In April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the entry for Reckitt Benckiser on the Opensecrets.org website, which was published in the USA by the Centre for Responsive Politics.

This stated that in 2020 the company was linked to $27,375 in political donations. Of this, $6,050 was donated to Republican candidates and $20,980 to Democrats.

NOTE: OpenSecrets states: “The organization itself did not donate, rather the money came from the organization's PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate family members. Organizations themselves cannot contribute to candidates and party committees. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.”

It also stated that it had spent $180,000 on lobbying and that in 2020, 1 out of 2 Reckitt Benckiser lobbyists were said to have previously held government jobs.

The company lost a whole mark under Political Activity.

Reference:

Open Secrets generic ref 2021 (5 January 2021)

In April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed Reckitt Benckiser's latest annual report (2020). It stated that several Executive Directors received over £1 million in total compensation in 2020. The highest paid received £9,237,000.

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 2020 (2020)

In April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed Reckitt Benckiser's list of subsidiaries in its family tree on the D&B Hoovers corporate database.

This showed that the company had several subsidiaries in jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing. Of these, the following were holding companies, which was a high risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance:

Reckitt Benckiser (BVI) No.2 Limited in the Virgin Islands
Reckitt Benckiser (Cayman Islands) Limited in the Cayman Islands
RECKITT BENCKISER HONG KONG LIMITED in Hong Kong
Grosvenor Square Holding B.V. in Netherlands
RECKITT BENCKISER INVESTMENTS (N° 8), S.à r.l. in Luxembourg
RECKITT BENCKISER INVESTMENTS (N° 8), S.à r.l. in Luxembourg
Beleggingsmaatschappij Lemore B.V. in Luxembourg
New Bridge Holdings B.V. in Netherlands
LONDON INTERNATIONAL TRADING (ASIA) LIMITED in Netherlands
Hamol NL B.V. in Netherlands Hamol NL B.V. in Luxembourg
Reckitt Benckiser N.V. in Netherlands
RB Holdings (Luxembourg) S.à r.l. in Netherlands

An internet search using the search terms “Reckitt Benckiser tax policy statement country” found no public country-by-country financial information or reporting (CBCR). The company stated "RB filed its third Country by Country Report (CbCR) in respect of the year ended 31 December 2018 with HMRC in December 2019. The submitted report disclosed key components of our profit and loss account, including revenues earned, taxes paid, and the number of employees we have in all the markets in which we do business." As this reporting did not appear to be publicly available, this was considered insufficiently transparent. Nor did Ethical Consumer find a 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 was for, and how it was not being used for purposes of tax minimisation.

Given that Reckitt Benckiser had two or more high risk subsidiaries in jurisdictions on Ethical Consumer's tax haven list and no public country-by-country financial information, nor adequate policy statement and narrative explanation, the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a full mark under Tax Conduct.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (5 January 2021)