Score table highlights
Fujitsu, Panasonic, Energizer/Eveready, GP, Kodak, Berkshire Hathaway (Duracell) and Philips all lost a full mark under Anti-Social Finance for having company structures often used for tax avoidance purposes.
Wilko, Multibrands (Supacell) and Varta did not lose marks for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.
With the exception of Philips, every single company on the list received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for its conflicts minerals policy, which saw them lose whole marks under both Human Rights and Habitats and Resources. Philips received Ethical Consumer’s best rating.
Excessive director pay Panasonic, Energizer, GP, Kodak, Berkshire Hathaway (Duracell) and Philips all lost half a mark under AntiSocial Finance due to having directors paid annual salaries of over £1,000,000.
Despite the reduced number of countries included on our oppressive regimes list, five companies still lost a full mark under Human Rights for having operations in over six of these countries. These were Berkshire Hathaway, Fujitsu, Philips, Wilko and Panasonic.
Energizer and Kodak both lost half a mark for having operations in two to four oppressive regimes. While they were not marked down Varta and Multibrands (Supacell) still both had operations in one oppressive regime.
The costs of extraction
While they are named after individual metals, many batteries actually contain a mix of the same metals. For example, lithium-ion batteries contain nickel, and some nickel batteries contain lithium. Cobalt also tends to be present in most rechargeable batteries.
The impacts of extracting these metals paint a fairly bleak picture, described below. However, none of this is a reason to completely avoid batteries, which are essential for us to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, as this is reliant on our ability to store power.
There are actions we can take. To start with, we can ensure we use rechargable batteries, use them as efficiently as possible and, when they do run out, make sure we recycle them rather than sending them to landfill or leaving them squirrelled away in odd corners of the house. And we can put pressure on companies to improve their standards.