In March 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the company's 2018 sustainability report available on the company's website.

The report contained discussion of the company's greenhouse gas emissions, energy, air and land pollution, water, waste and environmental penalties. Overall the company was held to have a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts.

The report contained several quantified future targets:

Achieve carbon neutral status for our global operations by end of 2025.
Reduce global process water and/or wastewater by 25% by 2022 using 2016 as baseline.
Achieve global operations solid waste recycling rate of 75% by 2020.

The report stated, "ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) was engaged by Church and Dwight to provide limited assurance on specified 2018 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) data" and independent assurance for other environmental data was not covered.

However, due to the fact the company had not provided a clear policy on the banning of the following toxic chemicals - triclosan, phthalates and parabens - it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for environmental reporting.

Reference:

2018 Sustainability Report (14 May 2019)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer searched the Church & Dwight website for the company's policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates. No policy could be found on the company's website.

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

Church & Dwight received Ethical Consumer's worst rating on toxics.

Reference:

Church & Dwight website (14 May 2019)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Church & Dwight's 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.

A full site search was conducted for microbead names (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, nylon) in product ingredient lists. This showed that the company used Polyethylene glycol and Polyprylene.

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:

https://churchdwight.com/ (25 February 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Church & Dwight's May 2019 Form SD on the SEC website. This form detailed the company's approach to conflict minerals, which were used in its battery-operated toothbrushes, water flossers, pregnancy testing kits, and other products.

Church and Dwight stated: "after having identified the relevant products, the Company, consistent with the OECD Guidance, requested that the Suppliers provide certifications (“Certifications”) confirming in writing that, either (i) the products did not contain Conflict Minerals or, (ii) if present in the product, such Conflict Minerals either (a) came from recycled or scrap sources, or (b) did not originate in the Covered Countries."

It also stated that the one supplier that "indicated that the products it supplies contained Conflict Minerals sourced from the Covered Countries", "completed a Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative’s Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CFSI CMRT) version 5.11 at the company level. The completed CFSI CMRT indicated that the Reporting Supplier was able to identify 100% of the smelters that it and its sub-tier suppliers used to manufacture all of the Reporting Supplier’s products (including those not supplied to the Company)."

Ethical Consumer expects policies to "articulate a company's commitment
- to conflict-free sourcing
- to continue to source from the DRC region
- to ongoing due diligence."

and "demonstrate its commitment by supporting conflict free initiatives in the region either through membership of a multi-stakeholder initiative supporting the conflict-free minerals trade and / or financially supporting in-region mining initiatives."

Other than ongoing due diligence, Church & Dwight did none of these things. As a result Church and Dwight received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for conflict minerals, and was marked down in the human rights and habitats and resources categories.

Reference:

Generic ref 2020 (27 February 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Church & Dwight Inc Co's website for information about its palm oil policy. The company was a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm oil (RSPO) since 2018 but had not yet submitted any numbers regarding its palm oil use.

Its website stated "Some of our products, including animal feed, liquid laundry detergents, gummy vitamins, oral care and feminine care products, include palm oil derivatives such as glycerin, palm fatty acid distillate (PFAD) and palm kernel fatty acid (PKFA), among others. In 2018, Church & Dwight sourced virtually all of our approximately 46,000 tons of palm oil derived materials from one supplier, who is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)."
"As of December 31, 2018, an estimated 96% of our palm oil derivative volume sourced from our primary supplier was independently verified as traceable back to the mills according to our primary supplier's supply chain mapping. That supplier has also represented to us that all such palm oil derivatives have been produced in conformance with its "No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy"."

Overall, the company received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating for its palm oil policy.

Reference:

https://churchdwight.com/ (25 February 2020)