In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Green People's website for the company's environmental policy. No policy could be found. However, the company was considered to be providing environmental alternative products

The company mentioned that many of its products were certified by the Soil Association, the Organic Food Federation or EcoCert. It stated "At the time of writing Green People have 140 products of which almost 90% are certified by one or more of the certification bodies mentioned above."

A blog post was also found from 2019, entitled "What makes Green People so green?" This detailed some of the steps the company had taken to ensure its products did not contain harmful chemicals, to reduce waste, and to address carbon emissions.

Due to the fact the company had a turnover of less than £10.2 million and was considered to be providing an environmental alternative it received an exemption from full reporting under Ethical Consumer's Environmental Reporting category and received a best rating.

Reference:

greenpeople.co.uk (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Green People’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. Green People provided a January 2018 blog post, advising readers on which plastic ingredients to avoid. The website also stated “Green People has never used microbeads in any product and uses gentle, natural ingredients”. No other information was found about other microplastics or non-biodegradable liquid polymers. However, Green People contacted us and said:
"We have been a leading company in the campaign to ban all forms of plastics from cosmetic formulations. We have been a signatory and supporter of the Ban the Microbead campaign for many years and have products listed on their Green List - some of our products also carry the 'Look for the Zero' symbol where relevant, i.e. in products designed to be used as exfoliators.
We see that your criteria looked for the use of microbeads and liquid plastic polymers - Green People have never used any or either of these two ingredient classes in our 23 year history."

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.

A recent report by Code Check found that 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.

As the company stated it did not use any microplastics or non-biodegradable liquid polymer in its products, this reference is for information only.

Reference:

greenpeople.co.uk (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Green People 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.

The company stated that it did not use any of the chemicals. Therefore it received Ethical Consumer's best rating on toxics.

Reference:

greenpeople.co.uk (2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Green People's website for information on the company's palm oil sourcing. The following statement was found:

"The palm oil used in Green People products is from certified organic sources in countries that do not have native orang-utans such as the Philippines and Ecuador. It is a condition of organic certification that the raw materials come from trees that are grown on long-established plantations which are managed in a sustainable way to ensure that native fauna and flora are preserved. It is also a condition of achieving organic certification that the growth and production of crops does not have an adverse effect on the environment either on a local or global scale, and agricultural schemes that involve deforestation are specifically excluded from all organic certification schemes."

Green People was not listed as a member on the RSPO website.

Green People was a small company with a turnover of under £10.2 million. While it mentioned that it's palm oil was certified organic, it appeared to use palm oil derivatives which were not. Statements were found in its blogs about palm derivatives which were listed in its ingredients list (without the asterisk to state they were organic). For example,"The emulsifying agents are naturally plant derived from olive, palm and corn and include: cetearyl glucoside, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol and cetyl alcohol." Green People also did not disclose its suppliers and volumes of palm oil. As a result, overall it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for palm oil.

Reference:

greenpeople.co.uk (2020)