In February 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Edgewell Personal Care's 2018 Sustainability Report.

The report detailed how the company had taken steps to reduce its environmental impact in relation to packaging materials, the use of harmful chemicals in products, energy use, shipping, waste, palm oil, greenhouse gas emissions, water and conflict mineral sourcing. The company was therefore considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main impacts.

The report contained several targets for 2020 compared to a 2015 baseline, including:

The reduction of global energy use by 10%
The reduction of global GHG emissions by 10%
The reduction of water usage by 5%
The reduction of overall waste generation by 10%

There was some disclosure of carbon emissions, the company's total GHG emissions having risen by 7.8% from 2015 to 2018.

No evidence was found of third-party verification of the data within the report.

As the report was dated within the last two years, demonstrated a resonable understanding of the company's main impacts and contained multiple dated and quantified future targets, but did not appear to be independently verified, Edgewell Personal Care received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark in this category.

Reference:

Sustainability Report (2018)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Edgewell Personal Care 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.

Although certain products were stated not to contain parabens, the company appeared to have no stated policies on the use of the three chemicals mentioned above, therefore it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Pollution and Toxics category.

Reference:

edgewell.com (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Edgewell Personal Care website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. No information was found. The company had also been sent a questionnaire but no response was received.

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.

Given that the company lacked a clear policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers, it lost half a mark under Pollution and Toxics.

Reference:

edgewell.com (2020)

In January 2017 Ethical Consumer searched the Bulldog 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.

Bulldog stated the following:
"Our products never contain parabens, SLS, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances or ingredients from animal sources."

As the company committed to not using one of the three named chemicals, it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating on toxics.

Reference:

www.bulldogskincare.com (15 December 2016)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Edgewell's website for its policy on the use conflict minerals. The company's SEC Form SD submission for 2019 was found, as well as a conflict minerals policy.

1. - The policy stated that Edgewell commited to:
- Ensuring “all 3TG minerals used in our products are “DRC conflict free””
- Working “to ensure that no 3TG minerals that support conflict in the DRC region are used in our supply chain”. However, no clear statement was found committing the company to continuing to source from the region.
- Exercising due diligence using the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) procedures”

2. The company did not appear to be a member of a multi-stakeholder initiative supporting the conflict-free minerals trade. The company’s form SD filing made reference to its “participation in the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI)”, however, the CFSI became the Resposible Minerals Initiative (RMI) in 2017, and the company was not listed as a member on the RMI website.

As Edgewell Personal Care did not appear to meet the essential criteria of being a member of a multi-stakeholder initiative addressing the issue of conflict minerals or committing to continued sourcing from the region, it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its conflict minerals policy and lost a full mark under the Human Rights and habitats and resources categories.

Reference:

SEC form SD - Edgewell Personal Care Company Conflict Minerals Report (2019)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer sent Edgewell Personal Care a questionaire asking for details of the company's palm oil policy. No reply was recieved. The company website was searched, and its 2018 Sustainability Report was viewed. The following statement was found:

"To reduce our impact, we have boosted the use of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil-certified (RSPO) products. RSPO palm oil meets a set of environmental and social criteria aimed at minimizing the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment, wildlife, and communities in palm oil-producing regions. In fiscal 2018, we maintained our RSPO-certified products at 95% and look to better our position to 100% in the near future."

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) website was searched, but the company was not found to have submitted progress reports (ACOP), therefore statements from the company's website informed this rating.

As the company stated in its 2017 Sustainable & Ethical Operations Report "Palm oil is a core ingredient in base formulations and is significant in the foaming process of our products" and mentioned palmitic acid & stearic acid, which are palm derivatives, it was assumed to be referring to all use of palm ingredients including palm derivatives.

Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for palm oil and lost a whole mark in the palm oil caetgory.

Reference:

Sustainability Report (2018)