In November 2020 Ethical Consumer downloaded the Morrisons 2019/20 'Corporate Responsibility' report.
The report discussed carbon emissions, food waste and packaging - including plastic, recycling, waste, lowering pesticide use in farming and promoting sustainable farming practices. It also discussed palm oil, timber sourcing and sustainable seafood sourcing.
Morrisons also sold clothing, household and personal care products. The report discussed cotton sourcing, stating that "100% of the cotton used in [the company's own brand] Nutmeg clothing will be in line with the Better Cotton Initiative by 2025".
Since its last report, Morrisons had introduced additional reporting around cotton, pesticides and sustainable farming and was seen to be moving in the right direction. However, as the company received a worst rating for its toxic chemicals policy, it was not considered to have demonstrated a reasonable understanding of its main impacts.
The report included more than two dated, quantified targets for reducing the company's environmental impacts, including:
- reduce Morrisons operational [greenhouse gas] emissions by 33% by 2025, 53% by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2040 (2017 baseline).
- reducing own brand plastic packaging by 50% by 2025 (2018 baseline).
Selected KPIs in the report had been verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. It stated: "The scope of our work was limited to assurance over the information on pages 42 to 45 entitled ‘KPIs Assured and Basis of Preparation’ in Morrisons’ Corporate Responsibility Report 2019/20 (the “Selected Information" Ethical Consumer expected to see verification of all the quantifiable data in the report, rather than select data.
Due to the fact that Morrisons had two quantified and future dated targets and a report dated within the last two years, but the data was not all verified and did not demonstrate reasonable understanding of its impact, it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for Environmental Reporting and lost half a mark in this category.
Corporate Responsibility Report 2019/2020 (2020)