Singer Fergie with children during a Unilever project © Press Association Images
Singer Fergie with children during a Unilever project © Press Association Images

Unilever tops Oxfam's ethical ranking

21 April 2016

The world’s biggest food and drink companies have made significant strides to improve their ethical and environmental policies, according to Oxfam.

The charity’s latest Behind the Brands scorecard tracks 10 global brands including Unilever, Nestlé, and Coca-Cola, and rates their performance on climate change, water, gender inequality, workers, smallholder farmers, land, and transparency. 

The most progress has been made tackling gender inequality, protecting land rights and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Oxfam said. Workers rights, followed by water and transparency were the areas where there had been the least improvement. 

Oxfam said that since its campaign and rankings began in 2013, Kellogg’s and Unilever have made the most progress across all issues.

However, Erinch Sahan, Oxfam’s acting head of private sector, said despite strong progress over the past three years, there was still a lot of work to do.

“The Big 10 must now substantially change their business models in order to deliver on their promises and ensure that workers and small-scale producers get a living wage throughout their supply chains,” he said. “This could make a huge impact in helping fight poverty.”

“Giving more power and economic value to farmers, workers and food producing communities will not only be good for all of us, but also for the companies' bottom lines in the long run.” 

In February 2013, seven of the ten companies had overall scores of 31% or below when it came to social responsibility and sustainability in their supply chains. Now, no company has scores below 36%, Oxfam said.

Behind the Brands scorecard April 2016:

Unilever - 74%

Nestlé - 69%

Coca Cola - 57%

Kellogg’s - 53%

=5. Mars - 49%

=5. Pepsico - 49%

7. Mondelez - 41%

8. General Mills - 40%

9. Associated British Foods - 36%

10. Danone - 36%

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