In March 2021, Ethical Consumer searched the Superdrug website for a cotton sourcing policy. Although the company sold a range of products which included cotton such as menstrual products and cotton wool, no policy could be found.

According to Anti-Slavery international (ASI) website viewed by Ethical Consumer in August 2018, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were two of the world’s largest exporters of cotton, and every year their governments forcibly mobilised over one million citizens to grow and harvest cotton. Due to the high proportion of cotton likely to have come from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the prevalence of forced labour in its production, the company lost half a mark in the Workers Rights category.

The Organic Trade Association website, www.ota.com, stated in July 2018 that cotton covered roughly 2.78% of global arable land, but accounted for 12.34% of all insecticide sales and 3.94% of herbicide sales. Due to the impacts of the widespread use of pesticides in cotton production worldwide the company also lost half a mark in the Pollution & Toxics category.

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), a non-profit pro biotech organisation, genetically modified cotton accounted for 80% of cotton grown in 2017. Due to the prevalence of GM cotton in cotton supply chains and the lack of any evidence that the company avoided it, it was assumed that some of the company's cotton products contained some GM material. As a result it lost half a mark under the Controversial Technology category.

Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for its cotton sourcing policy.

Reference:

www.superdrug.com (15 June 2020)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer searched the PARKnSHOP website for a policy on genetically modified ingredients and the use of genetically engineered animal feed. No information was found. Ethical Consumer noted that the company sold meat and dairy not labelled organic, therefore it was likely to be from animals fed a genetically modified diet. In June 2017 the British government website www.food.gov.uk stated that the EU animal feed industry imported 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements; that "almost all" of the soya from the major producers Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the USA was genetically modified and that "much of" the maize imported from the USA was genetically modified. The company therefore lost half a mark in the Controversial Technologies category.

Reference:

www.parknshop.com (15 June 2020)

In March 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Greene King website for a policy on genetically modified ingredients and the use of genetically engineered animal feed. No information was found.
Ethical Consumer noted that the company sold meat and dairy not labelled organic, therefore it was likely to be from animals fed a genetically modified diet. In June 2017 the British government website www.food.gov.uk stated that the EU animal feed industry imported 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements; that "almost all" of the soya from the major producers Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the USA was genetically modified and that "much of" the maize imported from the USA was genetically modified. The company therefore lost half a mark in the Controversial Technologies category.

Reference:

https://www.greeneking.co.uk/privacy/ (9 March 2021)

According to the organisation's website www.eurocommerce.eu, viewed by Ethical Consumer in February 2021, A.S. Watson Group was a member of Eurocommerce. This was regarded by Ethical Consumer as an international corporate lobby group which exerted undue corporate influence on policy-makers in favour of market solutions that were potentially detrimental to the environment and human rights. The company therefore lost half a mark under Political Activities.

Reference:

Members List - February 2021 (February 2021)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Hutchison's latest annual report (2019). It stated that the company's 18 Executive Directors received over £1 million in total compensation in 2019. The highest paid received HK$228 million (approximately £23 million).

Ethical Consumer deemed any annual amount over £1million to be excessive. The company therefore lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Annual Report 2019 (15 June 2020)

In March 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed Greene king's 2020 Annual Accounts which contained the company's remuneration report. It showed that the highest paid director in 2020 received £0.8million and in 2019 they received £1.7million.

Ethical Consumer considered any annual salary above £1million to be excessive. As a result Greene King lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Greene King 2019-20 Annual Accounts (9 March 2021)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Asset Holdings Limited’s 2019 Annual Report. A number of the company’s directors received emolutments above £1million, including Victor T K Li ($ 96.88million in 2019), Kam Hing Lam ($28.66 million in 2019) and Chiu Kwok Hung, Justin ($37.10 million in 2019). Ethical Consumer considered any annual salary above £1million to be excessive. As a result CK Asset Holdings Limited lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

2019 Annual Report (2019)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Hutchison's latest Annual Review, dated 2019. According to this report the company had multiple wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's list of tax havens at the time of writing. Of these, several were holding companies, which is a high risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance strategies:

- Hutchison Port Holdings Limited (British Virgin Islands/Hong Kong)
- Hutchison Port Investments Limited (Cayman Islands/Hong Kong)
- A.S. Watson Holdings Limited (Cayman Islands/Hong Kong)
- CK Hutchison Global Investments Limited (British Virgin Islands/Hong Kong)

The company published no country-by-country financial information.

Its Tax Strategy (updated 17 September 2020), which was published on the company website, stated that it would "comply with tax obligations in each jurisdictionin which the Group operates" and that tax evasion would not be tolerated or condoned. The Strategy did not contain a clear public tax statement confirming that it would not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes. Nor did the company provide a narrative explanation for what each group entity located in a tax haven was for, and why it was not being used for purposes of tax minimisation.

CK Hutchison therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a whole mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Annual Report 2019 (15 June 2020)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Greene King's list of subsidiaries in its annual accounts 2020. According to this list, the company had three subsidiaries in jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing. One of these was a holding company, which Ethical Consumer considered to be a high risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance strategies: Norman Limited, Guernsey - Holding company

The corporate family tree for Greene King was also viewed on the corporate database D&B Hoovers. The company’s direct parent company, CK NOBLE (JERSEY) LIMITED, was a holding company based in Jersey.

In addition, the governance arrangements for the Company have undergone significant change during the year, as a result of the acquisition of the Company by CK Noble (UK) Limited, a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of CK Asset Holdings Limited (CKA), a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and registered in Hong Kong. The acquisition was undertaken by means of a scheme of arrangement which became effective on 30 October 2019.

An internet search using the search terms “Greene King tax policy statement country” and “ CK Asset Holdings tax policy statement country” found no country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR), nor clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes, nor did the company provide a narrative explanation for what each group entity located in a tax haven is for, and how it is not being used for purposes of tax minimisation.

Given the above and the fact that the company published no country-by-country financial information, Greene King Limited received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Greene King 2019-20 Annual Accounts (9 March 2021)