On 30th April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the The London Oil Refining Co Ltd website for the company's environmental policy or report. Ethical Consumer also sent a questionnaire to the company and a response was received.
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.
The company sent an Environmental Policy, but this did not report on its performance. It stated that it: "sets a series of long and short term targets. These targets are recorded, and monitoring and review documented, on Document REV54." This document was requested and received. It included quantifiable targets:
- 0 use of microplastics in all products, by 31/05/2021
- Have 100% plant based detergent content in Specialist range products, by 31/03/2022
It did not have its performance independently verified, but as it had two quantifiable targets, The London Oil Refining Co Ltd received a middle Ethical Consumer rating for Environmental Reporting and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

Questionnaire response April 2021 (28 April 2021)

On 30th April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the website of The London Oil Refining Co Ltd, looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change.
Ethical Consumer was looking for the company to satisfy the following criteria in its public statements and reports:
1.a 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.
1.b For the company to have relevant sector-specific policies in place.
1.c 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 a policy to avoid investing in fossil fuels.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company).
3. For the company to go some way towards reporting 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.
No information was found.
Overall, The London Oil Refining Co Ltd received a worst Ethical Consumer rating for carbon management and reporting

Reference:

Questionnaire response April 2021 (28 April 2021)

In April 2021, Ethical Consumer searched Astonish's website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. No information was found. The company had also been sent a questionnaire and responded. It stated, "Company policy is to formulate out all microplastics and prohibit further use. Complete removal from the brand is expected Q3 2021." It did not comment on non-biodegradable liquid polymers. A further query was made and the company responded:
"we use very few polymers and our product portfolio means that we do not use polymers with poor water solubility. We do not however have a specific policy regarding their usage."

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.

According to a recent report by Code Check, 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 lacked a clear policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers, it lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

Questionnaire response April 2021 (28 April 2021)

In April 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed a questionnaire response from Astonish for its policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates. It stated that it did not use these chemicals. When previously checked in March 2020 some of its antibacterial soaps contained triclosan, but this was not found in 2021. The company confirmed by email that "the last blend of Astonish product containing triclosan was a blend of Silke Soft Handwash bottled in November 2018. Triclosan was added to our Materials of Concern list due to concerns over persistence in the environment and possible role as an endocrine disruptor."

Some forms or uses of these chemicals are banned or restricted in the EU or the USA.
Triclosan is an antibacterial and is a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer and 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.
The company made no mention of a policy anywhere on its website, except to state on its FAQ page, "we do our best avoid the use of harmful chemicals in the process."
Overall the company received Ethical Consumer’s best rating for toxics and was not marked down under Pollution & Toxics in relation to these chemicals.

Reference:

www.astonishcleaners.co.uk (3 January 2017)

On 30th April 2021, Ethical Consumer searched for information on The London Oil Refining Co Ltd ’s use of palm ingredients. The mass production of palm oil has relied on the destruction of rainforests, which has wide ranging impacts including contributing to climate change, as well as loss of biodiversity and human rights.

To get a Best rating in this category, a medium sized company (annual turnover £10.2-100m) needs to have all palm oil and derivatives certified, for at least 50% of total ingredients to be from a physically certified supply chain, and for it to be discussing efforts made to protect human/workers rights in its palm supply chain.

The company stated in its questionnaire response that "All soaps purchased directly are RSPO Book and Claim. Further usage up the supply chain is not currently monitored."

This was understood to mean that other ingredients were purchased which may be derived from palm.

Overall, The London Oil Refining Co Ltd received a worst Ethical Consumer rating for palm oil sourcing and lost a mark in the Palm Oil category.

Reference:

Questionnaire response April 2021 (28 April 2021)