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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Oatly?

Oatly is a yoghurt brand which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Yoghurt Ratings Table. Although Oatly has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Oatly if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement.

Find out more about the ethical issues facing the  Yoghurt sector.

What does Oatly do?

Oatly was created in Sweden by scientists in the 1990s who wanted to make a plant-based drink which was in tune with the needs of humans as well as the planet.

In which areas does Oatly perform poorly?

Despite Oatly’s progress, there is still room for improvement. Oatly was marked down under our criteria for Organic due to a lack of certification. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Oatly’s record

There are ongoing criticisms of Oatly due to the company selling a 7% stake to The Blackstone Group, known for its role in the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. The CEO of The Blackstone Group has also been a prominent supporter of the Trump administration in the US, donating over $3m during his re-election.

In 2022 a marketing campaign by Oatly was banned by the UK advertising watchdog which ruled that its green claims were misleading. The brand was also accused of greenwashing by investment manager Spruce Point Capital in 2021.

In which areas does Oatly score well for its ethics?

Oatly gets a good score for Environmental Report as its Sustainability Update 2022 includes good targets for sustainability as well as evidence of progress made. It also has a statement in its FAQs relating to GMOs and is Non-GMO Project verified giving it a top rating for this criterion.

Oatly scores well for Nuclear, Fossil Fuels, Animal Welfare, Political Donations and Armaments due to a lack of criticisms across these criteria.

How can Oatly improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Oatly is awarded with on The Good Shopping Guide’s  Ethical Yoghurt Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Oatly has some issues to resolve, including its lack of certification for Organic products. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Oatly some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to attain Ethical Accreditation, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare


  • Vegetarian/Vegan Verified



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating