Is there an ethical car company?
Carbon Management and Reporting
This is the first time we have rated car companies against our new rating. To achieve a best, companies had to have dated targets for transitioning to non-ICE vehicles in major markets, have a reasonable discussion of what they are doing to reduce emissions, disclose emissions data and have a decent emissions reduction target. To achieve a middle rating, they had to do the same, minus the non-ICE vehicles targets.
Tesla was given a special exemption for this report as, unlike any of the other manufacturers, it makes exclusively electric cars. It doesn’t, however, report on all of its emissions or have a reduction target, which isn't too clever, even if it is an important disruptor. It should start doing this now.
Five others got a best rating:
- Volvo (100% electric by 2030)
- Renault (100% electric by 2030)
- Mercedes-Benz Group AG (will be all electric by 2030 “wherever market conditions allow” – this looks a bit like a get out clause, but it did have a lot of interim targets and an excellent discussion)
- Ford Motor Company (“by 2030, we expect EVs to represent half of global volume. In Europe, we expect 100% of our cars to be fully electric by 2030”)
- Kia (100% electric in major markets such as the United States and Europe by 2040).
Several car companies scored a worst rating:
- Mitsubishi, because its targets and discussion were both weak.
- Toyota, because its 2030 emissions target was weak.
- BMW (Mini, BMW and Rolls-Royce), because its discussion was poor.
- Suzuki, because its emissions target was weak.
- Jaguar Land Rover (Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover), because it didn’t seem to publish any emissions data at all.
- Honda was marked down for manufacturing aircraft parts.
The remaining companies scored a middle rating in this category: General Motors, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Volkswagen and Stellantis (Alfa Romeo, Citroen, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall).
Automotive supply chains are complex. A vehicle typically contains between 15,000 and 25,000 component parts, making it all the more important for car companies to transparently report on supply chain management and the measures taken to protect workers. Unfortunately, car companies are still off the mark when it comes to managing supply chain workers' rights issues.
No company achieved our best rating and only Stellantis and Volvo achieved a middle rating.
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) was established in 2018 and is partially funded by the UK, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and German governments. Like Ethical Consumer, it produces company rankings, but in an annual Corporate Human Rights report. In 2020, looked it at automotive companies and found, just as we did, that the sector’s supply chain management is extremely weak. It stated that it was the worst performing sector it has ever examined.
There was less agreement between the specific scores of our rating and the WBA’s. In the meantime we separately marked down those who came at the bottom of WBA’s scale, which were: Nissan, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Suzuki, and Volvo (Geely).
Arms and military supply
Tata Motors (Jaguar, Range Rover and Land Rover) have supplied vehicles to the US Army in Afghanistan as well as the Myanmar Army, and it has been named on the Burma Campaign Dirty List.
Hyundai Rotem, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company, was found to manufacture ground weapon systems.