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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 November 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the W.F. Howes website, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. At the time of writing it was owned by KKR. 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 (4 November 2021)

In October 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed KKR & Co Inc’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 CA, 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.

1. In its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report the company stated it achieved carbon neutrality in 2019. However, this was done through the use of offsetting programs, one of which was a forestry program, which Ethical Consumer did not consider an effective carbon management tool. KKR stated it encouraged environmental awareness in offices and integrated recognised environmental standards into new design. The company stated it continued to “advance and evolve our approach to incorporating the consideration of climate-related risks and opportunities into the investment life cycle. We utilize the framework developed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as a primary input”. The company discussed investing in renewables. However, this was just among other investments – the company website detailed partnerships with oil companies including Colonial Pipeline, Comstock resources, EXCO Resources and Westbrick Energy.
As such it was not considered to have met part 1 as it was invested in fossil fuel projects.

2 and 3. The company stated in its 2020 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, “We measured our carbon footprint following the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to calculate scope 1, 2, and relevant scope 3 emissions. It is based on the Firm’s direct impacts and operations; it does not account for the impacts of our investments.” The “Invested in People” section of the company website listed KKR’s total Scope 1, 2 and some Scope 3 emissions combined to be 24,342.2 mtCO2e however this did not account for the impacts of their investments.

As there was no further clarity surrounding the emissions from each scope separately and the company did not include the impact of its investments in its Scope 3 calculations, this was not considered enough to meet parts 2 or 3.

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

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

Reference:

ESG Report 2020 (3 September 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 November 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 (1 February 2021)

In November 2021, Ethical Consumer searched the Nature’s Bounty website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non or poorly-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 November 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)