In April 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Logona and Sante's websites for details of its environmental reporting. The Logona UK site had very little information, stating "We use predominantly natural raw materials ... from controlled organic cultivation and wild harvesting", and "All Logona and Sante products carry the NaTrue or BDIH seal." The English version of the Logona website did not have much more information. The Sante website mentioned measures including "Environmentally friendly grass paper is used for our advertising materials such as displays"; "from 2020, the folding boxes of our products will be made of 100% recycled fibres and our labels of 50% recycled plastic (rPE) & 50% industrial waste produced. We also use 100% recycled rPET for our bottles"; "We also do without microplastics without exception"; "other new developments that save water consumption protect the environment" (no details given); and that it manufactured its products in Germany, with "the advantage that we can cover particularly short distances to our sales locations and thus protect the environment."
It also stated, "From 2020, our production site in Salzhemmendorf is completely C02-neutral without the purchase of additional certificates. In this way we protect the environment and resources. Of course we use exclusively green electricity."
As it referenced measures related to ingredients, packaging, transport and energy use, the company was considered to have a reasonable understanding of its key environmental impacts.
However no future quantified targets appeared to be included, nor independently verified performance data.
Overall Logocos Naturkosmetik AG received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for Environmental Reporting.

Reference:

https://www.sante.de/en (20 April 2020)

In October 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Nestle's website, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:

1. For the company to discuss its areas of climate impact, and to discuss plausible ways it has cut them in the past, and ways that it will cut them in the future.

For the company to not be involved in any particularly damaging projects like tar sands, oil or aviation, to not be subject to damning secondary criticism regarding it’s climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.

2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company), and,

3. to go some way towards reporting on its scope 3 emissions (emissions from the supply chain, investments and sold products).

4. For the company to have a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in line with international agreements (counted as the equivalent of at least 2.5% cut per year in scope 1&2 emissions), and to not count offsetting towards this target.

The company was considered to meet part 1 as it stated in its Shared Value Report that "We are speeding up the transformation of our product portfolio to include more climate-friendly ingredients. We are also focusing on scaling up renewable energy use and developing agricultural initiatives for carbon storage, reforestation and biodiversity protection." It was not involved in the tar sands, oil or aviation industries.
It was not considered to meet part 2 as it did not appear to report its Scope 1 and 2 emissions on its own website or in the above report. It therefore received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for Climate Change.

Reference:

2019 annual report (27 October 2020)

According to the Nestlé's Creating Shared Value Report 2019, viewed by Ethical Consumer in October 2020, the company was in the process of phasing out HFC refrigerants with high global warming potential from its industrial refrigeration systems. The target for 2020 for industrial refrigeration was only to 'expand the use of natural refrigerants'. It did not give a phase out date.

In October 2014 the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) released its 6th and final report called Chilling Facts: Closing the doors on HFCs. The report recommended that retailers should:
1. Commit to installing only HFC-free systems in all new stores and refurbishments, across entire estate, including their food transport systems and international operations;
2. Commit to a total phase-out by 2025 at the latest (the UK Government will ban the use HFCs with the GWP above 2500 from 2020).
3. Fit doors on all chiller and freezer units as standard
4. Remove any HFCs with Global Warming Potential above 2,500 in existing equipment as a matter of priority.

As it was still using some HFC refrigerants the company lost half a mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

nestle.com (2020)

In a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), 13 major fast food, retail, and food manufacturing companies in the USA were assessed to see if they could be doing more to prevent deforestation in South America. The report - Cattle, Cleared Forests, and Climate Change - was published in September 2016.

Tropical forests, notably those in South America, were being cleared for use in beef production. Deforestation driven by beef production was more than twice that of the next three largest drivers combined. South American ranchers cleared tropical forests, grasslands and woodlands to create pastures - releasing heat-trapping gases, destroying wildlife habitats, and encroaching on the homes of indigenous peoples.

The 13 companies all sourced beef from South America. This meant they could help stop deforestation by working with their suppliers to change practices, and ensure that beef production was not causing deforestation.

UCS found that nine of the 13 companies had no public policies or plans detailing how they intended to eliminate deforestation associated with their beef purchases, and that the policies and practices of the remaining four companies had major gaps - meaning they could have profited from selling “deforestation-risk beef”.

Companies were assessed against a number of criteria and given an overall mark out of 100. The report rated each company's deforestation-free beef policies and practices as “Strong”, “Limited” or “Very Limited” - in practice no company was assessed as “Strong”.

Nestlé was ranked fifth of the 13 companies with 23 out of 100. This score put it in the bottom (“Very Limited”) band.

The company lost half a mark under Climate Change and half a mark under Habitats & Resources.

Reference:

Cattle, Cleared Forests, and Climate Change: Scoring Global Companies on their Deforestation-Free Be

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the L'Oréal 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.

The 'Inside our products' section of L'Oréal's website included pages on parabens, triclosan and phthalates. It was stated therein that the company used some parabens in its products, but did not use triclosan or phthaltes in any of its products. This information appeared to apply to all the companies brands which were listed on the site.

As two of the three chemicals were not used, L'Oréal received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for its pollution and toxics policy.

Reference:

www.loreal.com (9 November 2020)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer searched L’Oreal’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. No information was found. Ethical Consumer also viewed a news article dated 10th February 2017 which stated that L’Oreal had eliminated microbeads from its wash off products.

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.

Given that the company’s policy did not cover all of its products and did not address the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymers, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

http://www.loreal.com/brand (March 2020)

In June 2015 the International Campaign Against Microbeads in Cosmetics published a list of products which contained microplastic.

The campaign stated that “Tiny particles of plastic have been added to possibly thousands of personal care products sold around the world. These microbeads, hardly visible to the naked eye, flow straight from the bathroom drain into the sewer system. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter out microbeads and that is the main reason why, ultimately, they contribute to the Plastic Soup swirling around the world’s oceans. Sea creatures absorb or eat microbeads. These microbeads are passed along the marine food chain. Since humans are ultimately at the top of this food chain, it is likely that we are also absorbing microbeads from the food we eat. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.”

It said that the microbeads used in personal care products were “mainly made of polyethylene (PE), but can be also be made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and nylon.”

L'Oréal's brands Biotherm, Garnier, Kiehl's, Body Shop, Declear, Lancome, L'Oréal and Vichy were listed on the campaigns red list for containing PE.

On the campaign's website it had the following statement from L'Oréal "L’Oréal has promised to replace its products containing microbeads. This will happen soon with niche products, but will take until 2017 for large volume products. L’Oreal said the move affects at least one hundred products and has asked us to be patient."

As microbeads were still being used in its products L'Oréal lost half a mark under pollution and toxics category.

Reference:

www.beatthemicrobead.org (June 2015)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Nescafé's websites; www.dolce-gusto.co.uk and www.nescafe-go.co.uk which both supplied and sold coffee machines which contained components likely to include the minerals tantalum, tin, tungsten and gold, collectively referred to as “conflict minerals”. However no conflict mineral sourcing policy could be found.

Particular concern had been raised over the sourcing of these minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its surrounding countries due to the renowned human rights abuses in the extractive industries in this area with profits being used to fund armed groups. The trade was also said to have dire environmental consequences generating a massive amount of waste containing toxic and radioactive substances, polluting the environment, water supplies and affecting the local communities.

Under the US Dodd-Frank Act any company that "manufactures or contracts to manufacture products containing any 3TG that is necessary to the functionality or production of such products, to conduct a “country of origin” inquiry reasonably designed to determine whether the 3TG in such 3TG Products originated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or adjoining countries."

While Nestle was not required by US law to report on conflict minerals campaign group Enough stated that all companies "should have been taking proactive action to trace, audit, and certify their supply chains to ensure that the effects of the above problems were limited."

Due to the fact the company had no policy it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its policy on conflict minerals and lost a whole mark under the Habitats and Resources and Human Rights categories.

Reference:

nestle.com (2020)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the website for the not-for-profit organisation The Council of Canadians.

It stated:
"Nestlé has taken billions of litres of pure, clean and vital water from underground aquifers in Canada and sold them for huge profit. Meanwhile, communities are struggling with severe droughts, dwindling water supply for community uses, and plastic bottles clogging up our landfills and waterways. Nestlé’s departure from Canada is a direct result of communities coming together to say no to its water grabs.

But we’re not done, yet. Although Nestlé Waters has announced its departure from the Canadian market, it is selling its facilities and wells to another major water taking company, Ice River Springs. The fight against corporate water takings for profit is not over. With your help, we will build upon the grassroots opposition to Nestlé to resist Ice River Springs, push back on all efforts to commodify water for profit, demand better regulations and support community-led efforts across Canada to protect water.

Whether we’re fighting Nestlé, Ice River Springs or any other corporation, the most powerful tool against the commodification of water is an informed and organized network of people committed to safeguarding water as a public trust and shared commons.

Yes! I pledge to always protect water and say no to bottled water"

The company lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Nestlé Boycott Pledge (25 January 2019)

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer downloaded the L’Oréal 2019 Annual Communication on Progress (ACOP) to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) from the RSPO's website and looked at the information provided in the company’s report entitled 2018 Palm Progress Report.

100% of the total palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm oil derivatives used by the company was reported to be certified by the RSPO although only a small portion of this was through a segregated mechanism. The company picked up additional marks for disclosing volumes and having a group wide commitment.

The company also gained marks for positive initiatives it was undertaking in its supply chain to increase the volumes of Mass Balance for the palm-based derivatives, as well as its "SPOTS" Project in Malaysia to integrate small producers’ inclusive models for promoting traceability, RSPO certification and sustainability within global supply chains.

In addition to this, the company had taken steps to map its palm oil supply chain, and had publicly disclosed a list of the mills it had found to be connected to its supply chain.

Overall, L’Oréal received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its palm oil policy and practice and did not lose marks in this category.

Reference:

Generic www.rspo.org (2020)

In March 2015 the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a report called 'Fries, Face Wash, Forests: Scoring America’s Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments.' The report was an updated version of its 2014 report ‘Donuts, Deoderants, Deforestation: Scoring America’s Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments.’

The report noted that palm oil production had contributed to climate change through the destruction of carbon-rich tropical forests and peatlands. It also highlighted exploitation within the industry, particularly child labour, poverty wages and dangerous working conditions, and the violation of indigenous land rights.

The report evaluated the same 30 firms across three sectors (packaged food, personal care, and fast food), scoring them on the extent of their global commitments to use palm oil that is deforestation-free, peat-free, and traceably and transparently sourced. In addition it had added a new sector, scoring the top ten largest supermarket, pharmacy, and discount companies based on their sourcing commitments for their storebrand products, bringing the total to 40 companies examined.

Companies scoring more than 60 overall were deemed to have a ‘strong commitment’, those scoring 36-59 were classed as having ‘some commitment’, those with 35 or less were described as having ‘little commitment’ and those scoring 0 were considered to have ‘no commitment’.

L'Oreal received a score of 80 and was considered by UCS to have a strong commitment to sourcing palm oil sustainably. This reference is for information only.

Reference:

Fries, Face Wash, Forests: Scoring America’s Top Brands on Their Palm Oil Commitments (March 2015)