As Temasek Holdings was categorised as ‘Vague/unsubstantiated’ according to Ethical Consumer’s transparency of investments rating it was marked down for any investments it held in companies that had been criticised by Ethical Consumer. For example, if it held shares in company criticised for animal testing, the company would lost half a mark under the Animal Testing category.

In May 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the company's latest Form 13-F, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, which listed the company's investments, and was dated to 31st December 2020. The company held shares in Amazon Com Inc, Airbnb Inc, Mastercard Incorporated, Paypal Holdings Inc and Starbucks Corp, among many other companies. These companies have been criticised under the following Ethical Consumer categories:

Climate Change, Pollution and Toxics, Habitats and Resources, Animal Testing, Factory Farming, Animal Rights, Human Rights, Workers Rights, Arms and Military Supply, Political Activities, Boycott Call and Tax Conduct.

Temasek Holdings lost half a mark in all the above categories for having investments in these companies.

Reference:

Form 13-F (31 December 2020)

The report "Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility", by PAX, the Netherlands, was updated in May 2017. This stated that the Dutch insurance company A.S.R. had a Socially Responsible Investment Policy which stated that the company always excluded companies that produced and/or sold controversial weapons. Controversial weapons were defined as antipersonnel mines, cluster munitions and nuclear, chemical and bacteriological weapons. A.S.R. was said to have made its exclusion list publicly available. The list was said to contain a number of companies excluded for involvement in armaments, including Temasek.
The report also stated that the Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds Huisartsen (SPH) excluded companies with activities related to the production or distribution of cluster munitions. Temasek was said to be excluded as a result.
Temasek lost half a mark under Arms and Military Supply for having a financial services relationship with weapons manufacturers.

Reference:

Worldwide Investments in Cluster Munitions: a shared responsibility - update (May 2017)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer AS Watson's 2017 CSR report (the most recent available) for details of the company's supply chain management policies. The company was a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). It stated that the company followed the BSCI code of conduct in regard to its supply chain management. The BSCI Code of Conduct, available on the BSCI website was therefore viewed.

Supply chain policy (reasonable)
There were adequate statements on: freedom of association, child labour, discrimination, working hours, and forced labour.

Regarding wages, the document stated: "Business partners shall comply, as a minimum, with wages mandated by governments’ minimum wage legislation, or industry standards approved on the basis of collective bargaining, whichever is higher." This was not considered an adequate statement guaranteeing the living wage.

A strong policy would include the following commitments: no use of forced labour, permission of freedom of association, payment of a living wage, the restriction of working hours to 48 hours plus 12 overtime (without exception), no use of a child labour (under 15 or 14 if ILO exempt), no discrimination by race, sex or for any other reason.

Overall the company was considered to have a reasonable supply chain policy.

Stakeholder engagement (poor)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to demonstrate stakeholder engagement, such as through membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative, Fair Labour Association or Social Accountability International. Companies were also expected to engage with Trade Unions, NGOs and/or not-for-profit organisations which could systematically verify the company's supply chain audits. The company was a member of the BSCI, but this was not considered to be a multi-stakeholder initiative. On the BSCI website the organisation stated: "We are neither an auditing company nor an accreditation system...We provide companies with a social auditing methodology and report. We do not organise audits ourselves but provide a network of external accredited, experienced and independent auditing companies."
Ethical Consumer also expected workers to have access to an anonymous complaints system, free of charge and in their own language.

Overall, the company was deemed to have poor stakeholder engagement.

Auditing and Reporting (poor)
Ethical Consumer deemed it necessary for companies to have an auditing and reporting system. Results of audits should be publicly reported and quantitatively analysed. The company should have a scheduled and transparent audit plan that applies to their whole supply chain, including some second tier suppliers. The company should also have a staged policy for non-compliance. The costs of the audit should be borne by the company.

On the AS Watson CSR Report 2017, the company stated that in 2016, 350 BSCI audits were carried out on suppliers. However, no other information was given.

Overall the company was considered to have poor auditing and reporting.

Difficult issues (poor)
Ethical Consumer also deemed it necessary for companies to address other difficult issues in their supply chains. This would include ongoing training for agents, or rewards for suppliers, or preference for long term suppliers. It would also include acknowledgement of audit fraud and unannounced audits, and measures taken to address the issue of living wages, particularly among outworkers, and illegal freedom of association.

No information was found on the above. Overall the company was considered to have a poor approach to difficult issues.

Overall the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Supply Chain Management.

Reference:

BSCI Code of Conduct (2017)

In August 2017, a complaint against Greene King Retailing was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority because it was found to have advertised alcoholic drinks to children.
The advert in question, a leaflet for Hungry Horse Pub, promoted a special offer of “£5 OFF AND A FREE DRINK”. The back of the leaflet contained information about the terms and conditions of the offer which included a list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks included in the offer. The complainant, whose child was given a leaflet in their school book bag, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible because it was directed at children.
Greene King Retailing Ltd t/a Hungry Horse said that they did not consider the leaflet was an alcoholic promotion. They highlighted that the front of the leaflet stated “£5 off and a free drink" and did not expressly indicate that the drink was intended to be alcoholic. They said that the only reference to alcoholic drinks was on the back of the leaflet contained within the terms and conditions which included a list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The ASA upheld the complaint because it considered that, because the leaflet was distributed to a person who was under 18 years of age and that the leaflet referred to alcoholic drinks, the ad breached the CAP Code (Edition 12) of advertising alcoholic drinks to children.

Reference:

ASA ruling on Greene King Retailing Ltd (31 August 2017)

In March 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed CK Hutchison's list of subsidiaries in its 2019 annual report, which stated that the company had operations in the following countries: China, Egypt, Iraq, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

At the time of writing Ethical Consumer considered each country listed to be governed by an oppressive regime. The company therefore lost a whole mark in the Human Rights category.

Reference:

Annual Report 2019 (15 June 2020)

On 9th May 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited's list of subsidiaries on corporate database D&B Hoovers, which stated that the company had operations in Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, and Turkey.

At the time of writing Ethical Consumer considered each country listed to be governed by an oppressive regime.

The company therefore lost half a mark in the Human Rights category.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (5 January 2021)

In May 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 (10 May 2021)

In March 2021 Ethical Consumer searched Greene King's website for the company's policy on paying its staff a real living wage, as the company owned pubs across the UK.
A news piece was found about the company having joined the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in January 2016. The piece quoted the Chief Executive of the BHA saying:
“We are delighted to welcome Greene King into our membership. With employment issues currently taking centre stage, we are lobbying to help alleviate the huge impact of the National Living Wage on this industry and for the introduction of an Apprenticeship Training Academy to support SMEs and longer apprenticeship periods to allow for seasonality. Greene King will provide valuable perspective and leadership for the pub and brewing industry on these issues and many more.”
The BHA describes itself as "the private sector forum for the UK’s 6th largest contributor to export earnings and 4th largest employer. Hospitality and tourism (combined) directly employ 4.5 million people or 10% of the workforce and over 180,000 businesses."
As of April 2020, increases to the National Living Wage, requires that workers over 25 must be paid at least £8.72. Workers in the under 18, 18-20 and 21-24 age brackets may be paid less, down to as little as £4.15/hour for apprentices. However, the rate set by the Living Wage Foundation says that the minimum should be £9.50 (£10.85 in London). Ethical Consumer expected hospitality companies to sign up to the latter, known as the real living wage.
According to a 2014 report by the Living Wage Commission, bar staff, waiting staff, and kitchen and catering assistants were found to be the top three occupations in the UK with the highest proportion of people paid below the living wage. The report found that low paid workers were increasingly turning to support to get by with a growing dependence on debt, food banks and in-work benefits.
Ethical Consumer considered low wages to be endemic throughout the hospitality industry therefore companies lost half a mark under the workers' right category if it had not committed to becoming a real Living Wage employer. No evidence that Greene King was paying a real Living Wage was found.

Reference:

www.greeneking.co.uk (2 August 2017)