According to the Naturewatch website, viewed in March 2020, Naturewatch was still calling for a boycott of L'Oreal, since its "continued use of ‘innovative’ ingredients, tested on rabbits, mice and guinea pigs, led to Naturewatch announcing a boycott of L'Oréal in 2000". This included subsidiaries of L'Oreal, such as Urban Decay. The website also stated that the Bodyshop had been removed from the boycott list as it was no longer owned by L'Oreal.
As this boycott did not extend upwards to the whole company group, L'Oreal lost half a mark under Boycott Call.


Boycott L'Oreal (25 April 2018)

Ethical Consumer visited the Baby Milk Action website in February 2020 and found its long standing boycott of Nestlé over its irresponsible marketing of breast milk substitutes was ongoing.
Boycotters have long accused Nestlé of harming children through the unethical promotion of infant formula. Nestlé is one of the most boycotted brands in the UK as a result of its activities. Baby Milk Action is one of the organisations which calls for such a boycott. According to Baby Milk Action, which describes itself as a non-profit organisation which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding, Nestlé was targeted with the boycott because monitoring conducted by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) found it to be responsible for more violations of the World Health Organisation's marketing requirements for baby foods than any other company.

It quoted UNICEF "Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed."

It stated that the boycott would continue until Nestlé accepted and complied with its four-point plan for saving infant lives and ultimately ending the boycott.

Nestlé therefore lost a whole mark under Irresponsible Marketing and a whole mark under Boycott Call.

Reference: (2020)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the website for the indigenous rights organisation Lakota People's Law Project, which called for a boycott of Nestlé and all its brands.

An article explaining the boycott was also found on the organisation's website titled "The Case Against Nestlé" and dated to June 2018. The article stated: "Michigan made headlines the world over on April 6, when Gov. Rick Snyder announced that the state would no longer distribute no-cost water bottles to the communities of Flint – citing that water quality in the city has been below federal action level for lead for two years. International conglomerate Nestlé stepped in and announced that they will donate water in the midst of the continued water crisis."

It also stated that "Nestlé’s new permit, awarded by the Michigan Department for Environmental Quality, allows it to pump 400 gallons of water per minute out of the state’s freshwater sources, for only $200 per year. And yet, some of Flint’s residents pay more than that per month for the contaminated water that courses through their taps. Flint residents, who have not had access to clean water in 1,510 days, are understandably not too keen on accepting bottles of water from the same company that is stealing theirs."

The article also cited Nestlé's irresponsible marketing of baby milk products; and its poor palm oil sourcing; as well as accusing it of 'corruption in California', stating "Until a recent investigation by the California Water Board, Nestlé was depleting water resources with little regulation and oversight, thanks to an expired permit to pump water from the San Bernardino National Forest".

The company lost a full mark under Boycott Call.


Nestlé Boycott Pledge (25 January 2019)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the L'Oréal website. The company produced sunscreen, which was an area in which nanotechnology was very common.

A webpage about nanoparticles was found on the company's 'Inside Our Products' section of its website. It stated "At L’Oréal, we only use 4 ingredients at the nanometric scale. Nano titanium dioxide, Nano zinc oxide, Nano carbon black, Nano silica," the page stated that these had been deemed safe for cosmetic use by the EU’s Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS).

Ethical Consumer considered nanotechnology to be a technology that carried potential environmental and health risks, and had not yet been
sufficiently established as safe, therefore any use of nanoparticles was marked down. The company was thus marked down in the Controversial Technologies category.


NANOPARTICLES webpage (20 February 2020)

According to a post on the NanoWerk website viewed by Ethical Consumer in Dec 2016, L'Oreal was one of the top nanotechnology patent holders in the United States.

The 2007 Corporate Watch report 'Nanotechnology: undersized, unregulated and already here', documented the growing evidence that nanomaterials pose a unique but so far poorly understood range of toxicity problems, along with concerns about the wider social and economic impacts of nanotechnology. L'Oreal therefore lost half a mark in the Controversial Technologies category.


Nanowerk website (4 January 2017)

In February 2020 Ethical Consumer searched Nestle’s website for information about its stance and use of GMOs.

The FAQ section of Nestle’s website,, stated that it did not produce GM crops, but it did ‘sometimes’ use GM ingredients in its products. It stated:"GMO crops that have passed strict regulatory and safety approvals are as safe as conventional crops. ‘GMO ingredients’ have a potentially important role to play in increasing food production, to support sustainable agriculture and help feed a growing world population...We support the responsible use of any innovative, safe technology. We decide whether to use ingredients derived from GMOs at a local level, in response to consumer concerns.

"We support the responsible use of any innovative, safe technology. We decide whether to use ingredients derived from GMOs at a local level, in response to consumer concerns."

The company therefore lost half a mark under Ethical Consumer's Controversial Technologies category.

Reference: (2020)

According to the organisation's website, viewed by Ethical Consumer in December 2019, L'Oréal was a member of the European Round table of Industrialists. This was regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights.

The company therefore lost half a mark under Political Activities.


Ethical Consumer Lobby Group member list (19 February 2020)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the Nestlé profile on the Open Secrets website. It indicated that the company had donated a total of $85,903 to both the Democrat and Republican parties in the 2018 election cycle. The company had also spent $4,132,000 on lobbying in the same period. In 2017-18, 10 out of 22 Nestle lobbyists had previously held government jobs. Nestlé lost a full mark under Political Activities.


Open Secrets generic ref 2020 (2020)

In September 2015 Ethical Consumer viewed an article on the BBC website ( titled "Bettencourt scandal: Key players" dated 7 October 2013.

The article contained details of an ongoing criminal investigation into Liliane Bettencourt's affairs. Bettencourt had admitted tax evasion, and was being investigated for corruption and illegal donations to the French Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative party, the UMP.


BBC article on Bettencourt scandal (7 September 2015)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer found a document on the L'Oreal website dated 9th February 2018 and entitled "Publication of information relating to the remuneration of the Chairman and CEO of L'Oréal, in accordance with the AFEP-MEDEF code on corporate governance for listed companies"

This document stated that the company had agreed to pay CEO Jean-Paul Agon a fixed salary of 2,200,000 euros in 2018. Other bonuses and stock options would be in addition to this amount. Ethical Consumer deemed any annual compensation over £1million to be excessive.


L'Oreal website (15 January 2019)

In March 2019 Ethical Consumer downloaded the Nestlé 2018 Corporate Governance Report from the company’s website The compensation table stated that Paul Bulcke, the chairman, was paid a total compensation of 3,493,908 Swiss Francs (roughly £2,647,694) in 2018. Ethical Consumer considered any annual remuneration over £1,000,000 to be excessive. Nestlé lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.


corp-governance-report-2018 (6 March 2019)

Ethical Consumer searched the L'Oreal fact sheet on corporate information website in February 2020. The company had numerous subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's current list of tax havens.

For many of these Ethical Consumer was unable to verify whether the companies were serving the local population or not.

Two companies were described by Hoovers as "primarily engaged in the management of the funds of trusts and foundations organized for purposes other than religious, educational, charitable, or nonprofit research." These were considered high risk company types for the likely use of tax avoidance strategies. These were:
L'Oreal Investments B.V. (Netherlands)
Oomes B.V. (Netherlands)

An internet search using the search terms “L'Oréal tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR), nor clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes.

Due to the fact that L'Oreal did not have country-by-country reporting and two high risk subsidiaries in tax havens it received a worst Ethical Consumer rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies.


Generic Hoovers ref 2019 (2 January 2019)

In March 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the corporate family tree for Nestlé S.A on the corporate database D&B Hoovers. The company had numerous subsidiaries based in jurisdictions which Ethical Consumer considered to be tax havens at the time of writing. Subsidiaries included several company types which were at high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes. High risk company types included holding companies based in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and the Bahamas.

A statement was found on the Nestle website that, "In compliance with the OECD ‘BEPS’ Actions, Nestlé prepares the Country-by-Country report (CbCR) for its entire group and provides it to the Swiss Tax authorities. Swiss Tax authorities share the Nestlé CbCR with countries that have signed agreements allowing for that exchange.
The Nestlé CbCR is therefore available to all the countries where tax authorities have agreed to the standards developed by the OECD." No public country-by-country reporting was found.

Nestlé therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely tax avoidance and lost a whole mark under Anti-Social Finance.


Generic Hoovers ref (2020)