In November 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Hain Celestial Sustainability Report 2018, the most recent on its website.

The Sustainability report discussed climate change, water use, greenhouse gas emissions (including a breakdown of where emissions came from covering ingredients; processing; packaging; distribution; use and end of life), packaging, recycling and food waste.
The report contained a link to the company's climate policy which also discussed the sourcing of raw materials and deforestation. It also provided performance data for many of these topics. Hain Celestial was considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main impacts.

No future-dated, quantified environmental reduction targets with baselines could be found. A strong policy would contain at least two of these.

The report did not appear to have been independently verified.

As the report did not contain any targets, Hain Celestial received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

Sustainability Report 2018 (2018)

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Hain Celestial Sustainability Report 2018, and its CLIMATE CHANGE STATEMENT March, 2016 - the latest relevant documents on its website at the time.
Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:

1. a) For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future:
The Sustainability report discussed climate change and greenhouse gas emissions (including a breakdown of where emissions came from covering ingredients; processing; packaging; distribution; use and end of life. This was described as a baseline for its impact).
It stated:
"Hain Celestial is committed to minimizing our contribution to climate change by developing sustainable products, reducing our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from business operations and our supply chain, and by engaging in conversations to accelerate the efforts and policy needed to reduce the
risk of climate change.
Many of our company’s goods directly enable GHG emissions to be avoided or reduced due to how they are sourced, manufactured, and packaged.
Our portfolio of products includes plant-based beverages and desserts and meat-free alternative products, which offer important alternatives to livestock products and reduce the carbon footprint of our consumers.
We also continue to explore ways to reduce packaging materials, use recyclable materials for our packaging, and increase the recycled content in our packaging to reduce landfill waste and associated GHG emissions.
And we market many of our food and beverage products in ambient form to reduce GHG emissions associated due to refrigeration. Shelf-stable packaging has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any food and beverage container, as products can be safely stored without refrigeration before opening."
Its climate change statment said:
"Hain Celestial is setting a science-based goal to reduce the absolute GHG emissions from our operations and increase our use of renewable energy.
Hain Celestial will seek to increase our investments in climate solutions and strategies—at the farm level, at our factories, with our suppliers, and within our management.
Hain Celestial will integrate climate change into short- and long-term supply chain risks.
Hain Celestial will measure, manage, and report on our GHG emissions regularly and be transparent about our efforts to encourage more companies and other industries to take action.
Hain Celestial will be part of the wider community working to advance transformative solutions that mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts."
There was no more detail about any of these bullet points.

1 b) For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions.
It was not invloved in any of these things.

2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company):
It did not report its CO2e scope 1 and 2 emissions.

3. and to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).
There was no mention of scope 3.

4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.
There were no climate targets.

If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.

Overall, Hain Celestial received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a full mark under Climate Change because it did not report any scope emissions.

Reference:

ACOP 2019 (9 November 2020)

In May 2015 Ceres produced a report called “Feeding ourselves thirsty: How the food sector is managing global water risks. A benchmark report for investors.” According to the report producing food was the most water-intensive business on earth. It stated that “seventy percent of the world’s freshwater was used to irrigate crops and raise animals” and “one-third of total food production was in areas of high or extremely high water stress, or competition.” It went on to state that the run-off of fertilizers from farm fields was one of the most common causes of “water pollution worldwide, causing dead zones, harming fisheries, affecting human health and raising water treatment costs.”

The report analysed food sector companies against actions taken in four categories of water risk management, using indicators and scoring drawn largely from the Ceres Aqua Gauge:

1) governance and management: board members with oversight of water-related issues and had a water strategy
2) direct operations: reports data on water use and wastewater discharge for direct operations; assess risks; sets standards and goals on water water use, wastewater and impacts on watersheds
3) manufacturing supply chain: assesses water risks facing manufacturing suppliers; had policies for suppliers to improve water management; incentives manufacturing suppliers to strengthen practices
4) agricultural supply chain: assess water-related risks facing key agricultural inputs and sourcing regions; had policies for suppliers to improve water management and report their water use and pollution impacts; incentives manufacturing suppliers to strengthen practices

Companies were scored on a 0-100 point scale, using publicly available information from company financial statements, corporate sustainability reports and 2014 CDP water survey responses.

Hain Celestial received an overall mark in the packaged foods sector of 8. It scored the following in each section:

Governance and Management – 0/25
Direct Operations – 1/30
Manufacturing Supply Chain – 0/20
Agricultural Supply Chain – 7/25

Companies which scored 20 or under in agricultural supply chain lost half a mark under Ethical Consumer's Pollution and Toxics category due to the fact “erosion of topsoil and associated fertilizer run-off, both chemical and manure, is the most significant source of agricultural water pollution.”

Reference:

Feeding ourselves thirsty: How the food sector is managing global water risks. (May 2015)

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Hain Celestial website and viewed the company's website and Sustainability Report 2018, the latest on its website.

Ethical Consumer expected companies selling personal care products to have a policy on toxics, particularly parabens, phthalates and triclosan. 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.

The Sustainability Report stated that all products were free from parabens and phthalates. It also stated that its products were free from the following:
GMO Ingredients; Petroleum Derived ingredients; Synthetic Dyes; Formaldehyde donors; MEA, DEA, TEA; PEG Derivatives; Glycols; Copolymers; Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Sodium Myreth Sulfate; Talc; Nanoparticles; Irradiated processes; Animal testing after 1996; Substances listed in Annex II of EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009; CMR Ingredients*; Artificial Colors; Synthetic Plastic Micro Beads

The company did not mention triclosan. However, in the US, where the company is based, the use of triclosan in such products was already banned by law. The company did also sell its products in other markets, such as the UK, where triclosan had not been banned. In March 2020 Ethical Consumer conducted an internet search using the three personal care brand names, 'Live Clean', 'Alba Botanica' and 'Avalon Organics', and 'triclosan'. Ethical Superstore listed products of the latter two brands as "triclosan free". Live Clean was listed on www.londondrugs.com as triclosan free. Ethical Consumer was satisfied that Hain Celestiel personal care products were likely to be triclosan free and that it was not mentioned due to the existing ban in the US where the company is based.

Hain Celestial received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its personal care toxics policy.

Reference:

Hain Celestial website (9 January 2019)

There was no update to this story when searched in November 2020. In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Hain Celestial Sustainability Report 2018 which stated that materials such as synthetic plastic microbeads and copolymers “should not be included in the raw material composition” of the company’s personal care products. This was deemed to be a positive policy addressing this issue. This story was marked as information only.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 known microplastics ingredients 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.

According to a recent report by Code Check, non-biodegradable liquid polymers were also prevalent across a wide range of cosmetic products. Like microplastics, these materials degrade with a similar difficulty in the environment and may cause similar harm.

In 2018, the UK government banned the use of microbeads in toothpastes, shower gels and facial scrubs. However, some products classified as “leave on” were not subject to the ban, this would include lotions, sun cream and makeup, as well as abrasive cleaning products. This ban did not extend to non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Reference:

Hain Celestial website (9 January 2019)

Hain Celestial’s 2019 Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) report provided a breakdown of the company's use of palm oil, kernel oil and derivatives. 100% of these products were certified in some form, with 60% being segregated.
However, the company did not disclose suppliers, map its supply chain to the mill or plantation or discuss significant sustainability initiatives although it did state that its Spectrum products used fair trade palm oil.

Overall the company received a best rating for its palm oil policy.

Reference:

ACOP 2019 (9 November 2020)