These are the companies that profit the most from Black Friday:
Amazon has been the target of a boycott call from us since 2012 over its tax avoidance.
Last year the company’s corporation tax bill almost halved to £4.5m, despite pre-tax profits at its UK business tripling from £24m in 2016 to £72m. However, this profit is only from Amazon UK Services, the company’s warehouse and logistics operation and doesn’t include UK sales which are still routed through Luxembourg to avoid paying any tax on them in the UK.
The founder of the company, Jeff Bezos, has also been slated for his own earnings and he’s now reported to be worth $108.6billion, making him one of the richest men on the planet.
In addition to tax avoidance, the company he runs has also been criticised for its attitude to corporate responsibility. On our ranking system, the company scores a worst rating for all of its policies, from environmental reporting to supply chain management, and has an Ethiscore of 0.
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Online shopping platform eBay scores a more respectable 7.5 on our Ethiscore. However it too receives a worst Ethical Consumer rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies, as it has two holding company subsidiaries in the low tax jurisdiction of Switzerland and is registered in Delaware despite its head office being in California.
The company also scores a worst rating for our supply chain management ranking and for excessive directors remuneration with the highest-paid executive, Devin N. Wenig, President and Chief Executive Officer, receiving $17,670,591 in 2017.
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Apple has a slightly lower Ethiscore of 6 and its ethical stance is more mixed. They score badly for their likely use of tax avoidance strategies and CEO Tim Cook earned an excessive $26,700,660 in 2018. However they do much better on a number of other ethical policies.
For example, they score a best rating for both our toxic chemicals policy and our conflict minerals policy. It also scores well in the Greenpeace 'Clicking Clean' report which rates companies on their approach to building a green internet based on renewable energy use.
However, the company has been repeatedly criticised for workers' rights violations in its mobile phone supply chain especially due to its relationship with the infamous Foxconn factories in China that came to the world's attention in 2017. These involved a number of suicides amongst its often overworked and underpaid staff.
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Sony scores 6.5 on our ranking system putting them just ahead of Apple. Like Apple, they also score a worst rating for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies and for excessive executive pay (although this is a much lower £3million in 2018).
The company also scores well for its conflict minerals policy and for its environmental reporting.
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Currys PC world
Currys PC World is a brand belonging to UK company Dixons Carphone Warehouse. The company scores a middling Ethiscore of 8 out of 14. However, the company scores badly for most of its policies including supply chain management and conflict minerals, both of which are vital in the technology sector where workers' rights abuses are rife. It also scores a worst rating for its likely use of tax avoidance strategies. Its Ethiscore remains relatively high as it has escaped any direct criticism from campaigners independently monitoring their supply chains.
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Last year Missguided was selling jumpers and sweatshirts for as little as £12 on Black Friday. The company is owned by Nakai Investments which is based in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven and scores a worst rating for the likely use of tax havens.
The company scores a middle rating for its cotton and supply chain ratings and worst for its other policies including environmental reporting and toxics policies.
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