In September 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the RB Media website for the company's environmental policy or report. No such information could be found. 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.
RB Media did not meet any of these criteria therefore it received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

rbmediaglobal.com (1 February 2021)

In February 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed KKR & Co'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's most recent sustainability report was its 2018 ESG, Impact, and Citizenship Report. This provided a limited discussion on climate change mentioning that the company was measuring its emissions and investing in renewable energy as well as encouraging its portfolio companies to reduce climate impacts. It did not appear to provide any detailed or concrete data on what the company had acheived in terms of carbon reduction.
According to KKR's website the company had investments in several oil companies including Colonial Pipeline Company, ADNOC Oil Pipelines, Comstock Resources, EXCO Resources and Westbrick Energy. As it was invested in fossil fuel companies it was not considered to have met part 1.

The company stated in its 2018 ESG, Impact, and Citizenship Report (the most recent available): "At the Firm level, we committed to measure our carbon footprint for the first time, following the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to calculate Scope 1, 2, and relevant Scope 3 emissions. This exercise yields valuable information that we will use to manage and mitigate KKR’s emissions". However it did not appear to be reporting these publicly. It was not considered to have met part 2 or 3.

No carbon reduction targets could be found and it was not considered to have met part 4.

Overall, KKR received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

www.kkr.com/businesses/kkr-portfolio (1 February 2021)

In August 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the W.F. Howes 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.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
Ethical Consumer could find no mention of the companies carbon or climate impacts on its website.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

www.wfhowes.co.uk (1 February 2021)

In September 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the RB Media 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.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
Ethical Consumer could find no mention of the companies carbon or climate impacts on its website.
As a result the company received Ethical Consumer’s worst rating for carbon management and reporting and lost a whole mark under Climate Change.

Reference:

rbmediaglobal.com (1 February 2021)

In August 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Nature's Bounty 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.
No mention of triclosan was found on the website. One product was said to be paraben free. A blog on the website about going make-up free stated "While skin sensitivities vary from person to person, Krant said consensus is forming that it's best to avoid formaldehyde-related preservatives (which are often unlisted, as they can be lumped in with "fragrance"), such as DM, DM hydantoin, phthalates (plasticizers) and "anything with a benzene ring," such as oxybenzone, a sunscreen ingredient". However there did not seem to be a clear policy on phthalates.
The website of one of its subsidiary companies, Dr Organic stated: "We avoid the use of synthetic ingredients often criticised for their harsh side effects, we never use Parabens, Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), Synthetic colours, Mineral oil, DEA, BHT or Isothiazolinones.". It also stated "Petrochemicals such as mineral oil and petrolatum are avoided; plant based oils and extracts are used instead".
Nature's Bounty as a whole was not considered to have clear policies stating that it did not use or was in the process of banning these chemicals. It therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for toxic chemicals and lost a whole mark under Pollution and Toxics.

Reference:

www.naturesbounty.com (22 April 2020)

In August 2021, Ethical Consumer searched the Nature’s Bounty website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. No information was found.

Ethical Consumer also viewed the Dr Organic website which, in the FAQs, stated "Dr. Organic products do not include plastic microbeads." There was no acknowledgement of other microplastics or non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

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 the use of all microplastics or the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymer in its products, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

www.naturesbounty.com (1 February 2021)

In August 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed Coty Inc's website for the company's policy on toxic chemicals. Ethical Consumer expected companies to have removed or have clear targets to remove from their supply chains the following chemicals: parabens, triclosan and phthalates.
A statement on parabens was found: "The ingredients used in our products have been developed, manufactured and packaged in compliance with the strict guidelines and regulations set by each country in which they are sold, including guidelines and regulations relating to the disclosure of the presence of parabens in such products. An extensive body of scientific research supports the safety of specific parabens as currently used in cosmetics products."
The company's Sustainability Report 2020 also mentioned specific brands that had been reformulated to remove phthalates. However, no company wide policy could be found.
Overall, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its toxic chemicals policy and lost a whole mark in under Pollution and Toxics.

Reference:

www.coty.com (1 February 2021)

In August 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed W.F. Howes website for the company's policy on paper sourcing. The company published large print books.

To achieve a best rating for paper sourcing, companies were expected to source over 75% recycled paper; or source between 50-75% and have a clear quantifiable and dated targets for increasing the use of recycled content to 75% or over. To achieve a middle, companies were expected to source over 50% recycled paper, or over 90% FSC certified paper. A small/medium company would receive a middle if it appears that the majority of its products are either FSC certified or recycled but no specific figures are given.

No information relating to paper sourcing could be found on the company's website or through an internet search.

W.F. Howes received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its paper sourcing policy and lost a whole mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

www.wfhowes.co.uk (1 February 2021)

Forest 500, ‘the world’s first rainforest rating agency’, is a project of the Global Canopy Programme. In 2019, it published its fifth annual ranking. It ranks 350 of the biggest companies in forest-risk supply chains and the 150 biggest investors in these companies.

Tropical rainforests cover 7% of the earth, but contain 50% of global biodiversity. Their ecosystems regulate global water systems and the climate, and they directly support the livelihoods of over a billion people. The social and economic benefits of these services are estimated to be in the trillions.

Over two thirds of tropical deforestation is driven by the production of a handful of commodities including; palm oil, soya, timber, paper and pulp, beef, and leather. These commodities are in products we use every day and are present in more than 50% of the packaged products in our supermarkets.

Companies and financial institutions had been assessed and ranked in respect to their policies addressing potential deforestation embedded in forest-risk commodity supply chains. The 2018 report stated that "the Forest 500 methodology was updated in 2018 to better distinguish between companies who have set commitments, and those that have taken the next step towards implementation. This new methodology has meant that many companies have received lower scores this year." A document on the 2019 methodology stated that had been updated again to better align with the guidance of the Accountability Framework, a set of norms and guidance on ethical supply chains developed by a coalition of civil society partners. Three new indicators were added and two indicators were updated.

The Forest 500 ranking and analysis will be repeated annually until 2020, to help inform, enable and track progress towards deforestation free supply chains.

Each company was rated from 0-5, across five categories:

Coty was one of the 350 companies rated in the 2019 report.

It received an overall score of 1. Its scores in each category were as follows:
Overall Approach 1 out of 5

Commodity Score (palm, paper & pulp) 1 out of 5

Commitment Strength 2 out of 5

Reporting and implementation 0 out of 5

Social Considerations 2 out of 5

The company had not signed up to the following collective commitments:

New York Declaration on Forests signatory
Consumer Goods Forum member

As it had scored under 4 overall, it lost half a mark under Habitats and Resources.

Reference:

Forest 500 - 2019 ranking (2019)