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)

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 May 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 (11 May 2021)

On 14th June 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Olam website and saw that it own dairy and poultry businesses. It also produced animal feed.

Ethical Consumer noted that the company's animal products were 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.

No policy on genetic modification was found on Olam's website. As a result the company lost half a mark under Controversial Technology.

Reference:

www.olamgroup.com (14 June 2021)

According to the organisation's website www.eurocommerce.eu, viewed by Ethical Consumer in May 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 May 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Temasek Capital Management Pte's profile on the Open Secrets website, published by The Centre for Responsive Politics in the US.

This stated that in 2018 the company had spent $90,000 on lobbying. The profile did not link it to any political donations.

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.”

In 2018, two out of two lobbyists were said to have previously held government jobs.

As a result the company lost half a mark under Political Activities.

Reference:

Open Secrets generic ref 2021 (5 January 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)

On 9th May 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited's website. No annual report nor other information disclosuing executive pay could be found.

As the company had a turnover of £1 billion or above, the company lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance for lack of transparency on executive pay.

Reference:

www.temasek.com.sg (9 May 2021)

On 16th June 2021 Ethical Consumer viewed the Olam Annual Report 2020, which included information on director pay.
It stated that two directors were in remuneration band of S$2,000,000-S$4,000,000 in the year 2020. This was the equivelant of over £1,000,000, an amount which Ethical Consumer considered to be excessive.
As a result, Olam lost half a mark under Anti-Social Finance.

Reference:

Olam Annual Report 2020 (2020)

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)

On 9th May 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed a list of Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited's subsidiaries on the Hoovers corporate database.

This showed that the company had multiple subsidiaries in jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing.

Multiple of these were holding companies, which was considered a high-risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance, including:
Emerald Communications (Cayman) SPC in Cayman Islands
APL (Bermuda) Ltd in Bermuda

No significant secondary criticisms were found of the company's tax pratices.

In the FAQ section on its website, the company published the following statement regarding its tax policy: "Temasek pays the required taxes to the tax authorities, and separately declares dividends to its shareholder, as a commercial investment holding company."

However, this was not considered to be adequate, as it did not appear that the company had provided a clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity nor 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.

Overall, Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited received a Worst Ethical Consumer rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a whole mark in the Tax Conduct category.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (5 January 2021)

On 14th June 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed a list of Olam International Limited's subsidiaries on the D&B Hoovers corporate database.

This showed that the company had multiple subsidiaries in jurisdictions considered by Ethical Consumer to be tax havens at the time of writing. Ethical Consumer disregarded the fact that the company had its UHC and subsidiaires in Singapore, considered to be a tax haven, because Olam was a Singaporean company.

Two of these were holding companies, which was considered a high-risk company type for likely use of tax avoidance, including:
tt Timber International AG in Switzerland
Olam Holdings B.V. in the Netherlands

No country-by-country reporting could be found. A UK Tax Strategy was found which was dated 2018.

However, this was not considered to be adequate, as it did not appear that the company had provided a clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in tax avoidance activity nor 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. It also specifically only referred to Olam's UK tax policies.

Overall, Olam International Limited received a Worst Ethical Consumer rating for likely use of tax avoidance strategies and lost a whole mark in the Tax Conduct category.

Reference:

Generic Hoovers ref (5 January 2021)