In May 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed the Sanofi website for the company's environmental policy or report. The company had a number of CSR reports and quite a lot of environmental data online. There was discussion of carbon emissions, waste, water, pollution and food waste. The compay was held to have a reasonable understanding of its main environmetnal impacts.

Only one quantified target could be found: "Sanofi’s new ambition, aligned on “Trajectory 2°C”, is to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in terms of [carbon] emissions from industrial, R&D and administrative sites, and from medical rep vehicle fleets (Scope 1 & 2). Our intermediate goal is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025 (from a 2015 baseline) for the same scope."

The company had environmental data that was independentaly verified.

As the company did not have two future targets it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting.

Reference:

Sanofi website (7 May 2019)

In May 2019 Ethical Consumer searched the Sanofi website for the company's policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates.

Some forms or uses of these chemicals are banned or restricted in the EU or the USA.

Triclosan is an antibacterial and is a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer and are used as preservatives. Phthalates, usually DEP or DBP, are used in fragrances and are endocrine disruptors.

A strong policy on toxics would be no use of these chemicals or clear, dated targets for ending their use.

Nothing could be found that specifically mentioned these three chemicals.

Therefore the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating on toxics.

Reference:

Annual report 2018 (7 May 2019)

Yves Rocher, the French personal care and cosmetics company, was one of the world’s 30 biggest cosmetics and personal care companies investigated by Greenpeace East Asia (GEA) in a report dated July 2016, which ranked the companies on their commitment to tackling the issue of microbeads in their products.

Microbeads are a type of microplastic that can be found in our personal care products such as toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. They are tiny plastic particles that are added for their exfoliating properties, but sometimes purely for aesthetic purposes only.

The four main criteria used by GEA were:
1. Commitment & information transparency: Did the company have commitment on microbeads? Was it publicly available and easy to access?
2. Definition: How did the company define microbeads for their commitment?
3. Deadline: When would the company meet their commitment?
4. Application scope: Did the commitment cover all products in all markets?

Each company was scored by GEA based on their responses to a Greenpeace survey, as well as any publicly available information. Each criterion was weighted equally and scored out of 100, to give a final maximum score out of 400.

In a private statement the company had claimed to have stopped using microbeads in April 2016, saying: “In 2014, we decided to stop using plastic micro-fragments (polyethylene microbeads) in all our products.” It said that “100% natural micro-fragments like almond or coconut powder” would be used as alternatives.

Scoring 270 out of 400, ranking 6th in the report, Yves Rocher’s commitment was considered to have fallen short of an acceptable standard because it had many limitations:
- It narrowly applied to just one type of plastic - polyethylene - rather than all plastic types;
- It was silent on the application of the definition to microbeads used for all possible functions;
- It was silent as to whether there was a size limit.

GEA recommended that Yves Rocher should also improve its transparency to customers by publishing its commitment so it was publicly available.

Reference:

Global Cosmetics & Personal Care Companies' Microbead Commitment Ranking (July 2016)