In August 2019, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Hutchison's Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report in its Annual report 2018. As of February 2020, this still appeared to be the company's most recent report.

The report stated that the company was "committed to integrating ESG considerations in its daily operations, both at the Group and business levels." The company had an ESG Committee chaired by an executive director which "set an overtone from a corporate perspective and upholds the Group’s ESG philosophy when key business decisions are made."

Although specific ESG initiatives were said to be driven by individual businesses within the group, due to the existence at the Ultimate Holding Company level of an ESG Committee which set the tone for businesses within the group, the company's main environmental reporting was considered to take place at this level rather than with subsidiaries.

The Annual report contained general discussions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, renewable energy, waste and pollutants, water, packing materials and electronic waste. This was augmented with selected examples from across the company's operations, such as 3 Austria being CO2 neutral and Husky Energy's Fugitive Emissions Management Program to reduct its GHG emissions.

The topics in the report were too selective and the examples too specific for CK Hutchison to demonstrate a reasonable understanding of its main impacts across all of its areas of business (ports, retail, electronics, infrastructure, energy, telecommunications).

The report did not contain any group-wide, quantified, future environmental targets and the environmental data was not covered by the independent auditors report.

CK Hutchison therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting.

Reference:

AR (2018)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Hutchinson Holdings' corporate website.

It stated that CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited had interests in Australian Gas Networks Limited and Wales & West Gas Networks (Holdings) Limited.

Due to its involvement in the fossil fuel industry, the company lost a mark under the climated change category.

Reference:

ckh.com.hk (2020)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of Husky Energy. It was involved in the oil industry.

According to the 'Products' page on the company website, "The Company markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, asphalt, petroleum coke and sulphur. It markets and distributes gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, asphalt, lubricants and ancillary products."

A page about its thermal operations, the company stated that it was engaged in cold heavy oil production with sand (CHOPS) methods in its heavy oil operations. CHOPS is an oil sands (or tar sands) extraction method.

Husky Energy therefore lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

huskyenergy.com (16 August 2019)

In August 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed the Grand Bahama Port Authority website which stated that the Grand Bahama Airport Company Limited was owned by Freeport Harbour Company Limited which in turn was jointly owned by PGL and Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH). The company was said to be managed by HPH.

The company therefore lost a whole mark under the Climate Change category for its involvement in aviation, which was a climate change impact sector.

Reference:

https://www.gbpa.com/ (16 August 2019)

In June 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Superdrug corporate website for the company's policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates.

Some forms or uses of these chemicals were banned or restricted in the EU or the USA.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. They 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.

The company appeared to have no policies on the use of toxic chemicals in household and personal care products, therefore it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Pollution and Toxics category.

Reference:

www.superdrug.com (15 June 2020)

In June 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Perfume Shop website for a policy on toxic chemicals. As a company which sold perfumes, it was expected that they would have one. In particular Ethical Consumer was looking for a policy with reference to the use of triclosan, parabens and phthalates in the company's products and the brands that they sold. No information was found.

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

Triclosan is an antibacterial and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. They 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.
The company appeared to have no policies on the use of toxic chemicals in household and personal care products, therefore it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Pollution and Toxics category.

Reference:

www.theperfumeshop.com (15 June 2020)

In June 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Superdrug website for a cotton sourcing policy. Although the company sold a range of products which included cotton such as menstrual products and cotton wool, no policy could be found.

According to Anti-Slavery international (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in August 2018, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were two of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, and every year their governments forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton. Due to the high proportion of cotton likely to have come from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the prevalence of forced labour in its production, the company lost half a mark in the Workers Rights category.

The Organic Trade Association website, www.ota.com, stated in July 2018 that cotton covered roughly 2.78% of global arable land, but accounted for 12.34% of all insecticide sales and 3.94% of herbicide sales. Due to the impacts of the widespread use of pesticides in cotton production worldwide the company also lost half a mark in the Pollution & Toxics category.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro biotech organisation, genetically modified cotton accounted for 80% of cotton grown in 2017. Due to the prevalence of GM cotton in cotton supply chains and the lack of any evidence that the company avoided it, it was assumed that some of the company's cotton products contained some GM material. As a result it lost half a mark under the Controversial Technology category.

Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its cotton sourcing policy.

Reference:

www.superdrug.com (15 June 2020)

In June 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Superdrug website and found the company sold a number of timber-related products such as tissue and toilet roll. The company's website was searched for the company's policy on timber sourcing . Nothing could be found.
Ethical Consumer's timber sourcing ranking required companies scoring a 'best' to cover six of the below issues:
1. Having a timber sourcing policy that covers all timber and timber-derived products
2. the exclusion of illegal timber or that sourced from unknown sources and...
3. ...a discussion on how a company ensures/ implements this
4. clear targets for sourcing timber from sustainably managed sources
5. a discussion of a good minimum standard
6. preference given to certified sources
7. a discussion about tropical hardwoods (THW) and the percentage of THW sourced that are FSC certified
8. involvement with a multi-stakeholder initiative or bridging programme such as the World Wildlife Fund- Global Forest Trade Network
9. use of reclaimed or recycled wood/ paper
10. a high total percentage (50%+) of FSC certified timber sourced by the company.

Superdrug received Ethical Consumer's worst rating due to the fact it had met none of the above criteria.

Reference:

www.superdrug.com (15 June 2020)

According to a report entitled 'Palm Oil's Black Box', published by Mighty in December 2016, Olam was linked with deforestation in Southeast Asia and Africa. Olam was one of the biggest palm oil trading companies that has yet to adopt a strong forest conservation and human rights policy. Olam was majority owned by the people of Singapore through their national wealth fund, Temasek.

According to the report, only 1% of the total palm oil traded by Olam in 2015 came from its own plantations. The remaining 99% came from third party suppliers, the names of which Olam failed to disclose. Given that so much of the company's palm oil came from unknown suppliers, the report's authors said there was reason to be concerned that Olam was functioning as an outlet for rogue palm oil suppliers engaged in deforestation.
Having operated for many years in Southeast Asia, Olam had begun to develop operations in Africa through joint ventures with the government of the Republic of Gabon. Under these joint ventures Olam received 300,000 hectares of landbank for its own plantations, plus a programme incentivizing Gabonese farmers to grow palm oil on a further 200,000 hectares as ‘smallholders’ and selling the product to Olam.

These deals were met with criticism, partly by Rainforest Foundation UK, which found that communities were denied the right to free, prior and informed consent to development on their lands and that the land included culturally important sites.

Mighty had also analysed satellite imagery of Gabon and determined that Olam had cleared approximately 20,000 hectares of mature, high quality rainforest since 2012. Mighty’s field team, in partnership with Gabonese NGO Brainforest, also found that Olam had important Southeast Asian workers to Gabon rather than hire locals and it was unclear whether employees and smallholders would receive a living wage or an adequate price for their product.

The company responded to the report in an article published in the Straits Times, a Singapore daily newspaper closely linked to the government, stating: "Gabon has a right and an essential need to develop its agriculture sector to diversify its economy, improve food security to feed its people and create new livelihood opportunities, while also protecting its natural forests. Olam's palm plantations in Gabon are being developed in an environmentally and socially responsible way to contribute to each of these objectives. Our approach balances palm plantation establishment with natural forest protection. In fact we are conserving and protecting areas of verified high conservation value forest within our concessions greater in size than our plantations."

According to the report, Olam’s customers included Nestle, Kelloggs, Mondelez, ConAgra Unilever, Kraft Heinz, Pepisco, JDE and Tchibo.

Mitsubishi Corporation owns 17.42% shares in Olam.

As a result, Olam International lost half marks under Palm Oil and Habitat and Resources.

Reference:

Palm Oil's black box (December 2016)

In June 2020, Ethical Consumer downloaded the A.S. Watson Group 2019 Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from the RSPO's website and looked for further information on the company group's website (no further information was found).

The ACOP report stated that 95% of the total palm oil used by the company was reported to be certified by the RSPO, however, it did not state whether or not this extended to the use of palm kernel oil or derivatives.

The report did not contain any data concerning the volumes of palm oil used.

The company did not have a group-wide commitment; the report was submitted under the company name of A.S. Watson (Health & Beauty Continental Europe)B.V. which was a subsidiary of the parent A.S. Watson Group. In addition, it stated the report only covered the markets of Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

No information could be found regarding any positive initiatives the company was engaging in, and it did not disclose its suppliers. It received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its palm oil policy and practice.

Reference:

Generic www.rspo.org (2020)