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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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Royal London

How ethical and sustainable is Royal London?

Royal London is a brand of pension provider, researched and rated for its brand ethics by The Good Shopping Guide. This brand scores above our Ethical Benchmark in our Pensions Ethical Ratings Table. Royal London also ranks in the top half of brands in the majority of our categories. The exceptions to these top scores are that Royal London lacks a Responsible Investment Policy, an Environmental Report, and Ethical Accreditation.

Royal London stands a very good chance of a successful Ethical Accreditation application. By applying for this award, Royal London would be joining The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethically Accredited Brand Group that so many shoppers trust and support, and would be pushing the ethical standards of the Pensions sector forward.

To read an in-depth article explaining the ethical issues surrounding Pension Providers, see our Ethical Pensions editorial.

What is Royal London and what does it do?

Royal London was initially established in 1861 in a coffee shop in London by Joseph Degge and Henry Ridge. It started out as a friendly society committed to serving the interests of its members and ensuring their financial security. In 1908, Royal London established a mutual life assurance society.

While the Irish part of the company- until recently known as Caledonian Life- dates back to 1824 and represents the Caledonian Insurance Company, formed in Edinburgh in 1805, some components of the modern firm are older than the core business itself. For instance, Royal Liver Assurance was created in 1850.

In 1988, the group established Royal London Asset Management (RLAM), an entirely owned subsidiary. In its London office, RLAM has 76 investment experts working for it.

Where does Royal London score well as a brand ethically?

Royal London scores in the top percent of brands in most of our research assessment categories, such as Environmental Destruction and Irresponsible Lending.

How can Royal London improve its Ethical Rating?

The Good Shopping Guide uses a plethora of criteria to determine if a brand is considered ethical and suitable for Ethical Accreditation. Royal London’s scores in each of its assessed areas is calculated based on these criteria. In order to improve its Ethical Rating, the brand can submit itself for Ethical Accreditation and gain that status. As well as this, the brand could rank higher on our Pensions Ethical Ratings Table within the category of a Responsible Investment Policy by following in the footsteps of other highly ranking brands such as ‘ETA’, in addition to putting efforts to improve its Environmental Report as well.

To find out more information about Environmental Reporting and Responsible Investment Policy writing and actioning, see our research methodology page.

If your brand is interested in improving its company ethics and sustainability policies, why not get in touch with The Good Shopping Guide to find out about our Ethical Accreditation process, which includes tailored sustainability consultancy? To get the process of Ethical Accreditation started, fill out our initial ethics and sustainability assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Environmental Destruction


  • Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets



  • Irresponsible Lending


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Responsible Investment Policy


  • Other Criticisms


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