As you might imagine being taken over by a large company has a negative effect on their ethical rating. There are a few reasons for this.
Overall, Ecover received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Pollution and Toxics as it had effectively banned the use of triclosan and phthalates from its products but still used parabens in some.
However parent company SC Johnson still used all three types of chemicals in many of its other branded products.
Ecover previously lost no marks under the human rights category. However, SC Johnson has subsidiaries that operate in a number of oppressive regimes. This included China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. Therefore SC Johnson and Ecover lost half a mark under Human Rights.
SC Johnson still openly tests on animals.
The Naturewatch Foundation is now calling on Ecover and Method to use their new position of influence with SC Johnson to convince their parent company to stop all commissioning or conducting of animal tests across their entire range of products.
Until then, Naturewatch is asking consumers to boycott all SC Johnson brands, including Ecover and Method, until the entire company is cruelty-free.
Ecover pick up marks from their parent company for political donations.
In January 2019, Ethical Consumer viewed the Open Secrets website, which stated that SC Johnson & Son Inc had made $440,732 in political donations over the 2017 to 2018 election cycle.
Money was donated to both the Republican and Democrat parties, but the vast majority of donations were made to the Republican party:
- Republicans: $386,950
- Democrats: $53,767
As a result, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Political Activity and lost a whole mark under the category.
The Final Ethical Score
Ecover now scores 7 out of 14 (as of 9/1/20). Before its takeover by SC Johnson it scored 11 out of 14.