed by oppressive regimes. (ref: 188)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (June
2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Beiersdorf AG and
attached a questionnaire that included a request for a copy of the
company’s supply chain management policy. No response was
received. Ethical Consumer searched Beiersdorf’s website for the
information and found a supplier code of conduct.
Supply chain policy (reasonable)
The supplier code of conduct stated that it was for all suppliers and
subcontractors working with Beiersdorf. It included provisions
relating to forced labour, child labour, working hours restricted
to 48 plus 12 hours overtime per week, freedom of association,
and employment free from discrimination. The code of conduct
did not included a provision to pay a living wage therefore the
company received a reasonable supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
A search of Beiersdorf’s website found no evidence that it was
a member of a multi-stakeholder initiative, nor was it involved
with any NGOs or trade unions in improving workers’ rights
within its supply chain. A search of the website found no evidence
that workers could provide feedback on working conditions to
the company, therefore Beiersdorf received a poor rating for
stakeholder engagement.
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (July 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Beiersdorf a questionnaire
requesting its animal testing policy. No response was received.
Ethical Consumer searched the company’s website and found a
brief statement that said the company did not test on animals for
cosmetic products. However, none of its products were certified
free from animal testing and the Compassionate Shopping Guide
2010 stated that Beiersdorf had not endorsed the fixed cut off
date policy.
The company therefore received Ethical Consumer worst rating
for its animal testing policy. (ref: 188)
Criticised by BUAV for animal testing (2007)
According to the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection
(BUAV) Cosmetics Companies Guide, located on the organisation’s
website (www.buav.org) on 11th January 2007, Beiersdorf was one
of a number of companies that tested on animals. According to
BUAV: “These companies (and others) conduct and/or commission
animal tests for products and/or ingredients. These companies
Auditing and reporting (poor)
The supplier code of conduct stated that the company required
suppliers to become SEDEX members - a web based database,
which included self assessment questionnaires. Beiersdorf required
suppliers to upload data to SEDEX which was then assessed by
the company and if required a third party audit would take place
to ensure compliance with the code of conduct.
There was no disclosure over locations nor was it clear whether
there was a schedule of audits of each factory / supplier. The
company did not commit to auditing the whole supply chain and
only offered to evaluate potential corrective action with suppliers
- it was unclear whether this was a staged approached. SEDEX
required members to pay to enter data onto its website. Due to the
lack of clear auditing within its supply chain Beiersdorf received
a poor rating for auditing and reporting.
Difficult issues (poor)
A search of Beiersdorf’s website found no evidence that it had
specific policies to deal with freedom of association in countries
where it was restricted, was taking measures to ensure living wage
payments to employees, or acknowledgement of out workers /
homeworkers etc, therefore the company received a poor rating
for difficult issues.
Beiersdorf overall received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for
its supply chain management. (ref: 188)
Irresponsible Marketing
Misleading advertising (June 2011)
In June 2011 it was reported on the US Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) website, www.ftc.gov, that Beiersdorf, Inc. had agreed to
stop making claims that a Nivea product, My Silhouette!, could
“significantly reduce consumers’ body size” and pay $900,000
to settle FTC charges. (ref: 190)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call over animal testing (June 2012)
When viewed in June 2012 the Uncaged campaign website
(http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm) called for a boycott
of Beiersdorf as a company that either “openly use animal-tested
chemicals, or fail to demonstrate that the finished product and
the ingredients they use have not been tested on animals since a
fixed cut-off date”. (ref: 191)
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidaries in tax havens (June 2012)
Beiersdorf website was searched by Ethical Consumer for a list
of subsidiaries in June 2012. According to its list of worldwide
locations, Beiersdorf had subsidaries in Ireland, Singapore, British
Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Panama and Uruguay. All territories
were considered by Ethical Consumer at the time of writing as
being tax havens. (ref: 188)
say that it did not use any chemicals in its products classified as
Substances of Very High Concern by
REACH. Neither was there any information in the report on
extraction or manipulation of raw materials.
Additionally, the report did not appear to have been independently
verified.
As a result, it received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating in this
category. (ref: 192)
Climate Change
Inadequate policy on palm oil (2012)
The Colgate-Palmolive website (www.colgate.com) was searched
by Ethical Consumer in March 2012 for the company’s palm oil
policy. Its latest Sustainability Report (dated 2011) stated that
“By 2015, Colgate’s goal is to purchase only certified sustainable
palm oil and
derivatives from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil member
companies.” There was an accompanying paragraph in the report
which stated that although the initial target date of 2011 had been
set back to 2015, this was because the company used palm kernel
oil, rather than crude palm oil and that there was only one global
supplier who could satisfy their demand in 2011, since the growth
in palm kernel oil had not mirrored that of crude palm oil.
However, due to the massive environmental and social impacts
of palm oil production, companies which used palm oil and had
an insufficient policy on sourcing this responsibly (currently
and not just a future target) received negative marks under the
Climate Change, Habitats & Resources and Human Rights
categories. (ref: 192)
Pollution & Toxics
Products containing triclosan, a bioaccumulative chemical
(2012)
According to the GoodGuide website viewed in March 2012, the
following Colgate Palmolive products were listed as containing
Triclosan:
Ajax and Palmolive antibacterial washing up liquid.
Palmolive shower gel
Owned by Colgate-Palmolive Co
Colgate-Palmolive Co, 300 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022,
USA
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Middle Ethical Consumer rating for environmental
reporting (2011)
The latest Colgate-Palmolive Sustainbility Report (dated 2011)
was downloaded from the company’s website (www.colgate.
com) in March 2012.
This document contained several targets, under the heading
“2011-2015 Sustainability Strategy”. Although it was not
explicitly stated, it was assumed that the targets listed were for
2015. These included to reduce the amount of water consumed
in the making of products by 40% and to reduce waste sent to
landfill by 15%.
However, the report did not demonstrate a reasonable
understanding of the company’s main environmental impacts, as
Colgate-Palmolive was involved in the sale of chemical based
products but there was no reporting on hazardous waste produced
and there was no information on the types of dangerous / toxic
chemicals used, how these were disposed of and no targets for
reduction or replacement of harmful chemicals, other than to
It is also listed as an ingredient in Colgate Total toothpaste onb
the Colgate website - http://www.colgateprofessional.co.uk/
products/Colgate-Total-Toothpaste/details
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent is suspected of causing skin or
sense organ toxicity, immunotoxicity and is linked to antibiotic
resistance. (ref: 143)
Use of phthalates in consumer products (July 2011)
Ethical Consumer searched the Colgate-Palmolive website, www.
colgate.com, in July 2011 and found the following information
regarding phthalates — The term “phthalates” is used to describe
a large and diverse group of substances that are widely used in
many everyday products. The specific members of the phthalate
family of ingredients used in Colgate’s products have an excellent
safety profile and are present at very low levels.
Independent scientists and governmental bodies have extensively
studied the compounds’ health and environmental effects, making
phthalates some of the most investigated and best understood
compounds in the world. The Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Health
Canada and other scientific bodies in Europe, North America and
Japan have examined phthalates and allow their continued use.
Phthalates were also reviewed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review
(CIR), an independent body that reviews the safety of ingredients
used in cosmetics. CIR found them to be safe for use in cosmetics.
As with all Colgate products, any specific member of this group
of substances used in our products is supported by an extensive
body of scientific research and data that confirms safety.
Despite these reassurances however, phthalates, are considered to
be widespread contaminants linked to hormone disruption, birth
defects, kidney, liver and testicular damage. (ref: 193)
Habitats & Resources
Bertin to Colgate-Palmolive which Bertin describes as a major
client in the hygiene and beauty sector. Animal by-products such
as tallow (rendered beef fat) were used in many of its personal
care products such as soap. (ref: 124)
(See also ‘Inadequate policy on palm oil’ in Climate
Change above.)
People
Animals
(See also ‘Inadequate policy on palm oil’ in Climate
Change above.)
Operations in six oppressive regimes (2012)
According to the Contact Us section of the Colgate-Palmolive
company website (www.colgate.com) when viewed in March
2012, the company had operations in the following six countries
which were on Ethical Consumer’s list of oppressive regimes at
the time of writing: China, Colombia, Honduras, India, Philippines
and Venezuela. (ref: 195)
Animal Testing
Animal testing of non-medical products (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, Mennen
was listed in a pdf called ‘Companies that test on animals’
produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The
companies were on the list because they manufacture cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it is not required by law. (ref: 8)
Human Rights
Animal testing not required by law (July 2011)
According to the PETA website viewed in July 2011, Colgate
Palmolive was listed in a pdf called ‘Companies that test on
animals’ produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The companies were on the list because they manufacture cosmetic
and household products that were tested on animals even though
it is not required by law. (ref: 8)
Supply Chain Management
Worst Ethical Consumer rating for animal testing policy
(2011)
During a search in March 2012, Ethical Consumer found some
information on animal testing in the latest Colgate-Palmolive
Sustainability Report (dated 2011). This stated the following:
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (rudimentary)
“Colgate has a longstanding worldwide policy to minimize and to
ultimately eliminate animal testing for all consumer products.
Central to this commitment are the Company’s 20-year long
efforts to encourage the development of alternatives that are
scientifically valid and can be accepted by safety regulators.
Colgate is a leader in promoting, encouraging and participating
in the development, validation and acceptance of alternative
non-animal testing methods worldwide, investing over a million
dollars annually on research with non-animal alternatives. The
Company works closely with worldwide regulatory agencies to
examine how non-animal tests can be incorporated into their
safety requirements for consumer products. Recently, People for
the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) created a “Working
for Regulatory Change” list to promote corporate activism in
alternatives research. Colgate-Palmolive is the first company to
meet PETA’s stringent requirements and heads this list. In 2010,
no animal tests were conducted. Colgate looks forward to a day
when all necessary safety studies can be performed without the
use of animals and will continue to work to make that day come
sooner.”
However, as the company was still actively involved in animal
testing of its products the company received Ethical Conusmer’s
worst rating for animal testing. (ref: 192)
Factory farming
Company sells meat products not labelled as organic
(November 2007)
Hill’s website (www.hillspet.com) was viewed 5th. November
2007. The company sold pet food containing meat assumed to
be produced through factory farming because it was not labelled
organic or free range. (ref: 194)
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (March
2012)
The Colgate-Palmolive Co website (www.colgate.com) was
searched by Ethical Consumer in March 2012 for the company’s
supply chain management information.
It’s Sustainability Report stated that suppliers must adhere to
the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct. This was downloaded
from the website. The following information relating to labour
practices and human rights was found:
“Colgate opposes the use of illegal child labor, involuntary
servitude, the exploitation of children, and all other forms of
abusive or exploitative labor practices. It is Colgate policy not
to work with any supplier known to operate with unacceptable
worker treatment such as physical punishment, female abuse,
involuntary servitude or other forms of abuse. Colgate expects its
suppliers to take appropriate steps to ensure that their suppliers
do not engage in any of these practices.”
However, in the above statement, thea age of a child was not
defined and therefore left open to interpretation.
“Universal Human Rights
Colgate practices and seeks to work with suppliers who promote
the following standards in accordance with applicable law:
• equal opportunity for employees at all levels regardless of color,
race, gender, gender identity, age, ethnicity, national origin, sexual
orientation, marital status, religion, veteran status, disability or
any other characteristic protected by law;
• wages that enable employees to meet at least their basic needs,
and opportunities for employees to improve their skills and
capabilities;
• legally mandated work hours and compensation for overtime
hours in accordance with local laws;
• respect for the employees’ lawful freedom of association;
recognition of all legal rights to organize and collectively bargain;
and working with government and communities in which we do
business to improve the educational, cultural, economic and social
well-being in those communities.”
Since the provision over working hours did not go over and above
that recognised by law, this was not considered an adequate clause.
However, the clause relating to payment of a living wage was
considered adequate, as was the discrimination clause.
Animal Rights
Use of animal by-products (June 2009)
A Greenpeace International report published in June 2009 and
called ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, linked Brazilian cattle company
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (poor)
No mention found.
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
The 2011 Sustainability Report stated that the company was
in the process of developing a Supplier Responsible Sourcing
Assessment program. It listed the following goal: “2010 to 2015
Goal: 70% of Colgate’s supplier spending in at-risk industries,
geographies or environments will undergo a Responsible Sourcing
Self-Assessment and/or third party audit.” Therefore, the company
had not made a committment to audit its entire supply chain.
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No mention found.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 192)
Irresponsible Marketing
Recall of poisonous pet food (2007)
According to the Summer 2007 issue of Earth Island Journal,
March 2007 saw the biggest recall of product in the history of the
pet food industry. Hill’s Pet Nutrition was one of the companies
implicated in the scandal, which had seen over 153 brands of pet
foods and treats taken off the shelves all over the USA due to it
containing wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate which had
been contaminated with melamine, a material used to manufacture
kitchen utensils and, in China, fertiliser. It said the melamine had
been added to the wheat and rice in a bid to increase their protein
levels, and had been imported by two US companies fom China.
The number of reported deaths and illnesses in pets ranged from
16 to more than 3,000, depending on the source. (ref: 146)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
No policy on GMOs (2012)
A search was made on Colgate-Palmolive’s website (www.
colgate.com) in March 2012 and no policy statement could be
found regarding genetically modified organisms (GMO). As
the company was in a sector likely to employ GMO a negative
mark was awarded in this category. The company sold pet food
containing meat, therefore it was considered likely that it was
selling products containing both genetically modified grains and
animal products from animals fed GM crops. A Soil Association
report published in November 2008, entitled ‘Silent invasion: the
hidden use of GM crops in livestock feed’, estimated that around
60% of the maize and 30% of the soya in the feed used by dairy
and pig farmers is GM. Therefore without a policy to the contrary
we would assume there was a high probability that such products
would be derived from animals fed GM feed. (ref: 195)
Boycott Call
Boycott called by Uncaged for animal testing policy (2012)
Colgate-Palmolive appeared on the ‘Companies to boycott’ list
on the Uncaged website www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm,
when it was viewed by Ethical Consumer in February 2012.
Elsewhere on the website, Uncaged were calling for a boycott
of Hills Science Diet, which was owned by Colgate Palmolive,
due to its testing of pet foods on animals. (ref: 31)
Animal testing policy: Worst ECRA rating and boycott call
(January 2010)
Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s website (www.hillspet.com), viewed January
2010 contained a policy statement called ‘Hill’s Commitment
to Animal Welfare’. The statement made a number of positive
provisions, such as, “We only use non-invasive, human research
methods” and “We do not participate in studies that jeopardise the
health of dogs and cats”. The policy also noted that the company
strove to find ways to reduce dependence on animal research
and cited an ‘artificial mouth’ used in experiments. ECRA had
previously discussed the policy with the Uncaged Campaign (www.
uncaged.co.uk), who call for a boycott of Hill’s Pet Foods. The
director of the Uncaged Campaign noted that the statement did
not change its policy regarding Hill’s. He went on to state:
“website policy statements are not reliable...unless there is
transparency and independent
scrutiny of their facilities and experimental protocols.” He went
on to note that the Hill’s statement only mentioned dogs and
cats allowing for potentially a much weaker policy governing
experiments on other species. Hill’s was still on Uncaged’s list of
petfood companies to boycott at the time of writing. (ref: 196)
Anti-Social Finance
Fined for price fixing (March 2012)
An article dated 20th March in the Financial Times, reported that
Colgate-Palmolive and two other pet companies had been fined
a total of Euro35.3 million by the French anti-trust authority for
price fixing.
The French anti-trust authority, the Autorite de la Concurrence,
said the three companies were fined for limiting competition on
the markets for dry food for dogs and cats in specialised retailers
in France between 2004 and 2008. The practise had raised prices
for customers whose tendency to be brand loyal made them
particulary vulnerable.
The report stated that Colgate-Palmolive had been fined Euro
4.7million. (ref: 197)
Excessive Directors’ Remuneration (2011)
The Executive Pay Watch database on www.aflcio.org listed the
Colgate-Palmolive CEO as having received $14,120,838 in 2011.
Ethical Consumer deems any amount over £1 million annually
to be excessive. (ref: 26)
Excessive director pay (2008)
According to the Executive Pay Watch database www.aflicio.org,
in 2011 Colgate-Palmolive CEO Ian Cook earned $14,120,838.00,
which was just over £9 million. Ethical Consumer deemed any
annual amount over £1 million to be excessive. (ref: 26)
PitRok crystal deodorant [A]
Owned by PitRok Ltd
PitRok Ltd, PO Box 1416, London, W6 9WH
PitRok Ltd is owned by Severn Delta Ltd
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Severn Delta did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request
in June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy.
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.
severndelta.co.uk), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in July
2012.
Although it was a small company, it manufactured a range
of products, only some of which had an ecological focus. It
manufactured Wet Wipes and was the leading UK supplier of
tumble drier sheets. As a result, Ethical Consumer would expect
the company to have a policy in place setting out the ways it was
managing its impacts on the environment.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 198)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (June 2012)
Severn Delta did not respond to a written request from Ethical
Consumer for information regarding its palm oil sourcing
policy in June 2012. No related information could be found
on its website, www.severndelta.co.uk. The website for one of
the company’s brands, Sarah Smith, showed a product which it
was stated was orang-utan friendly as it did not contain palm
oil derived ingredients. Other products did not carry this logo.
Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world wide,
the company lost half marks in the categories of climate change,
habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 198)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
Severn Delta did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written
request in June 2012 for the company’s supply chain management
policy.
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.
severndelta.co.uk), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in July
2012.
Despite the fact that it was a small company, it received Ethical
Consumer’s worst rating in this category, since no mention was
made of workers’ rights at all on the company website. (ref:
198)
Product sustainability
Animal Welfare Features
Vegetarian and vegan (2012)
According to the Pitrok website www.pitrok.co.uk, viewed in June
2012, the product was suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It also
stated that it did not use parabens or PEG. (ref: 199)
People
Supply Chain Management
Best ECRA rating for supply chain policy (2012)
The Pure Nuff Stuff website (www.purenuffstuff.co.uk), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012, included the following information
on the company’s supply chain management policy:
“We’ve searched high and low for suppliers that support the
same policies we do in terms of sustainability and fair-trade and
we ensure that our own production is as environmentally sound
as possible.”
“Every single batch of Pure Nuff Stuff is handmade by a person,
right from measuring out the ingredients to bottling and putting
the labels on.”
The company’s workshop was adjacent to its shop in Penzance,
UK.
As a small company demonstrating effective if not explicit
management of its supply chain, the company received Ethical
Consumer’s best rating in this category. (ref: 200)
Politics
Company Ethos
Vegetarian company with leaping bunny logo (July 2012)
In a questionnaire sent to Ethical Consumer in July 2012, the
Pure Nuff Stuff range was said to be suitable for vegetarians. A
small number of products were said to be not suitable for vegans
due to the use of beeswax.
In May 2012 the Pure Nuff Stuff website, www.purenuffstuff.
co.uk, stated that the company’s products were BUAV certified
and that it operated a fixed animal testing cut-off date of 1996.
(ref: 201)
Rimmel make-up
Pure Nuff Stuff baby wash
Owned by Pure Nuff Stuff Ltd
Pure Nuff Stuff Ltd, Director, The Egyptian House, 6 Chapel
Street, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4AJ
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Pure Nuff Stuff website (www.purenuffstuff.co.uk), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012, included the following information
on the company’s environmental policy:
“Our packaging is kept to an absolute minimum. We use glass jars
and HDPE plastic bottles (the most recyclable plastic available)
and we urge all our customers to recycle all their packaging.”
“We absolutely promise (cross our hearts) that we won’t use SLS,
parabens, urea, synthetic fragrance or colour and any other of the
2000 nasty chemicals allowed in everyday cosmetics. They’re
just not necessary.”
“All our ingredients come from natural sources and through their
life cycle do not hurt the environment. The word ‘natural’ is a
slippery one as one person’s understanding of it isn’t the same
as someone else’s – so here’s our definition. By natural sources
we mean everything we use comes from vegetable, mineral or
plant sources and not the petrochemical industry.”
As a small company providing environmentally alternative
products, it received Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this
category. (ref: 200)
Owned by Coty Inc
Coty Inc, 1325 Avenue of the Americas, 34th Floor, New York,
NY 10019, USA
Coty Inc is owned by Joh A Benckiser GmbH
Joh A Benckiser GmbH, Ludwig-Bertram-Strasse 4-22. 67059
Ludwigshafen., Germany
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the Coty Inc website (www.coty.com)
in June 2012 for the company’s environmental policy or report. The
website contained some vague statements about its commitments
to the environment, but these did not include discussion of the
company’s main impacts, identify dated, quantified future targets
for reducing these, or any carbon disclosure. The company received
Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 202)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (June 2012)
Coty Inc did not respond to a written request from Ethical Consumer
for information regarding its palm oil sourcing policy in June
2012. No related information could be found on its website,
www.coty.com. The company operated in a sector in which the
use of palm oil was widespread. Due to the negative effects of
palm oil production world wide, and the absence of a policy
regarding the responsible sourcing of palm oil, the company lost
half marks in the categories of climate change, habitat destruction
and human rights. (ref: 202)
Policy on Palm Oil (2012)
The Reckitt Benckiser website (www.rb.com) was searched by
Ethical Consumer in February 2012 for the company’s policy
on palm oil. A statement on palm oil was found in its latest
Sustainability Report (2010). This stated that RB products use
less than 0.2% of annual global palm oil production. It added
that “Soap noodles – which contain a large amount of palm
oil – are used in the production of bar soaps in our Developing
Markets area.”
The company stated that it was a member of the Roundtable on
Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and fully supported a moratorium
on any further deforestation associated with the cultivation of
palm oil. It added that it was working with its suppliers and
others in the industry to seek the world’s major palm oil supplies
being drawn from certified, sustainable sources by 2015 and was
working with its suppliers to ensure that the RSPO’s principles
and criteria were implemented within its supply
chain.
However, due to the massive environmental and social impacts
of palm oil production, companies which used palm oil and had
an insufficient policy on sourcing this responsibly (currently
and not just a future target) received negative marks under the
Climate Change, Habitats & Resources and Human Rights
categories. (ref: 203)
Pollution & Toxics
Use of nanotechnology (May 2011)
According to an article posted on the NaturalNano website, www.
naturalnano.com, in May 2011, the company had supplied more
than a ton of treated Halloysite Nanotubes (“HNT”) to Fiabila
S.A., which was said to use them in the manufacture of Sally
Hansen nail varnish for Coty.
The website nanogloss.com also stated that Coty was investing
heavily in nanotechnological research,’therefore further
nanotechnological leaps in the way perfumes and related products
are produced and applied can be expected in the very near future’.
(ref: 204)
Banned ingredient found in medicine (January 2007)
According to the January/March 2007 issue of the Food Magazine
(issue 76), a survey of 41 children’s medicines found that SSL
International’s (a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser Group) Meltus
Dry Coughs Syrup 2yrs+, included chloroform on its list of
ingredients. It was mentioned that the ‘Chloroform in Food
Regulations of 1980 [made] it an offence to sell or import food
containing added chloroform, but here it [was] in a child’s cough
medicine’. Although the Food Magazine explained that chloroform
was noted as an ‘inactive’ rather than ‘active’ ingredient in this
product, it questioned the meaning of this. (ref: 121)
Use of Triclosan antibacterial (March 2012)
According to the GoodGuide website viewed in March 2012,
the following Reckitt Benckiser product was listed as containing
Triclosan: Lysol I.C. Antimicrobial Soap.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent is suspected of causing skin or
sense organ toxicity, immunotoxicity and is linked to antibiotic
resistance. (ref: 143)
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (February
2012)
The Reckitt Benckiser website, (www.reckittbenckiser.com),
viewed by ECRA in February 2012, was found to contain a copy
of the company’s Global Policy Statement on Animal Testing,
which the company’s website stated was dated October 2009,
although the document itself bore the date June 2001. This stated
that the company would use animal tests where required by law,
but also actively supported research into developing new methods
for testing without the use of animals. It also said it would conduct
animal testing for new products where no safety information was
available. (ref: 205)
Animal testing not required by law (July 2011)
A pdf called ‘Companies that test on animals’ produced by People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was downloaded
from the organisation’s website (www.peta.com) in February
2012. The document had last been updated on 15 February 2012.
Reckitt Benckiser was listed. The company was on the list because
it manufactured cosmetic and household products that were tested
on animals even though it was not required by law.
Reckitt Benckiser brands in the UK as of 11th July 2011 were:
Air Wick, Bonjela, Brasso, Codis, Clearasil, Cillit Bang, Calgon,
Dettol, Disprin, Durex, E45, Finish, Fybogel, Gaviscon, Harpic,
Karvol, Lemsip, Mr Sheen, Nurofen, Optrex, Strepsil, Scholl,
Senokot, Steradent, Sweetex. (ref: 206)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
(See also ‘Policy on Palm Oil’ in Climate Change above.)
Operations in five Oppressive Regimes (2012)
According to the Reckitt Beckinser fact sheet on www.hoovers.
com, viewed in January 2012, the company had operations in the
following countries, all of which were on Ethical Consumer’s list
of oppressive regimes at the time of writing: Colombia, India,
Nigeria, Pakistan and Thailand. (ref: 77)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management policy
(2012)
The Coty website (www.coty.com), viewed by Ethical Consumer
in June 2012, included the following information on the company’s
supply chain management policy:
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (rudimentary)
The company’s ‘Principles for Business Partners’ document, which
was undated, stated that the company would not use forced labour,
would not discriminate, would allow access to trade unions and
would not employ children under 15, even if allowed by local law.
Its clauses on number of hours in a working week, and wages,
however were considered insufficient.
Habitats & Resources
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (poor)
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
(See also ‘Policy on Palm Oil’ in Climate Change above.)
No mention found.
Animals
AUDITNG AND REPORTING (poor)
Animal Testing
No mention found.
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the Coty Inc website (www.coty.
com) in June 2012 for the company’s animal testing policy.
No such document, nor any mention of animal testing, could
be found. As it operated in a sector where animal testing was
common, it received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating in this
category. (ref: 202)
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No mention found.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 202)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call (2012)
The Uncaged website (www.uncaged.co.uk) was viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012. Coty was listed as a company to boycott
due to its poor animal testing policy. (ref: 118)
Boycott call from Uncaged over animal testing (2012)
Reckitt Benckiser was listed under a list of ‘Companies to Boycott’
on the Uncaged website, www.uncaged.co.uk, when viewed by
Ethical Consumer in February 2012. This was because “The
companies either openly used animal-tested chemicals, or failed
to demonstrate that the finished product and the ingredients they
use have not been tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date.”
(ref: 31)
Anti-Social Finance
Operations in 2 tax havens (2012)
According to the Coty company factsheet on the Hoovers website
(www.hoovers.com), which was viewed by Ethical Consumer in
July 2012, Coty had subsidiaries in three territories regarded by
Ethical Consumer at the time of writing to be tax havens; Hong
Kong, Ireland and Singapore. (ref: 77)
Subsidiaries in two tax havens (2012)
According to the Reckitt Beckinser fact sheet on www.hoovers.
com, viewed in January 2012, the company had subsidiaries in
the British Virgin Islands and Luxembourg. Both were on Ethical
Consumer’s list of tax havens at the time of writing. (ref: 77)
Criticised by ActionAid for having subsidiaries in tax
havens (October 2011)
ActionAid published a FTSE 100 Tax Haven Tracker in October
2011 which tracked how many of the subsidiaries of the FTSE
100 companies were in tax havens. It uncovered that Reckitt
Benckiser had 211 subsidiaries, 25% of which were in developing
countries and 29% of which were in tax havens.
According to ActionAid corporate tax avoidance, one of the main
reasons companies use tax havens, was having a massive impact
on rich and poor countries alike. Developing countries it, said
currently lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in
aid each year. Chris Jordan, ActionAid’s tax justice expert said:
“ActionAid’s research showing the use of tax havens by Britain’s
biggest companies raises serious questions they need to answer.
Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the
stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the
ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would
lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid.”
The use of tax havens facilitates tax avoidance and evasion,
which undermines the revenue bases of both developing and
developed countries. Additional revenues are urgently needed
both to invest in the fight against poverty and to tackle the deficits
incurred during the financial crisis in rich countries. Chris Jordan
continued: “When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying
their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries
are left to pick up the bill. Spending on doctors, nurses and other
essential services gets cut for those who need it most. Tax havens
might provide the lure of financial secrecy and low tax rates for
big companies, but at a time when all countries are desperate for
revenues, the UK government can’t afford to turn a blind eye.”
ActionAid was calling on the government to urgently rethink its
current proposals to relax UK anti tax haven rules. The Treasury
itself estimated these changes would result in an £840 million
tax break for multinational companies that use tax havens. With
both developing and developed countries bearing the brunt of
debilitating losses, ActionAid said the UK must ensure the G20
takes the decisive action it promised on tax havens at the London
summit in 2009. (ref: 105)
Salt of the Earth crystal deodorant
[S,A]
Owned by Crystal Spring
Crystal Spring, Crystal Spring Consumer Division Limited, Firtree
Farmhouse, Firtree Lane, Horton Heath, Eastleigh, Hants
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Crystal Spring website (www.crystalspring.co.uk), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in June 2012, did not include any information
on the company’s environmental policy or report.
The company’s website stated “We’re completely free from:
Aluminium Cholorohydrate, Parabens, Alcohol, Perfumes, CFC’s,
Triclosan, Mineral Oils, and Propellants.”
Since it was an SME providing environmental alternative’s,
the company received Ethical Consumer’s best rating in this
category. (ref: 207)
Animals
Animal Testing
Middle ECRA rating for animal testing policy (2012)
The Crystal Spring website stated that its full range of natural
deodorants were safe for use by Vegetarians and Vegans.
It added “We operate a strict no animal testing policy. We have
never tested on animals, nor do we source ingredients that have
been tested on animals. Our Salt of the Earth deodorant range
contains no animal ingredients or ingredients made from animal
by-products.”
Because there was no fixed cut off date, the company receives
our middle rating. (ref: 207)
People
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management policy
(2012)
The Crystal Spring website (www.crystalspring.co.uk), viewed by
Ethical Consumer in June 2012, did not include any information
on the company’s supply chain management policy.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 207)
Politics
Company Ethos
(See also ‘Middle ECRA rating for animal testing policy’ in
Animal Testing above.)
Product sustainability
Other Sustainability Features
Vegan and sustainable (July 2012)
According to the Crystal Spring website (www.crystalspring.
co.uk), viewed by Ethical Consumer in June 2012, the company’s
shampoo was free from the following:
# Alcohol
# Parabens
# Synthetic Fragrances
# Mineral Oils
# Animal Derived Ingredients
It was sold as suitable for vegetarians and vegans, therefore the
company received a product sustainability mark. (ref: 207)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Vegan and sustainable’ in Other Sustainability
Features above.)
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 210)
Product sustainability
Sante make-up
Owned by Sante Naturkosmetik GmbH
Sante Naturkosmetik GmbH is owned by Logocos Naturkosmetik
AG
Logocos Naturkosmetik AG, Zur Krouterwiese, Salzhemmendorf,
Niedersachsen, 31020, Germany
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
The Sante website (www.sante.de), viewed by Ethical Consumer
in July 2012, included the following information on the company’s
environmental policy:
“# We are working continuously on optimizing our environmental
aspects in the areas of: energy, waste, water and CO2
emissions.
# Our company was awarded ISO 140001 for eco-management and
the EMAS certificate (Eco-management and Audit Scheme).
# 99 % of our total consumption of electricity comes from
regenerative energy sources.
# The basic warmth to keep our premises heated is produced at
the nearby bio-gas plant.
# In the winter, the production rooms are heated by re-circulating
water from the cooling system”
There was no mention of chemicals and their impact on the
environment. Although the company’s website stated that almost
all of its products fulfilled the strict criteria of BDIH for certified
natural cosmetics and also for the NaTrue natural cosmetics
label. However, as a larger company, Ethical Consumer expected
it to have an environmental policy in place which identified
the company’s main environmental impacts and had set dated,
quantified targets for reducing them over time. In the absence of
such a policy, Sante Naturkosmetik received Ethical Consumer’s
worst rating in this category. (ref: 208)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (July 2012)
Logocos Naturkosmetik AG did not respond to a written request
from Ethical Consumer for information regarding its palm oil
sourcing policy in June 2012. No related information could be
found on its website, www.logona.com, although palm oil and
derivatives were listed on a page entitled ‘Lexicon’. Due to the
negative effects of palm oil production world wide, the company
lost half marks in the categories of climate change, habitat
destruction and human rights. (ref: 209)
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
People
Human Rights
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
The Sante Naturkosmetik website (www.sante.de), was searched
by Ethical Consumer in July 2012 for information on the company’s
supply chain management policy. No such information could
be found.
Sante had also failed to respond to Ethical Consumer’s written
request in July 2012 for this information.
Other Sustainability Features
Sustainability feature (2012)
According to the Sante website www.sante.de, viewed in July
2012, the company did not use the following chemicals in most
of its make-up (marked with the BDIH symbol), which potentially
pose a risk to the environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben” - Hormone effects
* “PEG” and “-eth” - Toxic contaminants
* Petrochemicals
This product therefore received a positive mark under Ethical
Consumer’s product sustainability category. (ref: 210)
Steradent denture cream
Owned by Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, Environment & Occupational HS
Director, 103-105 Bath Road, Slough, Berks, SL1 3UH, UK
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC is owned by Joh A Benckiser
GmbH (16%)
Joh A Benckiser GmbH, Ludwig-Bertram-Strasse 4-22. 67059
Ludwigshafen., Germany
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for Environment Report (2012)
The latest Reckitt Benckiser Sustainability Report (dated 2010)
was viewed by ECRA in February 2012. The report contained
information on the company’s approach to managing its
environmental impacts. The report demonstrated a reasonable
understanding of the company’s main impacts, discussing those
arising from raw and packaging materials, product manufacturing,
product distribution, retailers’ operations, consumer use and
product and packaging disposal and recycling.
Only one dated, quantified target for reducing these impacts
could be found however; “a 20% reduction per Dose* in our
global products’ Total Carbon Footprint by 2020, against a 2007
baseline.” No evidence could be found that the environmental data
in the report had been independently verified. (ref: 203)
Climate Change
Policy on Palm Oil (2012)
The Reckitt Benckiser website (www.rb.com) was searched by
Ethical Consumer in February 2012 for the company’s policy
on palm oil. A statement on palm oil was found in its latest
Sustainability Report (2010). This stated that RB products use
less than 0.2% of annual global palm oil production. It added
that “Soap noodles – which contain a large amount of palm
oil – are used in the production of bar soaps in our Developing
Markets area.”
The company stated that it was a member of the Roundtable on
Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and fully supported a moratorium
on any further deforestation associated with the cultivation of
palm oil. It added that it was working with its suppliers and
others in the industry to seek the world’s major palm oil supplies
being drawn from certified, sustainable sources by 2015 and was
working with its suppliers to ensure that the RSPO’s principles
and criteria were implemented within its supply
chain.
However, due to the massive environmental and social impacts
of palm oil production, companies which used palm oil and had
an insufficient policy on sourcing this responsibly (currently
and not just a future target) received negative marks under the
Climate Change, Habitats & Resources and Human Rights
categories. (ref: 203)
No palm oil policy (June 2012)
Coty Inc did not respond to a written request from Ethical Consumer
for information regarding its palm oil sourcing policy in June
2012. No related information could be found on its website,
www.coty.com. The company operated in a sector in which the
use of palm oil was widespread. Due to the negative effects of
palm oil production world wide, and the absence of a policy
regarding the responsible sourcing of palm oil, the company lost
half marks in the categories of climate change, habitat destruction
and human rights. (ref: 202)
Pollution & Toxics
viewed by ECRA in February 2012, was found to contain a copy
of the company’s Global Policy Statement on Animal Testing,
which the company’s website stated was dated October 2009,
although the document itself bore the date June 2001. This stated
that the company would use animal tests where required by law,
but also actively supported research into developing new methods
for testing without the use of animals. It also said it would conduct
animal testing for new products where no safety information was
available. (ref: 205)
Animal testing not required by law (July 2011)
A pdf called ‘Companies that test on animals’ produced by People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was downloaded
from the organisation’s website (www.peta.com) in February
2012. The document had last been updated on 15 February 2012.
Reckitt Benckiser was listed. The company was on the list because
it manufactured cosmetic and household products that were tested
on animals even though it was not required by law.
Banned ingredient found in medicine (January 2007)
According to the January/March 2007 issue of the Food Magazine
(issue 76), a survey of 41 children’s medicines found that SSL
International’s (a subsidiary of Reckitt Benckiser Group) Meltus
Dry Coughs Syrup 2yrs+, included chloroform on its list of
ingredients. It was mentioned that the ‘Chloroform in Food
Regulations of 1980 [made] it an offence to sell or import food
containing added chloroform, but here it [was] in a child’s cough
medicine’. Although the Food Magazine explained that chloroform
was noted as an ‘inactive’ rather than ‘active’ ingredient in this
product, it questioned the meaning of this. (ref: 121)
Reckitt Benckiser brands in the UK as of 11th July 2011 were:
Air Wick, Bonjela, Brasso, Codis, Clearasil, Cillit Bang, Calgon,
Dettol, Disprin, Durex, E45, Finish, Fybogel, Gaviscon, Harpic,
Karvol, Lemsip, Mr Sheen, Nurofen, Optrex, Strepsil, Scholl,
Senokot, Steradent, Sweetex. (ref: 206)
Use of Triclosan antibacterial (March 2012)
According to the GoodGuide website viewed in March 2012,
the following Reckitt Benckiser product was listed as containing
Triclosan: Lysol I.C. Antimicrobial Soap.
People
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent is suspected of causing skin or
sense organ toxicity, immunotoxicity and is linked to antibiotic
resistance. (ref: 143)
Hidden toxic chemicals found in cleaning products
(November 2011)
A study by Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) released in
November 2011 found that several popular cleaning products
contained hidden toxic chemicals that were not disclosed on the
packaging.
The WVE commissioned an independent laboratory to test 20
popular cleaning products by five large cleaning companies. The
products tested included all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent,
dryer sheets, air fresheners, disinfectant sprays and furniture
polish. According to the report the tests found that some products
contained reproductive toxins such as toluene and phthalates,
carcinogens such as 1,4-dioxane and chloroform, and a hormone
disrupting synthetic musk. In particular fragrant and non-fragrant
air freshers contained allergens. The WVE were calling for
American Congress to pass legislation that required cleaning
product manufacturers to disclose all the ingredients they use in
their products directly on the product label.
Several Reckitt Benckiser Plc brands were tested by the WVE.
The products were found to contain chemicals which were known
allergens. (ref: 211)
Criticism from Naturewatch (September 2009)
Naturewatch’s ‘Compassionate Shopping Guide’ 11th edition,
received September 2009, confirmed that the group was still not
advocating Reckitt Benckiser at that time on the grounds that it
continued to use animals for testing its products. (ref: 66)
Human Rights
(See also ‘Policy on Palm Oil’ in Climate Change above.)
Operations in five Oppressive Regimes (2012)
According to the Reckitt Beckinser fact sheet on www.hoovers.
com, viewed in January 2012, the company had operations in the
following countries, all of which were on Ethical Consumer’s list
of oppressive regimes at the time of writing: Colombia, India,
Nigeria, Pakistan and Thailand. (ref: 77)
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst rating for supply chain management (2012)
The latest Reckitt Benckiser Sustainability Report (dated 2010)
was viewed by ECRA in February 2012. The report contained
information on the company’s approach to supply chain
management.
SUPPLY CHAIN POLICY (rudimentary)
The report stated that the company assessed suppliers against its
Global Manufacturing Standards (GMS). These were outlined
in a document downloadable from the company’s website dated
September 2008. It included clauses on discrimination, forced
labour and freedom of association, making alowances for parallel
means if this was not provided for under local law. However,
although there was a clause on child labour, the age of a child
was not defined. There was no mention of the payment of a
living wage or of limiting the working week to 48 hours plus
12 hours overtime.
Habitats & Resources
(See also ‘Policy on Palm Oil’ in Climate Change above.)
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst ECRA rating for animal testing policy (February
2012)
The Reckitt Benckiser website, (www.reckittbenckiser.com),
STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT (rudimentary)
The Sustainability Report stated that the company talked to
stakeholders in the develpment of its sustainability reporting.
It also stated that these stakeholders included NGOs. However,
neither specific cases, nor NGOs working with workers’ rights
and supply chains were named specifically. There was no
mention of involvement of multi-stakeholder initiatives on
labour standards.
Consumer’s list of tax havens at the time of writing. (ref: 77)
While a whistleblower mechanism was detailed for employees of
the company, no such mechanism was discussed in the Sustinability
Report in relation to the employees of suppliers.
Criticised by ActionAid for having subsidiaries in tax
havens (October 2011)
ActionAid published a FTSE 100 Tax Haven Tracker in October
2011 which tracked how many of the subsidiaries of the FTSE
100 companies were in tax havens. It uncovered that Reckitt
Benckiser had 211 subsidiaries, 25% of which were in developing
countries and 29% of which were in tax havens.
AUDITING AND REPORTING (poor)
Under the title ‘Progress so far’, the Sustainability report contained
the following information on its auditing procedures:
“To date we have not identified any critical non-compliance issues
such as under-age working. We have identified non-compliance
related to health and safety standards and have taken action to
address the issues we found. We are working with these suppliers
to continually monitor the situation at those sites.
We ensure that suppliers:
• are frequently visited by senior and middle managers in our
R&D and Supply functions. They provide additional ‘eyes and
ears’ and report potential issues they come across.
• are required to comply with our GMS through the terms of
our contract.
• may be subject to separate environmental and health and
safety (EHS) inspections and audits where we believe these
are necessary.”
No audit schedule was found, nor a rememdiation strategy in cases
of non-compliance, nor any clear statement which committed to
auditing the whole of the supply chain.
DIFFICULT ISSUES (poor)
No evidence found. (ref: 203)
Irresponsible Marketing
(See also ‘Banned ingredient found in medicine’ in
Pollution & Toxics above.)
Politics
Genetic Engineering
No GM policy (2012)
Reckitt Benckiser returned an Ethical Consumer company
questionnaire in March 2012, which asked, among other things,
for the company’s GMO policy.
The company responded that it did not have such a policy. As
well as manufacturing a range of personal care and cleaning
products, RB produced French’s Mustard, which was not labelled
as organic. It was considered likely that in the absence of a policy
sttaing otherwise, the company used some GM ingredients in its
products. (ref: 212)
Boycott Call
Boycott call from Uncaged over animal testing (2012)
Reckitt Benckiser was listed under a list of ‘Companies to Boycott’
on the Uncaged website, www.uncaged.co.uk, when viewed by
Ethical Consumer in February 2012. This was because “The
companies either openly used animal-tested chemicals, or failed
to demonstrate that the finished product and the ingredients they
use have not been tested on animals since a fixed cut-off date.”
(ref: 31)
Boycott call (2012)
The Uncaged website (www.uncaged.co.uk) was viewed by Ethical
Consumer in July 2012. Coty was listed as a company to boycott
due to its poor animal testing policy. (ref: 118)
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidiaries in two tax havens (2012)
According to the Reckitt Beckinser fact sheet on www.hoovers.
com, viewed in January 2012, the company had subsidiaries in
the British Virgin Islands and Luxembourg. Both were on Ethical
According to ActionAid corporate tax avoidance, one of the main
reasons companies use tax havens, was having a massive impact
on rich and poor countries alike. Developing countries it, said
currently lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in
aid each year. Chris Jordan, ActionAid’s tax justice expert said:
“ActionAid’s research showing the use of tax havens by Britain’s
biggest companies raises serious questions they need to answer.
Tax havens have a damaging impact on the UK exchequer, the
stability of the international financial system, and vitally on the
ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues which would
lift them out of poverty and make them less dependent on aid.”
The use of tax havens facilitates tax avoidance and evasion,
which undermines the revenue bases of both developing and
developed countries. Additional revenues are urgently needed
both to invest in the fight against poverty and to tackle the deficits
incurred during the financial crisis in rich countries. Chris Jordan
continued: “When multinationals use tax havens to avoid paying
their fair share, ordinary people in both poor and rich countries
are left to pick up the bill. Spending on doctors, nurses and other
essential services gets cut for those who need it most. Tax havens
might provide the lure of financial secrecy and low tax rates for
big companies, but at a time when all countries are desperate for
revenues, the UK government can’t afford to turn a blind eye.”
ActionAid was calling on the government to urgently rethink its
current proposals to relax UK anti tax haven rules. The Treasury
itself estimated these changes would result in an £840 million
tax break for multinational companies that use tax havens. With
both developing and developed countries bearing the brunt of
debilitating losses, ActionAid said the UK must ensure the G20
takes the decisive action it promised on tax havens at the London
summit in 2009. (ref: 105)
One of highest levels of director remuneration in UK
(October 2011)
According to an article published on the BBC News website, www.
bbc.co.uk, ‘Directors’ pay rose 50% in past year, says IDS report’,
dated October 28th 2011, pay for the directors of the UK’s top
businesses rose 50% over the past year. The rise, covering salary,
benefits and bonuses, was higher than that recorded for the main
person running the company, the chief executive, it said. Their
pay rose by 43% over the year, according to the study conducted
by Incomes Data Services (IDS), which said this took the average
pay for a director of a FTSE 100 company to just short of £2.7m.
A statement from IDS said that figure suggested that “executive
largesse is evenly spread across the board”. Base salaries rose by
just 3.2%, although that was above the median rise recorded by
IDS that week for average pay settlements of 2.6% for private
sector workers. The latest consumer price inflation figures showed
inflation at 5.2%. Directors’ bonus payments, on average, rose by
23% from £737,000 in 2010 to £906,000 that year.
Bart Becht chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser was named in the
report as receiving £17,879,000 total earnings in 2010/11.
The Unite union has called executive pay “obscene” and has
called for shareholders to be given more power to hold directors
accountable. The union’s general secretary, Len McCluskey said:
“The Government should strongly consider giving shareholders
greater legal powers to question and curb these excessive
remuneration packages. “Institutional shareholders need to
exercise much greater scrutiny and control of directors’ pay
and bonuses. “It’s obscene and it shows that the City has learnt
nothing during the financial troubles of the last four years.”
Brendan Barber, the TUC’s general secretary, said: “Top directors
have used tough business conditions to impose real wage cuts,
which have hit people’s living standards and the wider economy,
but have shown no such restraint with their own pay. “Reform
should start with employee representation on remuneration
committees, which would give directors a much-needed sense
of reality.” (ref: 213)
Suma shampoos [S,A]
Owned by Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd
Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd, Lacey Way, Lowfields
Industrial Park, Elland, West Yorks, HX5 9DB, UK
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Middle ECRA rating for environmental reporting (March
2012)
In response to a written request from Ethical Consumer in February
2012 for the company’s environmental policy or report, Triangle
Wholefoods stated that the information required hadn’t changed
since last time it was requested by Ethical Consumer. The company
was therefore rated according to the latest Corporate Responsibility
and the Environment 2011 report which it had emailed to Ethical
Consumer in September 2011. This provided examples of how
the company sought to reduce its environmental impacts, such as
only using renewable energy sources, using recycled stationary,
accepting packaging back from its customers for re-use and
recycling. The company was said to work with a local organisation,
Treesponsibility, in planting 5 hectares of nascent woodland every
year since 2000. Meaningful carbon disclosure was provided.
Two dated, future targets to reduce its environmental impact
were provided: improving its energy efficiency by an aggregate
20% by 2012 against its baseline of 2004-05 and reducing the
CO2 intensity of its operations a further 6% in the following year
(2012) with additional incremental savings thereafter. Whilst
the company was considered to have demonstrated a reasonable
understanding of its direct environmental impacts, the document
lacked any detail regarding assessing the impacts of its supply
chain. No mention was made of agricultural production, although
the company was largely a wholefood distributor. Furthermore, no
mention was made of independent verification of environmental
data. Triangle Wholefoods received Ethical Consumer’s middle
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 214)
People
Human Rights
Policy on palm oil (February 2012)
In response to a written request from Ethical Consumer in February
2012 for the company’s policy on palm oil sourcing, Triangle
Wholefoods stated that the information required hadn’t changed
since last time it was requested by Ethical Consumer. The company
was therefore rated according to the palm oil sourcing criteria which
it had emailed to Ethical Consumer in August 2011. In response,
the company stated: “Where Suma products contain palm oil we
insist that our suppliers are members of RSPO (Round Table of
Sustainable Palm Oil) or Greenpalm (a recognised certificate
trading programme designed to tackle the economic and social
problems associated with the production of palm oil).” Previous
communication with the company had indicated that it avoided
the ingredient where possible. Whilst Ethical Consumer would not
usually accept RSPO certification to be adequate to mitigate the
human rights and environmental impacts of palm oil production,
due to the fact that the company was progressive and taking steps
to avoid the negative consequences of palm oil production it was
not marked down for sourcing palm oil. (ref: 215)
Positive sourcing policy on human rights (January 2010)
Suma’s Ethical Policy was found on the company website, www.
suma.coop, when searched by Ethical Consumer on 7th January
2010. It stated that the company aimed to avoid buying from
countries or companies with proven poor human rights records.
(ref: 216)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (March
2012)
In response to a written request from Ethical Consumer in February
2012 for the company’s supply chain management information,
Triangle Wholefoods stated that the information required hadn’t
changed since last time it was requested by Ethical Consumer. The
company was therefore rated according to the sourcing criteria
which it had emailed to Ethical Consumer in August 2011. This
information included policies such as that it avoided buying
from countries or companies with proven poor human rights
records and that preferences were given to organic, fair trade and
cooperative production. However, the company did not appear
to have a management system in place to protect workers’ rights
at supplier companies, therefore it received Ethical Consumer’s
worst rating in this category. (ref: 214)
Politics
Company Ethos
Best ECRA rating for animal testing policy (March 2012)
In response to a written request from Ethical Consumer in
February 2012 for the company’s animal testing policy, Triangle
Wholefoods stated that the information required hadn’t changed
since last time it was requested by Ethical Consumer.
According to a questionnaire filled in by Suma for Ethical
Consumer in October 2009, Suma, as a Brand, carried the Humane
Cosmetics Standard and its ecoleaf Branded cleaning range carried
the Household Product standard. It also stated that as a wholesaler
Suma did not stock any products which were animal tested.
During a telephone call with Ethical Consumer on 17th March
2010, a representative of Triangle Wholefoods stated that the
company had a fixed cut off date of 1985. (ref: 215)
Vegetarian company (2012)
When viewed by Ethical Consumer in March 2012, the Triangle
Whoefoods website (www.suma.coop) stated that “Since Suma
was established in 1977 we have only stocked vegetarian food
with a zero tolerance policy to any goods containing animal
products or derivatives.” The wesite added that “Where eggs are
an ingredient they are free-range.” (ref: 214)
Workers’ Co-operative (February 2012)
According to the Triangle Wholefoods website (www.suma.coop),
viewed by Ethical Consumer in February 2012, the company was
a workers’ co-operative, and operated a truly democratic system
of management. “While we do use an elected Management
Committee to implement decisions and business plans, the
decisions themselves are made at regular General Meetings
with the consent of every cooperative member – there’s no chief
executive, no managing director and no company chairman. In
practice, this means that our day-to-day work is carried out by
self-managing teams of employees who are all paid the same
wage, and who all enjoy an equal voice and an equal stake in the
success of the business.” (ref: 214)
Product sustainability
regulations and meeting our obligations contained therein
Other Sustainability Features
* Working with suppliers of own brand pulp derived products
and wood products to use material from well managed forests
Sustainability features (2012)
According to the Suma website in July 2012, the
“The Suma Shampoo and Soap range are all made in the UK, are
vegan and are completely free of artificial preservatives, colours
and fragrances (we use essential oils to scent our products) and
we guarantee they have not been the subject of animal testing by
Suma or our suppliers.”
The company’s shampoos were all also said to be free from:
* Bringing to an end all testing on animals of cosmetic and
toiletries products, and their ingredients
* Being aware of the environmental issues surrounding the use
of our own brand products and to taking appropriate action
* Ensuring acceptable environmental, health & safety, and
employment conditions in own brand product suppliers in
developing nations”
* Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
* Phosphates
* E.D.T.A. (Ethylene-Diamine-Tetra-acetic Acid): (This
is sometimes used as a substitute for but also in addition to
phosphates).
* Enzymes
* Petroleum-derived Additives: (commonly known as parabens)
(ref: 217)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Sustainability features’ in Other Sustainability
Features above.)
Superdrug liquid soap
Owned by Superdrug Stores Plc
Superdrug Stores Plc, 118 BEDDINGTON LANE,, CROYDON,
SURREY, CR0 4TB
Superdrug Stores Plc is owned by A.S. Watson & Company
Limited
owned by Hutchison Whampoa Ltd
Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, Hutchison House, 22nd Fl., 10 Harcourt
Rd., Hong Kong
Superdrug Stores Plc is also owned by Cheung Kong (Holdings)
Ltd (50%)
Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd, 7th Fl., Cheung Kong Center, , 2
Queen’s Rd. Central, Hong Kong, China
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (July
2012)
Superdrug Stores Plc did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written
request in July 2012 for the company’s environmental policy.
Some information was found on its website (www.superdrug.
com), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in July 2012.
“We are committed to:
* Responsible energy management and to cost effective
energy efficiency throughout all stores and Regional Distribution
Centres
* Reducing the amount of fuel used by our HGV fleet
* Minimising the environmental impact arising from the use of
materials and services provided in building, shopfitting, repairing
and maintaining premises
* Minimising the production of waste, ensuring its safe disposal
and maximising recycling wherever practicable
* Ensuring good environmental practices amongst our ownbrand suppliers and including environmental issues in buying
decisions
* Minimising the use of unnecessary packaging; maximising
recovery and recycling, with total commitment to packaging waste
There was no mention of the sourcing of raw materials or of
chemicals and their impact on the environment and as a result,
the information was not considered to demonstrate a reasonable
understanding of the company’s main impacts.
Additionally, there were no dated, quantified targets for reducing
these impacts over time.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 218)
Climate Change
High Climate Impact Sector - heavy oil refineries
(November 2007)
According to the Hutchinson Whampoa website (www.hutchinsonwhampoa.com) viewed on 12th November 2007, Husky Energy
was involved in heavy oil refining. Husky Energy’s assets were
said to include: “the Lloydminster heavy oil upgrader with a
processing capacity of 77,000 barrels of oil per day, to be increased
to 82,000 barrels per day in 2007, a 2,050-kilometre pipeline
system, a 50 per cent interest in a 215-megawatt cogeneration
facility at Lloydminster and a 90-megawatt power generation
facility at Rainbow Lake, Alberta, 33 billion cubic feet of gas
storage capacity, treating and gathering systems, and commodity
marketing.” (ref: 219)
Oil and gas operations (November 2007)
According to the website www.hutchison-whampoa.com viewed in
November 2007, Husky Energy had a range of fossil fuel operations
around the world, including light and heavy oil processing units in
Canada and oil and gas drilling interests in China and Indonesia.
The company was also said to run several oil pipelines in North
America and to market its fossil fuel products to a range of end
users, mainly in the Americas. (ref: 219)
High Climate Impact Sector - oil pipelines and energy
generation (November 2007)
According to Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd’s website, accessed
on 12th November 2007, Husky Energy conducted natural gas
exploration in Western Canada and owned and operated pipeline
systems and a heavy oil upgrading facility at Lloydminster,
Saskatchewan. According to the website, Husky Energy held a
majority stake in the ownership and operating of a 1,900 kilometre
heavy oil pipeline system in Lloydminster. The website also stated
that Husky Energy, with a 50% joint venture partner, operated
a 215-megawatt natural-gas-fired cogeneration factility on the
Lloydminster upgrader site. (ref: 219)
Pollution & Toxics
No policy on toxics (January 2010)
In January 2010 ECRA searched the Hutchison company website
but could find no evidence of a policy on toxic chemicals and no
reply was received after requesting the information via email. As
a producer of mobile phones ECRA believed this policy was a
necessary part of their CSR reporting. (ref: 220)
Banned ingredient found in medicine (January 2007)
According to the January/March issue of the Food Magazine (issue
76), a survey of 41 children’s medicines found that Superdrug’s
Chesty Cough Syrup contained azo dyes. The magazine stated that
these dyes were ‘banned from food and drink specifically designed
for consumption by children under three years old [as they] may
cause allergic reactions, including asthma’. (ref: 121)
Operations in Canadian tar sands (2007)
According to the Husky Energy website, www.huskyenergy.com,
viewed by Ethical Consumer in May 2009, in 2007 the company
completed preliminary site work for the Sunrise Oil Sands Project
in Alberta, Canada. According to a report by the World Wildlife
Fund and the Co-operative Group “Unconventional Oil: scraping
the bottom of the barrel?” published in May 2008, the Canadian oil
sands developments were extremely carbon intensive and thereby
a major contributor to climate change; resulted in the deforestation
of large areas of boreal forest and the usage of massive amounts
of water; resulted in the creation of tailing ponds which were
highly toxic, and raised concerns over the health impacts on the
First Nations communities that lived downstream from the oil
sands. This threatened the viability of their continued presence
on their traditional homelands. (ref: 221)
Whampoa Ltd) website (www1.parknshop.com/WebShop/
CompanyOverview.do) viewed January 2010 the company was a
leading supermarket chain in Hong Kong and Macau and imported
cosmetics and general household merchandise. The company did
not have an animal testing policy and was therefore assumed to
retail animal tested products. (ref: 223)
Factory farming
Company sells factory farmed meat, poultry and live fish.
(20 January 2010)
According to ParkNShop’s website (www1.parknshop.com/
WebShop/CompanyOverview.do) viewed January 2010 the
company was a leading supermarket chain in Hong Kong and
Macau and was therefore assumed to sell factory farmed meat
and poultry. In addition the website stated that the supermarket
sold live fish. (ref: 223)
Animal Rights
(See also ‘Company sells factory farmed meat, poultry and
live fish.’ in Factory farming above.)
Habitats & Resources
People
(See also ‘Operations in Canadian tar sands’ in Pollution &
Toxics above.)
No policy on palm oil sourcing (July 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer emailed Superdrug Stores plc and
attached a questionnaire that included a request for the company’s
policy in relation to palm oil sourcing. The company did not
respond, no related information could be found on its website,
www.superdrug.com, and it was not listed as a member of the
Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil on that organisations’s
website. Superdrug was a major retailer of products containing
palm oil. Due to the negative effects of palm oil production world
wide, the company lost half marks in the categories of climate
change, habitat destruction and human rights. (ref: 218)
Human Rights
No policy on sourcing from the DRC (2009)
In December 2009 ECRA searched the Hutchison company
website for a policy on sourcing minerals used in mobile phone
production from the DRC, a country renowned for human rights
abuses in the extractive industries with profits from them being
used to fund armed groups. This trade also has dire environmental
consequenses generating a massive amount of waste which
contains toxic and even radioactive substances which pollute the
environment and water supplies and affect local communities.
ECRA could find no such policy, and therefore it was assumed
that the company was taking no precautions to avoid this trade.
An email was sent to the company requesting information on the
subject but no reply was received. (ref: 222)
Workers’ Rights
Animals
Animal Testing
Worst rating for animal testing policy (2012)
In July 2012 Ethical Consumer viewed the Superdrug Stores Plc
company website, www.superdrug.com, to obtain information on
the company’s animal testing policy.
‘Superdrug’s Charter Against Animal Testing’ stated:
“We and our own brand manufacturers do not commission animal
testing on any Superdrug own brand products or ingredients. Our
own brand cosmetics, toiletry and household ranges have not been
tested on animals by us or by our own brand manufacturers.”
A fixed cut off date was not mentioned. No mention was made
of whether the company used ingredients that had been tested
on animals by other companies, and the sector was one in which
animal testing was common. The company therefore received
Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for animal testing. (ref: 218)
Company retails animal tested products (20 January 2010)
According to ParkNShop’s (subsidiary of Hutchinson
(See also ‘No policy on sourcing from the DRC’ in Habitats
& Resources above.)
(See also ‘Operations in Canadian tar sands’ in Pollution &
Toxics above.)
No policy on sourcing from the DRC (January 2010)
In December 2009 ECRA searched the Cheung Kong company
website for a policy on sourcing minerals used in mobile phone
production from the DRC, a country renowned for human rights
abuses in the extractive industries with profits from them being
used to fund armed groups. ECRA could find no such policy. An
email was sent to the company requesting information on the
subject but no reply was received. (ref: 224)
Criticised for use of ‘Workfare’ labour (September 2011)
According to an article published on the Corporate Watch website,
www.corporatewatch.org.uk,
‘It’s exploitation and it’s repellent’: Retailers, councils and charities
benefiting from Workfare’ dated September 26th 2011, Savers
Health and Beauty (a subsidairy of Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd) had
been named as a major retailer where unemployed people were
being sent to work without pay by Jobcentres and employment
provider companies. Some were working for up to six months
while receiving unemployment benefit of £67.50 a week or less.
The company did not reply to repeated requests by Corporate
Watch for comment. A spokesperson for the Boycott Workfare
campaign, which was encouraging workplaces to pledge not to
take people on unpaid work placements organised by Jobcentres or
subcontracted provider companies, said: “Huge companies making
billions are profiting from people being made to work without pay
while in fear of losing everything. These companies can afford
to hire and pay staff yet perversely they are increasingly reliant
on a workforce subsidised by taxpayers. Councils are replacing
paid positions with Workfare and charities are replacing paid and
voluntary vacancies with unpaid mandatory workers. Workfare as
a policy doesn’t make sense in this economic climate. We want
to see a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.” (ref: 225)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (July 2012)
Superdrug Stores Plc did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s
written request in July 2012 for the company’s supply chain
management policy.
Nor could this information be found on its website (www.
superdrug.com), when viewed by Ethical Consumer in July
2012, other than the following brief statement: “we encourage
all suppliers to sign up to BSCI code of conduct regarding ethical
working practices”.
This was not considered to be a firm commitment to ensure
suppliers complied with this code, and the BSCI code was not
reproduced on the Superdrug website.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating
in this category. (ref: 218)
Irresponsible Marketing
(See also ‘Banned ingredient found in medicine’ in
Pollution & Toxics above.)
Mislabelled fish (2007)
According to the 31st January issue of CSR Asia Weekly, in
January 2007, Hong Kong’s ParknShop supermarket giant had
sold thousands of customers oilfish labelled as codfish, leading
to claims by many to have suffered from diarrhoea as a result
(due to the high content of indigestible oil). It said the company
had said it had had no intention to mislead customers and had
bought the fish in good faith from Indonesia, with what it thought
was reliable certification. However, the Indonoesian Consulate in
Hong Kong had announced that Indonesia did not export oilfish
for human consumption and was investigating an error made (not
necessarily by the supermarket) in the translation on the health
certificate of fish sold in Hong Kong by ParknShop. (ref: 226)
Politics
Boycott Call
Boycott call of whole company group (May 2009)
According to Ethical Consumer issue 119, dated June 2009, the
organisation had called a boycott of Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd
and all its subsidiaries because of its ownership of Husky Energy
Inc, which had substantial involvement in the tar sands projects
in Alberta, Canada. (ref: 221)
Boycott call of whole company group (June 2009)
According to Ethical Consumer issue 119, dated June 2009, the
organisation had called a boycott of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd
and all its subsidiaries because of its ownership of Hutchinson
Whampoa Ltd, which owned Husky Energy Inc, which had
substantial involvement in the oil sands projects in Alberta,
Canada. (ref: 221)
Anti-Social Finance
Fined for price fixing (January 2012)
According to an article on Edmonton Journal website, www.
edmontonjournal.com, viewed by Ethical Consumer in January
2012, perfume distributor Marrionnaud Parfumeries along with
thirteen French perfume giants had been fined 40 million Euros
for colluding to keep prices high between 1997 and 2000.
Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong and
Jersey. The company’s website also stated that it had operations
in Luxembourg and Panama. (ref: 77)
Excessive director’s pay (2012)
According to the Hutchison Whampoa Annual Report 2011,
several of the companies directors were paid amounts over £1
million in 2011.
Susan CHOW WOO Mo Fong was paid over 170 million HK
Dollars (roughly £14 million) and Canning FOK Kin Ning was paid
over 65 million HKD (approximately £5 million). (ref: 227)
Urtekram brown sugar shampoo,
liquid soap [F,O]
Owned by Urtekram International A/S
Urtekram International A/S, Klostermarken 20, DK-9550
Mariager, DENMARK
Urtekram International A/S is owned by Urtekram A/S which is
owned by Green Ventures ApS
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental report (2012)
The Urtekram website (www.urtekram.com) was searched by
Ethical Consumer in March 2012 for the company’s environmental
policy or report. The company stated that it used only ship, train
or truck to transport its foodstuffs, that it tried to minimise its
CO2 emissions, all its energy was from renewable sources and
that it conformed to the ISO14001 standard. However, it did not
appear to have a publicly available environmental report with
dated, quantified future targets with the intention of minimising its
environmental impacts. As a result, the company received Ethical
Consumer’s worst rating in this category. (ref: 228)
Climate Change
No palm oil policy (2012)
Urtekram did not respond to Ethical Consumer’s written request
in February 2012 for its palm oil sourcing policy and no related
information could be found on its website, www.urtekram.com.
Ethical Consumer noted that the company produced certified
organic products, however, this did not require all of the ingredients
to be organic, and non-organic ‘palm oil products’ were listed as
an ingredient on a number of its products. Due to the negative
effects of palm oil production world wide, the company lost half
marks in the categories of climate change, habitat destruction and
human rights. (ref: 228)
In January 2012 a Parisian court of appeal upheld the fine
imposed on the companies in 2006 by the French competition
watchdog.
Habitats & Resources
The Watchdog had said that the companies involved had reached
illicit agreements on price fixing; enforced by procedures to
monitor prices in outlets and backed up by commercial threats
for non-compliance.
Human Rights
In the original ruling the price watchdog had said that the companies
had arrangements with the distributors and that the agreements
saw ‘price police’ ensuring distributors were sticking by the deal.
The watchdog stated that the companies had applied pressure and
threats of commercial reprisals for those distributors that refused
to apply the prices imposed by the brands. (ref: 58)
Subsidiaries in seven tax havens (2012)
According to the Hutchison Whampoa entry on www.hoovers.
com, viewed in July 2012, the company had subsidiaries in the
following territories regarded by Ethical Consumer at the time
of writing as being tax havens:
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
People
(See also ‘No palm oil policy’ in Climate Change above.)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain management (2012)
Ethical Consumer searched the Urtekram website (www.urtekram.
com) in March 2012 for the company’s supply chain policy or
code of conduct. No such document could be found.
Although all the company’s products were certified organic and
some Fairtrade, this did not guarantee protection of workers’ rights
throughout the supply chain. Therefore, Ethical Consumer gave
the company a worst rating in this category. (ref: 228)
Politics
People
Company Ethos
Human Rights
Cruelty free products (2012)
According to the online version of the BUAV Little Book of
Cruelty Free, viewed in March 2012, Urtekram products carried
the BUAV Humane Cosmetics Standard. (ref: 229)
Operations in oppressive regimes (July 2012)
Weleda’s Annual Sustainability Report 2011 was viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012. The report listed on page 46 the
countries where the company had operations. The list included
Russia and India. Both countries at the time of writing were
considered by Ethical Consumer to be governed by oppressive
regimes. (ref: 231)
Best ECRA rating for animal testing policy (March 2010)
Ethical Consumer searched the Urtekram website, www.urtekram.
dk, in February 2010. The website stated that all the company’s
products met the Humane Cosmetics Standard. A certificate was
available for download which supported this claim that read as
follows: ‘Urtekram has been approved by the ECEAE (European
Coalition to End Animal Experiments) which manages the
Humane Cosmetics Standard in Europe under the Humane
Cosmetics Standard for the period of one year commencing
January 2010. According to Naturewatch the company also had a
fixed cut off date of 1998. Approval applied to all Urtekram ownlabel cosmetics and toiletries. Urtekram was therefore awarded
Ethical Consumer’s best rating for animal testing. (ref: 230)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Fairtrade and organic product (July 2012)
According to the Urtekram website viewed in July 2012, Urtekram
brown sugar shampoo is certified by the Fairtrade Foundation.
The sugar is Fairtrade and 10% of the ingredients are organic
certified by Ecocert. (ref: 230)
Fairtrade Product
(See also ‘Fairtrade and organic product’ in Organic
Product above.)
Positive palm oil policy (July 2012)
Ethical Consumer searched Weleda’s website, www.weleda.co.uk
in July 2012 for its palm oil policy. Under its FAQ’s sections the
company stated that ‘at Weleda we do use a small amount of palm
oil in our natural soaps and for the isolation of a fatty acid in our
Aloe Vera Lotion. Our palm oil is fairly traded and ethically sourced
(from sustainable sources) from managed forests in Columbia,
and is certified by Ecocert’. Ethical Consumer considered this
to be a positive palm oil policy. (ref: 232)
Supply Chain Management
Worst ECRA rating for supply chain policy (July 2012)
In June 2012 Weleda was sent a questionnaire requesting the
company’s supply chain management policy. No response was
received. A search was made by Ethical Consumer and found
the company’s Annual Sustainability Report 2011 which was
published in May 2012 and stated that every employee had
been handed a code of conduct in 2010. The code of conduct
according to Weleda’s report set basic legal standards. There was
no mention of whether these standards included workers rights.
As the document was not publically available it could not be
assessed by Ethical Consumer.
Owned by Weleda AG
The company was a member of Union for Ethical Biotrade
(UEBT), a non-profit association that promoted the “Sourcing
with Respect” of ingredients. However in a download of the
standards there were no provisions for workers rights.
Weleda AG, Dychweg 14, 4144 Arlesheim, Basel-Land,
Switzerland
Weleda did not disclose its factories and had no information on
planned audits of its sites on its websites.
Environment
Due to the lack of a supply chain policy available to assess,
Weleda received Ethical Consumer worst rating for supply chain
management. (ref: 231)
Weleda deodorant [S,A,O]
Environmental Reporting
Worst ECRA rating for environmental reporting (2012)
In June 2012 Weleda was sent a questionnaire requesting the
company’s environmental report. No response was received. A
search was made by Ethical Consumer and found the company’s
Annual Sustainability Report 2011 which was published in May
2012.
The report contained a page on goals and measures of the
Weleda sustainability strategy, however the goals were not dated,
some were quantified, but there were no baseline figures for
comparison. The report did show some reasonable understanding
of the company’s main environmental impacts, including water,
packaging, and energy use.
In 2011, the company joined the Union for Ethical Biotrade
(UEBT), a non-profit association that promoted the “Sourcing
with Respect” of ingredients that come from native biodiversity.
Weleda also introduced a group wide biodiversity directive,
binding ecological standards for the evaluation of its suppliers,
and training for the fair dispensation of earnings from using bio
raw materials between the users and the countries the material
comes from.
However, due to the fact there were no quantified dated targets and
the environmental data that was available was not independently
verified the company received a worst rating for environmental
reporting. (ref: 231)
Politics
Anti-Social Finance
Subsidaries in tax havens (July 2012)
Weleda’s Annual Sustainability Report 2011 was viewed by
Ethical Consumer in July 2012. The report listed on page 46 the
countries where the company had subsidaries. The list included
Luxembourg, Switzerland and Hong Kong. These territories at
the time of writing were considered by Ethical Consumer to be
tax havens. (ref: 231)
Company Ethos
Company ethos (July 2012)
According to the Weleda website viewed in July 2012, all its
products were suitable for vegetarians and they were all Demeter
certified. The Demeter Certification is fully recognised by DEFRA
(Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) as an
organic certification. (ref: 233)
Product sustainability
Organic Product
Product contained organic/biodynamic ingredients (2012)
According to the Weleda website (www.weleda.co.uk), visited
in July 2012, all of Weleda’s products used natural ingredients
which had been grown to biodynamic Demeter standards or
sourced from organic farms. (ref: 234)
Other Sustainability Features
Product sustainability
Low on Toxics (July 2012)
According to the Weleda website the company did not use
the following chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the
environment and human health:
Organic Product
* Parabens or “-paraben”
Organic and vegan product (July 2012)
According to the Yaoh website viewed in July 2012 , “All our
products carry the Vegan Society trade mark. The ingredients
for our bodycare range are : 100% certified organic hemp seed
oil.” (ref: 235)
* polyethylene glycol “PEG” and “-eth”
Other Sustainability Features
* Petrochemicals
Toxic free (July 2012)
According to the Yaoh website the company did not use the
following chemicals which potentially pose a risk to the
environment and human health:
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 232)
Animal Welfare Features
Suitable for vegans (2012)
According to the Weleda website visited in July 2012 (www.
weleda.co.uk), the company’s deodorant products were all suitable
for vegans. (ref: 234)
* Synthetic Fragrance and Dyes
* Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
* Parabens or “-paraben”
* “PEG” and “-eth”
* Petrochemicals
Yaoh organic hemp moisturiser
[A,O]
Owned by Yaoh Ltd
Yaoh Ltd, Yaoh, PO Box 333, Bristol, BS99 1NF
Environment
Environmental Reporting
Best rating for environmental reporting (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Yoah Ltd a questionnaire
regarding its environmental reporting. No response was received.
Ethical Consumer searched its website, www.yoah.co.uk, for this
information. No report could be found, however its website stated
its produced vegan organic products.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for environmental reporting. (ref: 235)
People
Human Rights
No palm oil used (July 2012)
The Yaoh brochure was downloaded from the company’s website,
www.yaoh.co.uk, in July 2012. This stated that the company did
not use palm oil, which was considered by Ethical Consumer to
be a positive policy. (ref: 236)
Supply Chain Management
Best rating for supply chain policy (June 2012)
In June 2012 Ethical Consumer sent Yoah Ltd a questionnaire
regarding its supply chain management. No response was received.
Ethical Consumer searched its website, www.yoah.co.uk, for this
information. No such information could be found, however its
website stated its produced vegan organic products in Bath.
As a company with a turnover under £8m which demonstrated
a commitment to environmental and social sustainability in its
supply chain the company was awarded Ethical Consumer’s best
rating for its supply chain management. (ref: 235)
Politics
Company Ethos
Company Ethos (July 2012)
According to the Yaoh website viewed July 2012, “All our products
carry the Vegan Society trade mark.” The company were also
awarded an extra mark as an innovative environmental alternative
as they made natural products. (ref: 237)
This product therefore received a positive mark under ECRA’s
product sustainability category. (ref: 235)
Animal Welfare Features
(See also ‘Organic and vegan product’ in Organic Product
above.)
Tom’s of Maine deodorant [A]
See Colgate-Palmolive Co above
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corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=81595&p=irol-govmanage
(22 June 2012) (1320904)
182 - AM General LLC Corporate Communications:www.
amgeneral.com (1 June 2007) (502864)
183 - MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc Corporate
Communications:www.macandrewsandforbes.com (10 July
2012) (1321762)
184 - www.skinceuticals.com:8 June 2007 (503205)
185 - Aljazeera www.aljazeera.net:US politicians seek to halt
Bahrain arms deal (8 October 2011) (563265)
186 - Neal’s Yard Remedies Corporate Communications:www.
nealsyardremedies.com (4 July 2012) (1321564)
187 - BUAV :Shopping Cruelty Free (31 March 2009) (532692)
188 - Beiersdorf AG Corporate Communications:www.
beiersdorf.com (26 June 2012) (1321075)
189 - BUAV website www.buav.org:BUAV Factsheet - Cosmetics
Companies Guide (11 January 2007) (306056)
190 - Federal Trade Commission:FTC Settlement Prohibits
Marketer from Claiming that Nivea Skin Cream Can Help
Consumers Slim Down ( (1322259)
191 - Uncaged website www.uncaged.co.uk:Uncaged website
- boycott list (21 June 2007) (503967)
192 - Colgate-Palmolive Co Corporate Communications:
Sustainability Report (2011) (921750)
193 - Colgate-Palmolive Co Corporate Communications:www.
colgate.com (7 July 2011) (557859)
194 - Hill’s Pet Nutrition Corporate Communications:www.
hillspet.com (5 November 2007) (515349)
195 - Colgate-Palmolive Co Corporate Communications:http://
www.colgate.com/ (12 March 2012) (921744)
196 - Hill’s Pet Nutrition Corporate Communications:www.
hillspet.com (11 January 2010) (538793)
197 - Financial Times (FT):Companies fined for pet food pricefixing (20 March 2012) (922181)
198 - Severn Delta Ltd Corporate Communications:www.
severndelta.co.uk (22 June 2012) (1320923)
199 - PitRok Ltd Corporate Communications:www.pitrok.co.uk
(12 July 2012) (1322040)
200 - Pure Nuff Stuff Ltd Corporate Communications:www.
purenuffstuff.co.uk (22 June 2012) (1320955)
201 - Pure Nuff Stuff Ltd Corporate Communications:ECRA
company questionnaire (4 March 2010) (540444)
202 - Coty Inc Corporate Communications:www.coty.com (28
June 2012) (1321242)
203 - Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Corporate Communications:
Sustainability Report 2010 (2010) (920701)
204 - NaturalNano, Inc company website:NaturalNano Expects
to Benefit; Global Market to Reach US$2.4 trillion (May
2011) (1321826)
205 - Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Corporate Communications:
Gobal Policy Statement on Animal Testing (October 2009)
(920776)
206 - PETA - Companies that test on animals:
CompaniesDoTest.pdf (15 February 2012) (920751)
207 - Crystal Spring Corporate Communications:www.
crystalspring.co.uk (28 June 2012) (1321248)
208 - Sante Naturkosmetik GmbH Corporate Communications:
www.santecosmetics.co.uk (28 July 2005) (264050)
209 - Logocos Naturkosmetik AG Corporate Communications:
www.logona.com (16 July 2012) (1322192)
210 - Sante Naturkosmetik GmbH Corporate Communications:
www.sante.de (3 July 2012) (1321540)
211 - Womens Voices for the Earth (WVE):Dirty Secrets: whats
hiding in your cleaning products (November 2011) (567248)
212 - Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Corporate Communications:
ECRA company questionnaire (5 March 2012) (921391)
213 - BBC News Website www.bbc.co.uk:Directors’ pay rose
50% in past year, says IDS report (28 October 2011)
(564169)
214 - Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd Corporate
Communications:www.suma.coop (13 February 2012)
(920617)
215 - Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd Corporate
Communications:Ethical Consumer Questionnaire
(September 2011) (562368)
216 - Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd Corporate
Communications:www.suma.coop (7 January 2010)
(538647)
217 - Triangle Wholefoods Collective Ltd Corporate
Communications:www.suma.coop (12 July 2012)
(1322044)
218 - Superdrug Stores Plc Corporate Communications:www.
superdrug.com (6 July 2012) (1321659)
219 - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd Corporate Communications:
www.hutchison-whampoa.com (12 November 2007)
(516293)
220 - Hutchison 3G UK Limited Corporate Communications:
www.three.co.uk/Company/Who_is_3_/Shareholders (14
January 2010) (539181)
221 - Ethical Consumer:Ethical Consumer issue 119 (June
2009) (533551)
222 - Hoovers Online www.hoovers.com:http://premium.
hoovers.com/subscribe/co/familytree.xhtml?HD=21152448
3&GD=354573875&ID=99999 (3 Febru (539770)
223 - PARKnSHOP Corporate Communications:www1.
parknshop.com/WebShop/CompanyOverview.do (20
January 2010) (539388)
224 - Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd Corporate Communications:
www.ckh.com.hk/eng/index.htm (27 March 2009) (532632)
225 - Corporate Watch (UK) website www.corporatewatch.org.
uk:It’s exploitation and it’s repellent’: Retailers, councils and
charities benefiting from workfare (2 (562851)
226 - CSR Asia Weekly:Vol 3 Week 5 (31 January 2007)
(309603)
227 - Hutchison Whampoa Ltd Corporate Communications:
Annual Report 2011 (2011) (1321675)
228 - Urtekram International A/S Corporate Communications:
www.urtekram.com (14 March 2012) (922007)
229 - BUAV :Little Book of Cruelty Free (online version) (14
March 2012) (922004)
230 - Urtekram International A/S Corporate Communications:
www.urtekram.dk (26 February 2010) (540241)
231 - Weleda AG Corporate Communications:Annual &
Sustainability Report (May 2012) (1320765)
232 - Weleda AG Corporate Communications:www.weleda.
co.uk (6 July 2012) (1321666)
233 - Weleda UK Ltd Corporate Communications:www.weleda.
co.uk (9 February 2010) (539834)
234 - Weleda AG Corporate Communications: www.weleda.
co.uk (8 March 2006) (244060)
235 - Yaoh Ltd Corporate Communications:www.yaoh.co.uk (2
July 2012) (1321486)
236 - Yaoh Ltd Corporate Communications:Yaoh Brochure
(2010) (1322257)
237 - Yaoh Ltd Corporate Communications:www.yaoh.co.uk (17
March 2010) (540862)
Ratings Information
General Information
Where our information comes from
Although the Ethical Consumer database holds information
going back to 1991, all ratings and Ethiscores are based only on
information published in the last five years. It’s also important
to remember that while most corporate responsibility rating
organisations ‘rate’ company groups as single organisations,
Ethical Consumer structured to map complex company
groups. The exception to this is under the policy categories:
“Environmental Reporting”, “Supply Chain Policy” and “Animal
Testing Policy”categories, where ratings can refer to the specific
subsidiary’s environmental report or Supply Chain Policy if this
is better. When one company buys another, the new company
is deemed to have inherited the past record of the other, unless
there is clear evidence that the take-over has seen a change in
policy and practice.
Significant effort is made by Ethical Consumer to maintain
the integrity and accuracy of information. Each company is
assigned to its UHC (Ultimate Holding Company) but frequent
global mergers, takeovers and acquisitions mean that company
group information can be of an advisory nature only. Therefore,
if a particular piece of information is to play a significant role in
a campaigning or investment decision, we recommend making
additional ownership checks or contacting us on 0161 226
2929 for a quote for a screening. Of course, accurate ownership
information is of the utmost importance to us at Ethical
Consumer, and we make every effort to monitor significant
changes. If you discover information which you believe is
incorrect, please contact us and we can make changes within 24
hours if necessary.
The Ethical Consumer database (available online as Corporate Critic) is
compiled primarily from information already in the public domain. Our
team of researchers regularly search through over 100 publications and
summarise information on corporate activity into easy-to-read abstracts
or ‘stories’. Information on companies is taken from:
• Publications by environmental, animal rights and Third World
campaigning NGOs such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth,
Amnesty, WDM etc.
• Corporate communications such as Annual Reports and
company websites for environmental reports, codes of
conduct and animal testing policies.
Ratings Key
•
Commercial defence and nuclear industry directories
•
Pollution and health & safety prosecution records
•
A wide range of other international sources
•
Daily news
Each abstract is fully referenced to a particular publication, permitting
users to explore and follow up stories in more detail. Our reseachers
in Manchester add new stories to the database on a daily basis. These
are uploaded onto Corporate Critic website and the Ethiscore website
and so ratings are recalculated nightly. Because of the ongoing nature
of this behaviour-monitoring process, we do not systematically check
each story or rating with companies prior to publication. We encourage
companies to contact us if they believe a story or rating is in error and
we will always address the issues raised.
Full Circle (our worst rating)
Clear Circle (our middle rating)
No Circle (our best rating)
The Categories /Environment
Environmental Reporting
Nuclear Power
The company or parent company:
i) did not respond to a request by ECRA for a copy of its environmental
policy or report and did not display such a policy or report on its website,
OR
ii) supplied to ECRA or displayed on its website an environmental policy or
report which contained neither specific targets nor discussion of impacts
specific to the company.
The company is involved in:
i) design, construction, decommissioning, ownership or
operation of nuclear power stations, AND/OR
ii) nuclear fuel and related equipment - the mining,
processing or reprocessing of uranium; nuclear fuel
fabrication; fuel rods etc, AND/OR
iii) nuclear reactor products and services - such as
nuclear reactors, reactor cores, neutron detectors,
control rods, steam generator, AND/OR
iv) the transport of waste from the nuclear industry,
AND/OR
v) membership of a nuclear power industry association
such as British Nuclear Industry Forum and World
Nuclear Association.
The company or parent company supplied to ECRA or displayed on its
website an environmental policy or report which contained at least two
quantified targets and/or discussion of impacts but:
i) was not dated within the last two years, OR
ii) failed to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the company’s
main impacts, OR
iii) was not independently verified.
The company or parent company:
i) supplied to ECRA or displayed on its website an environmental policy or
report which;
(a) contained at least two specific time and performance targets, AND
(b) which demonstrated a reasonable understanding of
the company’s main impacts, AND
(c) was dated within the last two years, AND
(d) was independently verified by an organisation named in the report.
ii) is a small business (turnover of less than £5 million per year) specialising
in the supply of products with low environmental impacts or which are of
environmental benefit or which offer other social benefits.
Ethical Consumer
1
The company is involved in:
i) production of other nuclear related equipment for
example monitoring and testing equipment; electricity
and communications cabling, insulation, seals;
temperature and pressure measurement devices; gas
and water analysers; air coolers, compressors, pumps,
valves and IT products, AND/OR
ii) the supply of radioactive waste services such as
treatment, handling and storage.
We have found no evidence for involvement in nuclear
power for the company.
RATINGS INFORMATION
The Categories /Environment (Continued)
Climate Change
Negative ratings in this category indicate that the company has been
criticised for involvement in sectors considered by Ethical Consumer to
contribute significantly to climate change, such as fossil fuels, aviation,
cars or cement, or that it has been criticised for having high levels of
contribution to climate change emissions, by direct emissions, through
its products, or by making misleading claims about
climate change.
Involvement in areas deemed by us to be a higher contributor to
climate change (such as fossil fuels) OR involvement in more than
one areas deemed to be less significant (for example; cars, aviation,
lobbying)
Involvement in one of the above areas deemed as
less significant.
No criticisms have been found under this category for the company in
question.
Pollution & Toxics
Negative ratings in this category indicate that a company has been
prosecuted or criticised by government or campaign groups for
emissions of toxic or damaging substances into the environment,
AND/OR a company is involved in the manufacture or sale of chemicals
or products containing chemicals which are a cause of concern because
of their impacts on human and animal health and the environment
(eg toxic or bioaccumulative chemicals, ozone depleting chemicals or
pesticides and herbicides.)
The company has either received one major criticism
(such as a major pollution incident) or a number of
minor criticisms (ie involvement in nanotechnology,
unsustainable packaging, small fines for pollution).
The company has received one or two minor criticisms
in this area.
No criticisms have been found under this category for
the company in question.
Habitats and Resources
Negative ratings in this category indicate that a
company has been criticised for activities which:
destroy or damage the environment through
unsustainable resource extraction and mining, or
detrimental land use, OR destruction of specific
habitats, depleting biodiversity and reducing the
ability of ecosystems to renew themselves, including
unsustainable fishing and forestry or impacting
severely on the habitats and lives of endangered
species.
The company has either received one (or more) major
criticism OR more than two minor criticisms.
The company has received one or two minor criticisms
in this area.
No criticisms have been found under this category for
the company in question.
The Categories /ANIMALS
Animal Testing
iv) sells or processes meat, poultry (broilers and eggs)
or fur that is not labelled as free range or organic.
The company:
i) conducts or commissions tests on animals for non-medical products
or ingredients, OR
ii) conducts or commissions tests on animals for medical products or
ingredients, OR
ii) sells animal-tested cosmetics, toiletries or household products, OR
iii) operates in a sector where animal testing is common and has no
written animal testing policy statement, or did not reply to our request
for a copy of one, or sent us a policy with standards less stringent than
those required for a middle rating.
i) The company operates in a sector where animal testing is common
and has a policy of not testing products or ingredients on animals, and
of not commissioning such tests but does not have a fixed cut-off date
(i.e. a specific date set by the company after which it will not use any
new ingredients tested on animals), OR
ii) The company is a retailer with a fixed cut-off date for own brand
products but also sells animal-tested non own-brands.
The company EITHER does not operate in a sector where animal
testing is common OR operates in a sector where animal testing is
common and has a fixed cut-off date policy.
The company has an investment relationship with a
company criticised in this category.
Animal Rights
The company is:
i) a farmer of non-intensive or free range meat,
poultry or fish
ii) sells or processes meat, poultry or fish
iii) involved in the production, supply or retail of fur
iv) a slaughterhouse owner or user of slaughterhouse
by-products such as leather and gelatine
The company is:
i) a supplier of animal feedstuffs, OR
ii) is a dairy farmer or egg producer, OR
iii) is involved other activities which lead to the
suffering of animals such as zoos and circuses and the
production of musk and civet. OR
iv) a company or employee has been accused of
cruelty to animals.
Factory Farming
The company:
i) is a factory farmer of meat, poultry (broilers and eggs), fish or fur, OR
ii) manufactures or supplies intensive farming equipment such as
battery cages, beak trimmers, pig crates, OR
iii) supplies breeding stock, OR
Ethical Consumer
2
RATINGS INFORMATION
The Categories /PEOPLE
Human Rights
Supply Chain Management
Involvement in one or more of the following:
i) operations in six or more oppressive regimes taken from the
list below (country not counted if company is domiciled there).
ii) human rights abuses, through any of the following:
a) the use of its equipment, staff or facilities in perpetrating
human rights abuses
b) human rights abuses perpetrated by security forces
associated with a companys operations
c) involvement in projects that have proven links
with human rights abuses
d) collaboration with a government AND/OR military in
perpetrating human rights abuses
e) allegations of human rights abuses by company staff
iii) land rights abuses; specific instances where indigenous
peoples have been or may be removed from their land, or
whose livelihoods may be threatened, to facilitate corporate
operations (either extant or planned)
In industries where supply chains commonly stretch into lowwage economies we expect companies to have developed a
publicly-available supply chain management policy addressing
workers’ rights at supplier companies. We look for the
following four elements in each policy:
1) Supply Chain Policy: no use of forced labour, freedom of
association, payment of a living wage, working week limited to
48 hours and 12 hours overtime, eliminations of child labour
(under 15 years old, or under 14 if country has ILO exemption),
no discrimination by race, sex etc, independent monitoring.
Policy must cover whole supply chain.
2) Stakeholder Engagement: multistakeholder initiatives,
NGO/trade union involvement and employee complaints
mechanism.
3) Auditing & Reporting: discolsure of audit results, schedule
of audit plan, commitment to audit the whole supply chain,
remediation strategy and costs paid by buying company.
4) Difficult issues: audit Fraud, purchasing practices, living
wage, homeworkers, restricted/illegal trade unions.
A company will receive our middle rating if it has operations
in two to five of the following regimes on our 2011 list of
Oppressive Regimes (country not counted if company is
domiciled there): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burma,
Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, DRC, Cuba, Equatorial
Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
Jordan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan,
Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland,
Syria, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam,
Yemen, Zimbabwe.
A company will not receive a mark in this column if all its
products sourced from these regimes are marketed as fair
trade.
Our Oppressive Regimes listing has been compiled from
different human rights and workers’ rights reports.
Our best rating indicates that we have not received any
criticisms under this category for the company in question.
Companies which manufacture products that are labelled and
certified as Fairtrade, or smaller companies (turnover of less
than £8 million) which can show an effective, if not necessarily
explicit, policy addressing workers’ rights at supplier companies
will also receive a best rating.
Irresponsible Marketing
Marketing of products in a way that has been criticised for
causing severe physical harm. The manufacture or sale of
tobacco products automatically receives a worst rating in this
cateogry as does the infringement of the International Code of
Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Our lowest rating could
also indicate several minor criticisms in this area.
Marketing of products in a way that has been criticised as
being detrimental to health or likely to cause injury. This
includes the use of excessively thin or childlike models in
fashion advertising.
Workers’ Rights
A full circle or clear circle represents criticism of the company or
its suppliers for infringement of workers’ rights, which includes:
intimidation of workers by management; use of forced or slave
labour; payment of wages below a level which is adequate
to live on; a working week of over 48 hours; forced and/or
excessive overtime; exploitative use of child labour; denial
of the right to associate, form unions or bargain collectively;
discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, sexuality or creed;
the provision of inadequate or dangerous working conditions.
No criticisms have been found under this category for the
company in question.
Arms & Military Supply
Involvement in the manufacture or supply of nuclear or
conventional weapons including: ships, tanks, armoured
vehicles and aircraft; weapons systems components; systems
aiding the launch, guidance, delivery or deployment of missiles;
fuel; computing; communications services.
A clear circle (middle rating) represents the manufacture or
supply of non-strategic parts for the military, not including food
and drink.
No criticisms have been found under this category for the
company in question.
No criticisms have been found under this category for the
company in question.
The Categories /POLITICS
Political Activity
Membership of 2 or less lobby groups, or a donation of
less than £50,000 to political parties in the last 5 years, or
secondment of staff to political parties, governments or
supranational institutions.
The company has made a donation of £50,000 or more to
a political party, either direct or indirect or in ‘soft money,’
in the last five years, or has membership of 3 or more lobby
groups, or has directly lobbied governments or supranational
institutions on trade liberalisation issues.
Ethical Consumer
3
RATINGS INFORMATION
The Categories /POLITICS (Continued)
A lobby group is defined as a corporate lobby group which
lobbies for free trade at the expense of the environment,
animal welfare, human rights or health protection. A current
list of such groups includes:
American Chamber of Commerce/AMCHAM-EU Bilderberg
Group Business Action for Sustainable Development Business
Round Table European Round Table of Industrialists European
Services Forum International Chamber of Commerce
Transatlantic Business Dialogue Trilateral Commission US
Coalition of Service Industries World Business Council for
Sustainable Development World Economic Forum
contain GMOs and the lack of a clear company group-wide
GMO free policy, and/or
iii) public statements in favour of the use of GMOs in nonmedical products.
iv) the development or marketing of medical procedures or
products involving genetic modification, which have been
criticised on ethical grounds.
Anti-Social Finance
A boycott of the brand name featured in the report has been
called somewhere in the world or a boycott of the entire
company group has been called.
Ratings are based on criticisms for activities which are likely
to impact negatively on the economic well-being of the
societies that companies operate in. Such criticisms include:
tax evasion and use of tax havens; bribery and corruption,
insider share dealing, involvement in Third World debt, price
fixing, irresponsible marketing of financial products, excessive
directors’ remuneration.
A boycott of one of the parent company’s subsidiaries or
brands has been called somewhere in the world.
Company Ethos
Genetic Engineering
This category is intended to draw the attention of consumers
to company groups who, by structural innovation or
clear product policies, demonstrate an ethos committed
to sustainability. We understand sustainability to include
environmental, social justice and animal rights elements.
Boycott Call
Involvement in:
i) the non-medical genetic modification of plants or animals,
and/or
ii) gene patenting, and/or
iii) xenotransplantation.
Involvement in:
i) the manufacture or sale of non-medical products involving or
containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and/or
ii) the manufacture or sale of non-medical products likely to
A full star may indicate a policy to only sell fairtrade products,
organic products, vegan products or BUAV approved products
or a combination of these. A large star may also indicate a
formalised not-for-profit trading structure.
A clear star indicates a policy to only sell innovative
environmental alternatives
The Categories /PRODUCT SUSTAINABILITY
Organic Product
better) EU Energy Label, the Blue Angel Label of the Nordic Swan label.
1 point indicates that the product is certified organic.
Other Sustainability Features
Fairly Traded Product
1 point indicates that the product is labelled with the Fairtrade Mark
(UK) or equivalent FLOI symbol.
Half a point indicates that the product is marketed as fair trade.
1 point indicates that the product embodies other significant
sustainability feature.
Half a point indicates that the product embodies other less significant
sustainability features.
Positive Environmental Features
Animal Welfare Features
1 point indicates that the product has been recommended by an
independent environmental organisation, or that the product has
received the TCO environmental label.
Half a point indicates that the product has received either an A+ (or
1 point indicates that the product is certified by the Vegan or
Vegetarian Society.
Half a point indicates that the product is marketed as vegan or
vegetarian.
The Categories /ETHISCORE
The Ethiscore is a numerical ethical rating designed to help users
quickly differentiate companies which have attracted significant levels
of criticism from those which have attracted less attention. Excellent
for benchmarking companies within product or market sectors,
the Ethiscore is also a superb tool for monitoring corporate ethical
improvements.
[14 (baseline) minus 2 categories = 12].
If the company had a lesser criticism under, say, Workers Rights (0.5
points) then its Ethiscore would be 14 minus 1.5 = 12.5
The fifteenth point is for ‘Company Sustainability’ - a positive
Corporate Responsibility category - which gives an additional point to
companies who, for example, only sell organic products.
The are two types of ethiscore
A company Ethiscore of 0 to 15 points.
15 is the best Ethiscore and 0 worst. The company Ethiscore is based
on the subtraction of all the corporate responsibility categories in which
the database holds current criticisms from a baseline number of 14.
Therefore if a company has received criticisms in the Animal Testing (1
point) and Workers’ Rights (1point) categories, its ethiscore will be 12.
Ethical Consumer
4
A product Ethiscore of 0 to 20 points.
20 is the best Ethiscore and 0 worst.
This Ethiscore is a score for products and is made up by combining a
company Ethiscore with a rating for product sustainability, and is based
on five positive attributes which a product may have. Therefore if a 12
point company is listed as selling an organic (1 point) and fairtrade (1
point) tea, then the tea would receive an ethiscore of 12+2 = 14.
RATINGS INFORMATION