In July 2021, Ethical Consumer viewed the website of The Works looking for information on what the company was doing to tackle climate change. Ethical Consumer was looking for the following:
1. 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. 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 its climate actions, and to have relevant sector-specific climate policies in place.
2. For the company to report annually on its scope 1&2 greenhouse gas emissions (direct emissions by the company), and,
3. to go some way towards reporting on 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.
If a company met all of these criteria it would receive a best rating. If it met parts 1&2 (impacts and annual reporting CO2e) it would receive a middle rating. Otherwise it would receive a worst rating.
1. Ethical Consumer found The Works ‘Annual Report and Accounts 2020’ which stated: “Electricity is the main form of energy we consume and we analyse consumption across our entire estate, including our distribution centres and our stores.” The company also mentioned that it monitors its electricity usage. It also stated ways that it has cut its emissions in the past, such as “All of the new stores we open have LED lighting and energy efficient equipment installed and we continue to refit a number stores with these technologies to help further reduce our in-store consumption”. These changes were considered to be future cuts.
2. In terms of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, The Works reported its greenhouse gas emissions in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which included purchased electricity, fuel combustion and fugitive emissions.
3. The Works did not mention its scope 3 emissions.
4. The company did not state any quantified targets for future reductions of its carbon emissions.
Overall, The Works achieved parts 1 and 2 of Ethical Consumer’s criteria and therefore received Ethical Consumer’s middle rating for carbon management and reporting and lost half a mark under Climate Change.