In January 2020 Ethical Consumer downloaded the Morrisons 2018/19 'Corporate Responsibility' report.
The report discussed carbon emissions, food waste and packaging - including plastic, recycling, waste, lowering pesticide use in farming and promoting sustainable farming practices. It also discussed palm oil, timber sourcing and sustainable seafood sourcing.
Morrisons also sells clothing, household and personal care products - The report discussed cotton sourcing, stating that "100% of the cotton used in [the company's own brand] Nutmeg clothing will be in line with the Better Cotton Initiative by 2025".
Ethical Consumer would expect to see a discussion of toxic chemicals in relation to these sectors, and a discussion of cotton in relation to clothing. Morrisons was not considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main impacts.
The report included more than two dated, quantified targets for reducing the company's environmental impacts, including: 30% absolute reduction in operational carbon emissions by 2020 (2005 baseline) and a reduction in own brand plastic packaging use by 25% by 2025 (2017 baseline), and reduce operational food waste by 50% by 2030 (2016 baseline).
Selected KPIs in the report had been verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. It stated: "The scope of our work was limited to assurance over the information on pages 43 and 44 entitled ‘KPIs Assured and Basis of Preparation’ in Morrisons’ Corporate Responsibility Report 2018/19." Ethical Consumer expects to see verification of all the quantifiable data, not just greenhouse gases.
Due to the fact that Morrisons had two quantified and future dated targets and a report dated within the last two years and the data was verified but did not demonstrate reasonable understanding of its impact it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark in this category.
CSR report 2018-19 (January 2018)