In October 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the Wonderful Company website for the company's environmental policy or report. The company's Sustainability webpage was viewed on its website, alongside its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report.
An environmental policy was deemed necessary to report on a company's environmental performance and set targets for reducing its impacts in the future. A strong policy would include two future, quantified environmental targets, demonstration by the company that it had a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts, be dated within two years and have its environmental data independently verified.
The Wonderful Company discussed what it was doing to: reduce its water and energy usage through innovative irrigation systems, switch to 100% renewable electricity (currently the company produced 30% of its own electricity on two of its sites), reduce electricity use in its factories and offices, improve the sustainability of its agricultural practices, eco-friendly pest control systems, recycle its waste, use environmentally friendly packaging and protect global bee populations by investing in bee companies. Although the company did not discuss other important issues such as transportation of finished goods, it was considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main environmental impacts.
Only one future target was found that met Ethical Consumer's requirements:
- 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
The company's CSR report appeared to be dated 2019 but the environmental performance data included within it did not appear to have been verified by an independent organisation.
Overall The Wonderful Company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

CSR report 2019 (2019)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of The Wonderful Company, 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.
2 - For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company),
3 - and 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's latest CSR report stated that the company had installed solar panels on the roof of its factories and now produced 30% of its own electricity on two of its sites. It had also pledged to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. It stated that it was investing in its irrigation systems to make them more water and energy efficient. In reference to its operations in Fiji the company said it was deeply committed to reducing its carbon footprint and was investing in energy efficiency projects in order to achieve this. This was considered to be a reasonable discussion of how the company had cut its carbon emissions in the past and planned to continue cutting them.
However no further information was found, meaning the company had not reported its carbon emissions or presented a company-wide target for cutting its emissions in line with international agreements.
Overall, The Wonderful Company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

CSR report 2019 (2019)

In October 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the campaign organisation Food and Water Watch website for information about its petition that called for a boycott against the Wonderful Company's products. Although an article was found dated September 2017 outlining the campaign against the company, the organisation's campaign page was no longer active and could not be opened.
The Food and Water Watch had set up a petititon asking signatories to boycott all Wonderful Company products until it ceased the practice of irrigating its fields with oil waste water. The organisation also reported that 'traces of cancer-causing chemicals like ethylbenzene were found in the wastewater, along with a host of other toxic substances' and that that there were no regulations requiring regular testing of this water. No further information could be found on this claim.
An article in the LA Times from 2015 also reported that environmental group, Water Defense, had been testing the water that the Cawelo Water District bought from Chevron (and then sold on to companies including the Wonderful Company) and had found compounds which were toxic to humans such as acetone and methylene chloride. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board declared the crops safe in April 2020. However, this does not change the fact that wastewater from oil production is being used.
As a result The Wonderful Company lost half a mark under Pollution and Toxics.

Reference:

The Fabulous Fight Against the Wonderful Company (29 September 2017)

An article in The Guardian newspaper dated 22nd August 2015 reported on The Wonderful Company’s controversial use of water for its nut trees in California which was experiencing a major drought. The article stated that Stewart Resnick, owner and CEO of The Wonderful Company, has direct access to a major water source in California and had been using his ‘extensive network of political contacts’ to lobby for more.
The drought in California had led to more and more water being pumped from the ground and vast amounts of land was sinking. The article quoted Alan Scow of Food and Water Watch, who said that the land used by The Wonderful Company for growing nuts was not fit for farming and should be retired due to the amount of water required to use it. The article stated: “Resnick and his wife Lynda do not just have money. They are reaping the benefits of a closed-door deal struck in 1994 that has proved to be the very foundation of their agricultural empire and has endured despite legal challenges. The state’s department of water resources gave them de facto control of the Kern Water Bank, a large groundwater storage facility, fed in part by publicly subsidized northern Californian sources, that was originally intended as a fallback in times of drought and also a powerful political instrument with which to control agribusiness and property development.” The article reported that The Wonderful Company has been allowed to sell its waste water back to public water companies for profit.

The Wonderful Company therefore lost half marks under Habitats and Resources and Political Activities categories due to the criticisms related to its lobbying activities in this case.

Reference:

Nut empire battles conservationists over water tunnel for California orchards (22 August 2015)

In October 2017 Ethical Consumer accessed an article on the LA Times website which reported that The Wonderful Company had destroyed an old oak forest on recently bought land in Paso Robles California in order to plant grape vines for its Justin Wine brand. The article stated that the action was halted as soon as the San Luis Obispo County discovered it was happening. The article also reported that the removal of the trees would leave the soil vulnerable to storm erosion and that people were concerned that the new reservoir excavated on the land would allow the company to drain the groundwater the area relied on. It was also reported that a number of restaurants were now boycotting Justin Wines in response (but there wasn't evidence of an official boycott call).

As a result The Wonderful Company lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Billionaire Resnicks' Justin Vineyards bulldozes forest of old oaks, sparking uproar (23 June 2016)