Our Ethical Policies

We pride ourselves on ensuring we minimise our own environmental impacts and carefully assess our supply chain.

Below you can find information on all our ethical policies.



Company information:

Ethical Consumer Research Association Limited
Unit 21, 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester M15 5RF

Main products/processes/activities:

Production of printed material
Distribution of printed material
Production of a rating database and websites

Contact email for environmental policy:



About Ethical Consumer 

ECRA Publishing Limited is a multi-stakeholder co-operative (Company Registration Number 30575 R) which was formed in 1989 to research and publish information on the companies behind brand names, and to promote the ethical use of consumer power.

We are aware that our activities have an impact on the environment and seek to minimise this.

We respect the principle of Sustainable Development and aim to work in away that meets the needs of today’s generation whilst ensuring that future generations can also meet their needs.


We are committed to:

  • Minimising resource use by using only 100% post-consumer waste, chlorine-free paper, and vegetable-based inks for the printing of magazine
  • Maximising recycling / composting of office consumables
  • Minimising residual waste produced
  • Minimising our energy and water use
  • Supporting the least carbon-intensive transport options for business travel and commuting
  • Purchasing goods and services that are screened for compliance with our ethical/environmental standards; purchase from other co-ops where possible
  • Driving environmental improvements through our supply chain
  • Being a meat/fish-free organisation in terms of our office and events
  • Training co-op members, staff and volunteers as required
  • Publishing an annual environmental report on our website
  • We will review this Environmental policy annually to check it is up to date and to make sure we are looking at new areas for improvement.


Date approved by co-op: 14/06/16

Date for review by co-op: 13/06/17

Ethical Consumer Environment Report 2017







Read our Environment Report for 2016/17



The following is Ethical Consumer Research Association's code of conduct (supply chain policy) for workers in its supply chain.

This code is a direct copy of the headings in the ETI Base Code. For the details under each heading we use the ETI definitions available here.

We have communicated this code (below) to all our first tier suppliers.

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labour shall not be used
  • Living wages are paid
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practised
  • Regular employment is provided
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed


ECRA is not a member of any multi-stakeholder initiatives.

ECRA is yet to formally audit any of its suppliers. However, our first tier suppliers are deemed as low risk as they are UK-based and not industries known for exploiting vulnerable groups such as illegal immigrants.

We have long term, face to face, relationships with many of our suppliers. Ethics are taken into consideration when we choose suppliers.

We screen suppliers against the standard ethical consumer rating criteria and will only work with companies scoring below 10 when there are exceptional circumstances.


We have a policy of complete disclosure of all our first tier suppliers.


Technology and computer systems

Openplan IT



Orange Tree Digital

Gordon & Gotch BT

The Phone Co-op


Printing and print distribution

Rap Spiderweb (The paper in the magazine is from Cyclus and Lenzing Papier)


Modern Bookbinders Ltd


Central Books

Spring Global Mail

Royal Mail

Moonloft Design


Office and business

Co-op Bank

Triodos Bank


Mike Stocks (bookkeeping)

EMERGE Recycling

Work for Change

Limited Resources

Wesley Community Furniture



We are an accredited Living Wage employer.



Last updated November 2017



We are committed to paying all the taxes that we owe in accordance with the spirit of all tax laws that apply to our operations.

We believe that paying our taxes in this way is the clearest indication we can give of our being responsible participants in society. We will fulfill our commitment to paying the appropriate taxes that we owe by seeking to pay the right amount of tax (but no more), at the right rate, in the right place and at the right time.

We aim to do this by ensuring that we report our tax affairs in ways that reflect the economic reality of the transactions we actually undertake in the course of our trade.

What we will not ever do is seek to use those options made available in tax law or the allowances and reliefs that it provides in ways that are contrary to the spirit of the law. Nor will we undertake specific transactions with the sole or main aim of securing tax advantages that would otherwise not be available to us based on the reality of the trade that we undertake.

As a result the company will never undertake transactions that would require notification to HM Revenue & Customs under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes Regulations or participate in any arrangement to which it might be reasonable anticipated that the UKís General Anti-Abuse Rule might apply. We believe tax havens undermine the UK’s tax system.

As a result whilst we will trade with customers and suppliers genuinely located in places considered to be tax havens we will not make use of those places to secure a tax advantage, and nor will we take advantage of the secrecy that many such jurisdictions provide for transactions recorded within them.

Our accounts will be prepared in compliance with this policy and will seek to provide all that information that users, including HM Revenue & Customs, might need to properly appraise our tax position. We will review this policy with our accountants annually to ensure that it is complied with.



Ethical Consumer was awarded the Fair Tax Mark in November 2017

Read the Fair Tax Mark compliance statement (pdf) > 


Last updated November 2017




Over the last few years, Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA) has regularly reported on Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.  This movement began in 2005 with a call from Palestinian civil society; the call was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian political parties, organisations, trade unions and movements.


According to the BDS Movement website: "The call urges various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law by: 

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall; 

2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 

3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194." 



In June 2014 the ECRA management team, comprising of worker-members of the co-operative, passed a proposal to support BDS.  In doing so, two issues were of primary consideration:

1)  The grave human rights abuses committed by the Israeli state against Palestinians living in both the occupied territories and the state of Israel.  These violations include those which are illegal under international law.

2)  The fact that BDS is supported by a broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations. 



ECRA recognises that:

  • The international boycott of South Africa was a key element in bringing to an end the apartheid regime.


  • The international community has failed to ensure that Israel complies with international law with regard to the treatment of Palestinians.


  • Boycott, divestment and sanctions are one of the few, but potentially highly effective, means by which international citizens can stand in solidarity with Palestinians and call for an end to the human rights abuses committed by Israel.



In supporting BDS, ECRA will not knowingly purchase goods or services that originate in Israel, or in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.  We also support the academic boycott, which means that we will not accept materials for which any of the inputs have come from Israeli academic institutions.  In addition we will support the cultural boycott and not collaborate with any Israeli cultural or artistic institutions unless they expressly criticise Israeli human rights abuses and work for freedom for Palestinians.


For more information, please see the BDS Movement website: www.bdsmovement.net 



Last updated June 2014




Ethical Consumer has shopping links to a number of online stores on our product guide pages.

Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from purchases you make from the sites we feature on the product guide pages specifically those featured in the “places to buy” box under the company score tables.


Image: Places to Buy box


We encourage all our readers to use these links where possible as the money we make from these links helps fund our research and campaigning.

We ethically screen all the sites we link to. 

Below is a list of those companies we have shopping links to and their ethical scores.

Abel & Cole
Ethical Score: 10.5
Supermarkets, Bananas


John Lewis
Ethical Score: 5
Clothing, Appliances


Ethical Score: 12.5
Tea, Coffee, Food


Planet Organic
Ethical Score: -
Food, Drink


People Tree
Ethical Score: 14.5


Phone Co-op
Ethical Score: 14.5
Mobile Phones, Broadband


Ethical Score: 14
Ethical Online Retailers


Ethical Shop
Ethical Score: 15
Household, Books


Neal's Yard
Ethical Score: 14

Natural Store
Ethical Score: 14


Ethical Score: 10.5
Books, DVD Retailers


Green People
Ethical Score: 13.5


Good Energy
Ethical Score: 12.5
Electricty and Gas


ETA Insurance
Ethical Score: - 

Ethical Score: 11.5


Brothers We Stand
Ethical Score: 13.5



At Ethical Consumer, we’re committed to protecting and respecting your privacy.

This Privacy Policy explains when and why we collect personal information about people who visit our website, how we use it, the conditions under which we may disclose it to others and how we keep it secure.

We may change this Privacy Policy from time to time, so please check this page occasionally to ensure that you’re happy with any changes.

Any questions regarding this Policy and our privacy practices should be sent:
by email to enquiries@ethicalconsumer.org
or by writing to Unit 21, 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF, UK
or  you can telephone 0161 226 2929.


What is Ethical Consumer?

We are an independent, not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative with open membership, founded in 1989 and based in Manchester.

We produce six magazines a year, plus special content for our website. We host events, including our own annual conference in London. We also provide research and consultancy services to ethically minded businesses.

For nearly 30 years we have been the hub of the ethical consumer movement, helping consumers to shop ethically, campaigners to challenge corporate power and businesses to improve their supply chain.


How do we collect information from you?

We collect browsing information on your IP address, what pages are accessed and when. This is done via cookies. For more details on cookies see below.

We also collect personal information such as your name, email address, postal address and phone number when you subscribe to our mailing list or take out a subscription.

If you purchase a subscription using Direct Debit, financial information will be added to our customer relationship management software. This is to enable use to process future Direct Debit payments.

If you purchase a one-off subscription through our website, your card information is not held by us, it is collected by our third party payment processors, Global Payments - https://www.globalpaymentsinc.com/en-gb  and Datacash - http://www.datacash.com/, who specialise in the secure online capture and processing of credit/debit card transactions.


How is your information used?

We use your information to:
    • Process a subscription or an order that you have made;
    • Carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into by you and us (e.g. send you copies of the magazine, information about your subscription);
    • Notify you of changes to our services;
    • Send you weekly email newsletters which include information about content on our website, updates on campaigns, information about events we are hosting, and updates on our associated companies, such as the Fair Tax Mark and Save Our Bank;
    • Monitor how you use the website, and how you got to the website;
    • Seek your views or comments on the services we provide;
    • Deal with entries into any competitions we run.

We review our retention periods for personal information on a regular basis. We are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory obligations. We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity, or as long as is set out in any relevant contract you hold with us.

Who has access to your information?

We will not sell or rent your information to third parties.

We will not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. We may occasionally share anonymised score customisation data with academic institutions for research purposes.

Third Party Service Providers working on our behalf

We may pass your information to our third party service providers, agents subcontractors and other associated organisations for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on our behalf (for example to process subscriptions and send you mailings).

However, when we use third party service providers, we disclose only the personal information that is necessary to deliver the service and we have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own direct marketing purposes.

Ethical Consumer uses the following Third Party Service Providers:

Google Analytics

Our website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc.. Google Analytics uses cookies, which are text files placed on your computer, to help the us to  analyse how visitors use the website.

The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity to be looked at by Ethical Consumer, and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.


Hotjar is a tool that compiles data on how visitors are using our website.
It uses cookies to collect non-personal information. Examples of the type of information collected include, but is not limited to, pages visited, how pages are used and interacted with, type of device and browser used and the country you are in.
For more information on how Hotjar collects data, what data it collects and how to opt out of it collecting your information, please read Hotjar's own privacy policy - https://www.hotjar.com/legal/policies/privacy


Your choices

You can change your marketing preferences at any time by contacting us by email at  shop@ethicalconsumer.org  or by telephone on 0161 226 2929.

You can also opt out of receiving weekly email newsletters at any time using the ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of any such email.


How you can access and update your information

The accuracy of your information is important to us.
If you are a subscriber you can update your information by logging into the website and editing your profile.

If you are not a subscriber but wish to update your email address please follow the link at the bottom of every email from us.

Alternatively if you change email address, or any of the other information we hold is inaccurate or out of date, please;

email us at: shop@ethicalconsumer.org
or write to us at Unit 21, 41 Old Birley Street, Manchester, M15 5RF, UK
or call us on 0161 226 2929.

Security precautions in place to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of your information
When you give us personal information, we take steps to ensure that it’s treated securely. Any sensitive information (such as credit or debit card details) is encrypted. When you are on a secure page, a lock icon will appear on the bottom of web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Non-sensitive details (your email address etc.) are transmitted normally over the Internet, and this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. As a result, while we strive to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk.

Once we receive your information, we make our best effort to ensure its security on our systems. Where we have given (or where you have chosen) a password which enables you to access certain parts of our websites, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone.


Use of 'cookies'

Like many other websites, Ethical Consumer’s website uses cookies. 'Cookies' are small pieces of information sent by an organisation to your computer and stored on your hard drive to allow that website to recognise you when you visit. They collect statistical data about your browsing actions and patterns and do not identify you as an individual. For example, we use cookies to store your country preference. This helps us to improve our website and deliver a better, more personalised service.
Cookies and why we use them

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do, to help provide you with the best experience we can. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.
Our cookies help us:
    • Make our website work as you'd expect
    • Save you having to login every time you visit the site
    • Remember your settings during and between visits
    • Improve the speed/security of the site
    • Allow you to share pages with social networks like Facebook
    • Continuously improve our website
    • Make our marketing more efficient (ultimately helping us to offer the service we do at the price we do)
We do not use cookies to:
    • Collect any personally identifiable information (without your express permission)
    • Collect any sensitive information (without your express permission)
    • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties
    • Pay sales commissions

Granting us permission to use cookies

If the settings on your software that you are using to view this website (your browser) are adjusted to accept cookies we take this, and your continued use of our website, to mean that you are fine with this.

Should you wish to remove or not use cookies from our site you can learn how to do this below, however doing so will likely mean that our site will not work as you would expect.
More about our Cookies

Our own cookies

We use these cookies to make our website work including:
    • Making our subscription and registration pages work
    • Determining if you are logged in or not
    • Remembering your customisation settings
    • Remembering if you have accepted our terms and conditions

ethicalconsumer.org cookies:
    • ASli.NET_SessionId
    • authentication
    • hasCustomisedBefore
    • liortalaliasid
    • liortalroles

There is no way to prevent these cookies being set other than to not use our site.
Third party functions

Our site, like most websites, includes functionality provided by third parties. A common example is an embedded YouTube video. Disabling these cookies will likely break the functions offered by these third parties
Social Media

So you can easily 'Like' or share our content on the likes of Facebook and Twitter we have included sharing buttons on our site. The privacy implications on this will vary from social network to social network and will be dependent on the privacy settings you have chosen on these networks.


Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows which helps to identify when our site isn't working as it should for particular technologies), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc.
This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called 'analytics' programs also tell us, on an anonymous basis, how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before helping us to put more money into developing our services for you instead of marketing spend.
Google Analytics Cookies:
    • __utma
    • __utmb
    • __utmc
    • __utmz



Hotjar is an analytics and feedback tool that we use to understand how our website is used and improve usability. Hotjar sets cookies to help us track behaviour across pages, and carry no personally identifiable information.
Hotjar cookies
    • _hjIncludedInSample
    • _hjUserId

Turning Cookies Off
You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies.

Doing so however will likely limit the functionality of our's and a large proportion of the world's websites as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites

It may be that you concerns around cookies relate to so called "spyware". Rather than switching off cookies in your browser you may find that anti-spyware software achieves the same objective by automatically deleting cookies considered to be invasive. Learn more about managing cookies with antispyware software.

Links to other websites

Our website may contain links to websites run by other organisations. This privacy policy applies only to our website‚ so we encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit. We cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of other sites even if you access them using links from our website.

In addition, if you linked to our website from a third party site, we cannot be responsible for the privacy policies and practices of the owners and operators of that third party site and recommend that you check the policy of that third party site.

16 or Under

We are concerned to protect the privacy of children aged 16 or under. If you are aged 16 or under‚ please get your parent/guardian's permission beforehand whenever you provide us with personal information.

Your rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) you have a number of rights with regard to your personal data. You have the right to:
    1. Be informed about the collection and use of your personal data
    2. Access to your personal data
    3. Rectification of your personal data
    4. Have the personal data we hold on you erased
    5. Restrict the processing of your personal data
    6. Object to the processing of your personal data
    7. Have your personal data transferred to another controller/processor

Identity and contact details of controller and data protection contact Ethical Consumer Research Association is the controller and processor of data for the purposes of the DPA 18 and GDPR.

If you have any concerns as to how your data is processed you can contact:

Joanna Long (Data Protection Contact) at jo [at] ethicalconsumer.org

or you can write to:

Joanna Long
Ethical Consumer Research Association
Unit 21, 41 Old Birley Street
M15 5RF
United Kingdom

If you are unhappy with how we are using your information and are unable to resolve the issue with us, you can raise the matter with the Information Commissioners Office by calling 0303 123 1113 or visiting https://ico.org.uk/concerns

Review of this Policy

We keep this Policy under regular review. This Policy was last updated in May 2018.





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