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Ethical brand ratings and accreditation since 2001

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How ethical is Sony?

Sony, a mobile phone owned by Sony Corporation is given a low Ethical Rating by The Good Shopping Guide. Unfortunately, this brand receives a low Good Shopping Guide Ethical Score in our Ethical Mobile Phones Ratings Table and has therefore not yet met our minimum Ethical Benchmark.

In which areas does Sony perform poorly?

In 2021, Sony was connected to the death of a 40-year-old Sony employee. The Mita Labour Standards Inspection Office classified the incident as a workplace accident brought on by overwork. The man, who was employed in Dubai, passed away from heart disease, and his overwork was said to be the cause of his death. Ten days after returning from a work trip to Japan, the employee passed away from a cardiac arrest on January 15, 2018, in the parking lot of his Dubai office. The Mita Labour Standards Inspection Office determined that the deceased had worked an average of approximately 80 hours outside of his regular working hours during the three months prior to his death. As such, authorities recognised a relationship between his death and overtime work, determining it a workplace injury. Companies without stringent overtime policies endanger their workers and cause both physical and mental stress.

Sony was also ranked 33.5 out of 135 in a report by The Enough Project. This report ranked Consumer Electronics and Jewelry Retail Companies on their use of Conflict Minerals in Congo. This placed Sony firmly in its ‘worst’ rankings.

Sony and modern-day slavery

A Guardian article on modern-day slavery also revealed Sony’s use of young students in its factory lines. According to one labour monitor, some of the biggest laptop brands in the world depend on Chinese student labourers as young as 16 to work 12-hour days on factory assembly lines, with their funding and graduation in danger if they don’t comply. This amounts to a kind of forced labour, as the students’ education is essentially held for ransom.

These incidents, among many others, led to a low Human Rights score for Sony.

In which areas does Sony perform well?

Sony receives a high score for its extensive Environmental Reports. The company has both a Green Management plan with targets and a Sustainability Report. The Sustainability Report includes Net Zero targets. This report also evidences past targets achieved, such as 100% renewable electricity used on Sony’s European sites.

Other Environmental goals for Sony include: reducing resource usage (including water) as much as possible while maximising resource recycling, creating environmentally conscious, energy-efficient products and services, and collaborating with manufacturers’ subcontractors and suppliers of raw materials in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both directly and indirectly. The specificities of this report were sufficient to score very highly indeed in our Environment criteria.

Sony was also not found to be in any way connected to the Nuclear industry (energy or weapons) or Animal rights abuses.

How can the Sony brand improve its Ethical Rating?

The Good Shopping Guide’s score results from 15 ethical criteria in relation to Sony. To reach our Ethical Benchmark and qualify for our Ethical Accreditation, Sony has several issues to deal with, including its Human Rights abuses and the welfare of its workers.

If your mobile phone brand values ethics and sustainability, why not check out The Good Shopping Guide‘s Ethical Accreditation? Increase customer and investor confidence and stand out from the greenwash.


Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Nuclear Power


  • Eco Labels


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Code of Conduct


  • Political Donations


  • Human Rights


  • Conflict Minerals



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Other Criticisms


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