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How to use this Ethical Comparison Site


Methodology: Our Research and Ethicality Audits

The Ethical Comparison tables that appear in each product section are designed to give readers a quick, at-a-glance view of the overall ethicality scores awarded to different companies and brands. The Good Shopping Guide methodology for these tables involved mathematically amalgamating the results of the more detailed ethical information (which can be found from within the Ethical Comparison tables), based on the Ethical Company Index, to produce three broad groups:

  • Appearing on a green background: contains brands and companies which, taking every ethical criterion into account, score well in that particular product sector. These companies may apply to use The Good Shopping Guide ethical accreditation logo on packaging and marketing materials.
  • Appearing on an orange background: contains brands and companies which score in the middle section of their individual product sector. This will mean that they have scored highly in some areas of the ethicality audit but have done less well in others.
  • Appearing on a red background: contains brands and companies which score in the lowest section of their product sector. This will mean that they have not scored as highly as other companies in a number of categories included in the ethicality audit

Our Research 

Our research relates to the records of the companies behind the brands. In some cases apparently ethical brands score much lower than the public would expect because the ultimate holding company is involved in less ethical practices – often on behalf of other brands in their wider brand portfolios. For example:

  • A skincare brand certified by Cruelty-Free International’s Leaping Bunny receives a bottom rating under Animal Welfare. This is because the Company Group is criticised by Animal Welfare organisations for animal testing.
  • A Fairtrade certified chocolate brand is given a middle rating under Fair Trade. This is because the majority of the chocolate brands owned by the Company Group are not Fairtrade certified.

See below for a detailed breakdown of how the ratings are awarded for each category.

The Category Definitions 

The detailed ethical information has been tailored to each particular industry so that we can now reveal more detailed information about all of the companies. For instance, in Ethical Food & Drink we reward companies that are involved in fair trade, and in Ethical Money we penalise banks that have invested in projects that have caused outrage among environmental and human rights campaigners. The following categories are included in each section of The Good Shopping Guide:

The Environment 

Environmental Report

The quality of a company’s environmental reporting can say a lot about its ethical standards. As such reports become more commonplace it is getting easier to rate companies on their code of ethics and their efforts toward corporate social responsibility: a good report will contain fixed targets as opposed to vague statements of intent.

Companies that fail to publish a report get a bottom (red) rating; companies with inadequate reports get a middle (orange) rating. To earn the top (green) rating the report must be dated within the last two years and must set concrete and company-wide performance targets; it also has to demonstrate an understanding of the company’s main impacts. Many of the corporations that have attracted the most criticism have actually produced exemplary environmental reports.

Exception is made for small companies without the resources to publish an elaborate annual report (i.e. companies whose turnover is less than £2 million a year). Companies that were launched with the aim of helping people, animals or the environment are rewarded with a middle rating but must have some sort of environmental policy or report to earn a top ethical rating. These include businesses that provide fair trade, organic, vegetarian, cruelty-free or environmentally-friendly alternatives. (This is for tables that have been updated from 2010 onwards).

Nuclear Power 

Nuclear power is a target for social and environmental campaigners for two main reasons: its link to the production of nuclear weapons and the pollutant properties of radioactive waste. Nuclear waste remains dangerous for 250,000 years, and this greatly increases the security problem attached to its potential for use in nuclear weapons. The nuclear industry argues that, as an electricity generator that does not produce greenhouse gases, it should have a role in combating climate change. However, environmental campaigners would prefer to support a sustainable future through energy conservation and the development of ‘cleaner’ power sources such as sun, wind and wave power.

Some nuclear industry specialists are also involved in the production of goods and these are reflected in the tables. A bottom rating indicates the company is involved in the design, construction or operation of nuclear power stations, radioactive waste handling and/or the mining, processing or reprocessing of uranium. It also may indicate the production of other nuclear-related equipment, such as monitoring facilities. Companies receive a bottom rating if they are listed in the Buyers’ Guide of Nuclear Engineering International or are a member of the World Nuclear Association, Nuclear Industry Association or World Nuclear Transport Institute.

Genetic Modification (GM) 

No one really knows the possible effects of GM food on our health and the environment and the public and certain NGOs are therefore anxious about their use. Releasing genetically altered organisms into the environment could disrupt ecosystems, and genetically modified crops have been proved to be more harmful to many groups of wildlife than their conventional equivalent.

New 2004 EU regulations for the labelling of genetically modified foods and feed require that all food products that make direct use of GMOs at any point in their production are subjected to labelling requirements, regardless of whether or not GMO content is detectable in the end product. GMO content that is below the prescribed threshold remains unlabelled, as long as it is due to an unintentional and technically unavoidable mixture. The threshold only applies to GMO content that has been authorized in the EU and therefore is considered safe. (Source: GM Compass).

In the food and drink section, a bottom ethical rating indicates that the company uses GM ingredients in any of their products. A middle rating is given to companies that do not have a stated policy on their website regarding the use of foods or ingredients which contain GMO’s in their products but where no negative records were found, or, in the case of supermarkets, where the company does not expressly rule out ingredients derived from animals fed on GM crops in their own brand products. The top ethical rating is awarded to companies that clearly state that they do not use GM ingredients in their products (and, for supermarkets, ingredients derived from animals fed on GM crops).

In our section on cafes, the top ethical rating is awarded if no criticisms relating to genetic modification have been found. In our chapter on supermarkets, the top ethical rating is given if no own-brand products contain GM ingredients or ingredients derived from animals fed on GM crops; the middle ethical rating indicates that no own brand product contains GM ingredients.

In the Ethical Health & Beauty section, the bottom ethical rating is given to companies involved in the non-medical genetic modification of plants or animals or to companies that use GM in their products. Due to the prevalence of GM cotton, all companies within the Feminine Care section are assumed to be likely using cotton which had come from genetically modified crops, unless they have a clear statement ruling out the use of GM cotton or where they have Organic or Fair Trade certification for ALL cotton products – in which case a top rating is awarded. A middle rating is given to companies that do not have a statement on the use of GM crops and where no criticisms have been found.


Non-organic farming reduces biodiversity, encourages irreversible soil erosion and generates run-off that is awash with harmful chemicals. Organic produce is grown or made without the use of synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other man made ‘inputs’.

In the Ethical Food & Drink section, a green tick indicates that one or more of the company’s food or drink products is approved by the Soil Association ( or another organic certification body.

The Ethical Health & Beauty section is broken down into sub-sections* for the purposes of rating organic certification, which are as follows:

  • Cold Remedies, Eye Care Products, Pain Remedies and Vitamins
  • Make-up, Shampoo & Conditioner, Skincare, Soap, Sun Protection and Toothpaste
  • Feminine Care and Nappies

So for example, a company with a vitamin brand and a feminine care brand that only has organic certification for the vitamins would only receive a top rating for organic within the Vitamins research.

*this is a change to historic research and will take effect in all tables updated after April 2015

In the Fashion Retailers sector, a company only gets the top ethical rating if they sell one or more own-brand product lines made of organic material.

In our section on cafés, the top ethical rating indicates that only organic coffee is served; the middle ethical rating indicates that some organic products are available; the bottom ethical rating indicates that no organic products are sold at all.

In our chapter on supermarkets, the top ethical rating is given to those companies that have the widest range of own-brand organic products (i.e. over 100 product ranges). The bottom ethical rating indicates that no own-brand organic products are sold. (This is for tables that have been updated from 2010 onwards).

Toxic Chemicals Policy

Household cleaning products may contain chemicals that are linked to numerous health and environmental concerns. Asthma, developmental and reproductive harm and even cancer are some of the health issues associated with some of the chemicals commonly found in these products. In addition, we need to consider the effects of the environment, where chemicals can end up polluting streams and rivers and persist in the environment indefinitely, possibly entering the food chain.

Within the Cleaners, Washing-up Liquid and Laundry Detergents sections, we rate companies on their policies – or usage of the following chemicals which are of particular concern: formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates and triclosan.

For a top rating, a company must have a policy that outlines that they do not use ANY of the aforementioned chemicals, a middle rating is awarded to companies that have a policy that only rules out 3 of the 4 aforementioned chemicals and a bottom rating is given to a company which continues to use all the aforementioned chemicals or where no policy can be found.

Home & Office Eco Schemes 

Energy Saving Recommended

The Energy Saving Recommended logo was established by the Energy Saving Trust ( and guarantees a high standard of energy efficiency. The logo appears on a wide range of household appliances, including fridges, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers, light bulbs, light fittings, gas boilers and heating controls. A green tick indicates that one or more of the company’s products is recommended by the Energy Saving Trust.

European Eco-label

Products that bear the EU Eco-label flower have passed a number of criteria relating to the environment and performance. The scheme covers everything from paints to tissues to computers but remains very much in a nascent state in the UK. A green tick indicates that one or more of the company’s products bears the Eco-label.


This category only applies to office products. TCO Development sets the world’s toughest standard for environmental and employee-friendly office equipment. To earn the TCO badge each product has to pass at least 50 tests relating to emission levels, energy consumption, ergonomic design and ecological soundness. A green tick indicates that one or more of the company’s products is approved by TCO Development.


An Ecolabel certification shows that a product or service is produced with less impact on the environment and can help people make informed choices. Some labels look at the overall environmental impact of a product or service from its inception to final disposal (life cycle assessment) whilst other labels only focus on certain environmental aspects.

Manufacturers can also produce their own labels to show that the product meets the internal standard set by the company. A top ethical rating under this criteria indicates that one or more of the company’s products (within the sector being researched) bear a Type I Ecolabel (as defined by the International Organisation for Standardization) such as TCO Development, Blue Angel, Nordic Swan, the EU Ecolabel (Eco Flower), Japan’s Eco Mark, etc. Type I labels ensure that the product or service meets strict environmental standards based on life cycle considerations and are awarded and monitored by an independent third party. EPAT certification also earns a top ethical rating under this criteria, as it addresses the full product lifecycle, from design and production to energy use and recycling. Companies with products bearing only the Energy Star label receive a middle ethical rating because this label only certifies energy consumption.

Timber Sourcing Policy

This category only applies to our chapter on ethical furniture. Unsustainable forest management, where too many trees are removed too quickly or entire forests are being logged, is increasing due to the huge demand for timber and paper products. This contributes to global deforestation and climate change and threatens the wildlife and communities that are dependent on them. Laws to control logging in key areas and stop the trade in products from illegal sources are often broken. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) work to improve forest management worldwide and operate independent third-party certification guaranteeing the wood is from sustainably managed forests.  The top ethical rating is given to companies* with 100% FSC certified (or other credible scheme like PEFC) garden/tropical hardwood* AND where the majority (50%+) of all other timber products are certified/recycled.  A middle rating is given to companies where the majority (50%+) of wood products are FSC certified/recycled and a bottom rating is given where less than 50% of wood is certified/recycled or there is no published policy or information available.

*These ratings are awarded by brand/retailer rather than company group


Animal Welfare

At the end of the 20th century, nearly three million animals per year were used in UK experiments alone. Worldwide, over 100 million animals are subjected to tests. Most tests are carried out on mice, rats, guinea pigs, birds, fish and rabbits, but other animals including dogs, cats and primates will be used. The testing of products such as lipstick and washing-up liquid accounts for a tiny fraction of animal tests. The vast majority is done in the name of medical research, to test new drugs. But animals are also used in the testing of weapons, pesticides, food additives, and in psychology experiments.

All new chemical ingredients are required by law to be tested on animals. Regulatory bodies list a number of tests that must be carried out before an ingredient can be registered. Alternative, non-animal tests such as tissue and cell cultures, computer production, clinical studies and the use of skin fragments do exist for all the standard toxicity and irritancy tests. But the process of ‘validating’ these alternative methods has been obstructed, according to Cruelty Free International, by industry and regulatory bodies’ reluctance to accept these new methods.

Companies need to do two things in order to behave responsibly and show an honest code of ethics:

  1. Invest heavily in developing alternative, non-animal tests and lobby to get them validated
  2. Postpone the search for new ingredients and use the 8,000 established ingredients until non-animal alternatives to all animal tests have been validated.

Companies are penalised under the Animal Welfare criteria if they conduct or commission animal testing, whether for medical, cosmetic or other purposes. They are also penalised if they have been the subject of continuing criticism from animal rights organisations such as Cruelty Free International (previously the BUAV) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

For a top ethical rating, a company must not conduct or commission tests on animals, and must not be the subject of criticism from animal rights campaigners such as PETA and Cruelty Free International.

In the sections outlined below, a company must have:

  1. CFI Leaping Bunny certification OR
  2. a robust Animal Testing Policy which confirms they operate a fixed-cut off date for ingredients and products within the supply chain (manufacturers, ingredients suppliers etc) OR
  3. only produce and sell within the EU

If a company does not comply with one of the above criteria, it receives a middle ethical rating (where no animal welfare/testing criticisms have been found) or a bottom ethical rating (where animal welfare/testing criticisms have been found).

  • Cleaning Products
  • Laundry Detergents
  • Make-up
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Skincare
  • Soap
  • Sun Protection
  • Toothpaste
  • Washing-up Liquid

Within the Paint section, a top rating is awarded to companies that have an Animal Testing Policy or statement, confirming that they do not test their products on animals. A middle rating is awarded to companies that do not have a clear policy, but where no criticisms for animal testing has been found. A bottom rating is awarded to companies that have been subject to criticisms by animal welfare groups for animal cruelty/testing.

Within the Fashion section, in order to obtain a top rating, a company must have a robust Animal Welfare Policy. For example, ruling out the use of animal materials within products from endangered species, fur and angora; only use leather/skin when it is a by-product, no wool obtained through mulesing, no live-plucking etc. In addition to this, if a company sells its own brand cosmetics, they must adhere to the criteria outlined above for Health & Beauty products.


This criteria rewards companies’ support for a meat-free lifestyle. Apart from the moral questions that surround killing animals for food, going vegan is better from an ecological standpoint too, since animal products are extremely inefficient to produce.

Products approved by the Vegetarian Society are awarded the seedling showcase logo and must meet the following criteria:

  • Free from animal flesh (meat, fowl, fish or shellfish), meat or bone stock, animal or carcass fats, gelatine, aspic or any other ingredients resulting from slaughter
  • Contain only free-range eggs, where eggs are used Free from GMOs
  • Cruelty-free – no animal testing
  • No cross-contamination during the production process. If the production line is shared with non-vegetarian products, thorough cleaning must be carried out before vegetarian production commences. Strict procedures must be in place to ensure packaging mix-ups and other errors do not occur

For a product to be approved by the Vegan Society, there must be no animal ingredients, animal-derived additives, animal fibres, milks, or milk derivatives; there must be no bee products, dairy products or by-products, eggs, human-derived substances, and slaughter by-products.

This category only applies to the Ethical Food & Drink and the Ethical Health & Beauty sections of the site, where a green tick indicates that one or more of the company’s food or drink products or personal care products respectively is approved by the Vegetarian Society ( or the Vegan Society (


Human Rights

In the 1990s NGOs and labour organisations began to look more closely at the global supply chains of big companies, and discovered that people working for these companies in the developing world were regularly subjected to 80-hour weeks, enforced overtime, unsafe factories and humiliating physical tests. These problems have not gone away, and multinational corporations are only beginning to take responsibility for the unacceptable working conditions of their suppliers

Companies and businesses are penalised under this criteria if, in the last 5 years, they have been implicated in human rights abuses (either through their supply chain or through their involvement in a project that has proven links with human rights abuses). A bottom ethical rating indicates more than one serious criticism.

This category is used in the Ethical Home & Office and Ethical Fashion sections. In other sections of the site, it is subsumed in the more widely defined Public Record Criticisms category.

Code of Conduct 

The top ethical rating is awarded to those companies which have drawn up a comprehensive supplier code of conduct that formally acknowledges the right to form a union. The code must be publicly available, and it must regulate against excessive working hours and forced or child labour. This category is used in the Ethical Fashion section and is being introduced into research for electronics companies within the Ethical Home & Office section.


In the table, the middle ethical rating represents involvement in the manufacture or supply of nuclear or conventional weapons, including ships, tanks, armoured vehicles and aircraft; components of weapons systems; fuel, computing and communications services; systems aiding the launch, guidance, delivery or deployment of missiles. Non-strategic parts of the military, such as catering services, are not included in this list.

The bottom ethical rating indicates that the business was listed as one of the world’s 100 biggest arms-producing companies in the latest list published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Political Donations

We include this criteria because we do not believe that corporations should fund political parties. There is considerable evidence that the huge wealth of corporations can distort the political process. Elections in the USA in particular can appear to be ‘bought’ by the candidate with the biggest budget, and parties that are critical of business are quickly marginalised. In some countries, such as Germany, corporate funding is quite sensibly prohibited by law. Until that occurs in the UK, people who agree with this position can use our ethical rankings’ tables to withdraw their custom from political donors.

A middle rating indicates that the company and/or company employees and/or company Political Action Committees (PACs) have donated more than £10,000 (or the equivalent in US Dollars) in the last 5 years to a party-political organization in the UK or the US. A bottom rating indicates that more than £50,000 (or the equivalent in US Dollars) has been donated as listed by the Centre for Responsive Politics ( in the US and the Electoral Commission in the UK (


Fairtrade ensures that producers are paid regularly and guaranteed a minimum price. This price covers the cost of production, the payment of workers, and the development of farms and small-holdings. Fairtrade protects small farmers from the fluctuating prices that have previously pushed many below the poverty line.

In our section on ethical cafés, the top ethical rating is awarded to those companies that exclusively sell coffee certified with the Fairtrade Mark (; the middle rating indicates that some fair trade coffee is served; the bottom rating shows that fair trade coffee is not served at all. Similar criteria apply to our Tea & Coffee, Chocolate, Bananas and Sugar tables: companies specialising in these products are rewarded with a top ethical rating if the majority of their tea and/or coffee (or chocolate, bananas, sugar as applicable) is certified Fairtrade; companies with only some Fairtrade lines receive a middle ethical rating. Companies with no Fairtrade certified products receive a bottom ethical rating.

In the other tables within the Ethical Food & Drink, Ethical Fashion and Ethical Flower Delivery sections of The Good Shopping Guide a top rating indicates that one or more of the company’s food or drink products, textile products or flowers carry the Fair Trade Mark.

Irresponsible Marketing 

As we all presently live in a free-market economy, we have learned to accept that the language of marketing tends to accentuate the positive and play down the negative. The point at which this becomes ‘irresponsible’ is difficult to define, but we focus mainly on those practices that have direct health implications. The bottom ethical rating indicates the marketing of products in a way that has been criticised for its effect on public health. This category only applies to the Ethical Health & Beauty section of the site.

Other categories 

Public Record Criticism

A bottom rating indicates more than one serious criticism in the last five years from NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Friends of the Earth. The huge range of criticism covered by this criteria mainly relates to the environment and human rights. Undue political influence exercised through lobby groups and industry associations, and involvement in political corruption, are also represented under this criteria.

Companies have been penalised if they are part-owned by a separate company that has been the subject of severe criticism from campaign groups or is heavily involved in the armaments and nuclear industries. For instance, Pret a Manger has received a bottom rating because it is a third-owned by McDonald’s. If a company owns more than half of another company’s shares, it is listed as the company group.

In the Ethical Home & Office and Ethical Fashion sections of The Good Shopping Guide, this category is split into Human Rights and Other Criticism.

Boycott Call

This criteria can be problematic since a boycott may be called by groups across the political spectrum. It is important, therefore, to be clear about the reasons why a particular boycott has been called. 

Some campaign groups have problems with boycotts. For example, development charities CAFOD and Oxfam contend that boycotts of companies involved in workers’ rights abuses could put workers’ livelihoods at risk. However, boycotts can be a useful means of exerting economic pressure and can encourage companies to change their policies.  A bottom rating indicates that a boycott of either the brand or the company group has been called (and has not been dropped). For more information on specific ongoing UK boycotts, visit

NB: From 2017, we started to remove this criteria from our research

Ethical Accreditation

While there are many single-issue certification bodies that ensure standards for organic produce, fair trade, cruelty-free or energy efficiency, the Ethical Company, Ethical Brand and Ethical Product logos cover the whole spectrum of ethical concerns.

The companies, brands or products which have gained Ethical Accreditation have been thoroughly screened and scrutinised by our team of researchers, ensuring that only companies, brands or products that are eco friendly and have a strong code of ethics, strong business ethics, and an unwavering commitment to corporate social responsibility, have the privilege to wear the Ethical Company, Ethical Brand and Ethical Product logos.

Ethical Company Index

The Ethical Company Index provides one overall score for each company. The top, middle and bottom ethical ratings on the ethical rankings detailed tables count as ten, five and zero points respectively. Some categories, however, are weighted slightly differently according to the level of NGO and consumer concern. For instance, due to the number of reported human rights violations in the supply chains of electronics manufacturers and clothes companies, a clean record scores 20 points in these product sectors.

Each company’s total ethical score is then converted into a percentage, which becomes the Ethical Company Index.


Mutual Status

Under this criteria, mutual building societies and organisations which are not for the profit of shareholders are identified with a top rating.  Mutuals only invest in mortgages, and so never get involved in business projects condemned by many of the world’s NGOs. They make important policy decisions democratically, with each saver entitled to one vote.

Responsible Investment Policy

As consumers become increasingly aware of where their money is invested and choose not to support potentially unethical businesses/projects, it is important for companies to integrate ESG factors into their investment funds and display transparency to customers.

A top rating is awarded to companies which integrate ESG/sustainability principles into investments PLUS rule our controversial investments (armaments, tobacco, fossil fuels etc.), however, a 5% tolerance level is accepted where relevant (when accompanied by adherence to clear policies and codes).  A middle rating is awarded to those companies which have a policy to integrate ESG/Sustainability factors into investments PLUS outline details of exclusion in investments in projects which are detrimental to the environment, humans or animals and/or signatories of the PRI: Principles for Responsible Investment, who work to encourage the adoption of a number of ESG principles by each member. A bottom rating is awarded to companies with no policy on responsible investment. Building Societies are given leeway when it comes to publishing a Responsible Investment Policy and are awarded a middle rating where no policy has been found.  This is because the majority of building societies’ assets are held in residential property mortgages and are therefore far less likely to be lending to companies involved in controversial activities..

*The Equator Principles is a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects and is primarily intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence to support responsible risk decision-making. Full details can be found by visiting the Equator Principles website.

Environmental Destruction

The bottom rating represents involvement in a project in the last five years that has drawn widespread criticism from environmental NGOs and campaigners.

Carbon Disclosure & Reduction Targets

There is now bigger pressure than ever on businesses to do more when it comes to halting climate change.  Due to the large amount of money deposited, held and invested by the finance sector, it is important that companies show transparency and commitment to reducing their carbon emissions.  A top rating under this criteria shows that a company is publicly disclosing their carbon emissions and has pledged to reduce emission in line with international standards; a middle rating is awarded to companies which have either publicly disclosed their emissions or have set targets to reduce them.  A bottom rating indicates that the company publishes neither.  Nb. This applies to large companies only – micro, small and medium sized companies are exempt from this criteria.

Other Irresponsible Lending

A bottom rating indicates involvement in a project in the last five years that has drawn widespread criticism from human rights groups.

Ethical Fashion

Ethical Trading Schemes

The top ethical rating is awarded to those companies which are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) or are affiliated to the Fair Labor Association (FLA). This guarantees that the company’s supply chain is subject to independent scrutiny.

Better Cotton Initiative

Our research now includes criteria for the Better Cotton Initiative. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, the environment it grows in and for the sector’s future, by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. The four main aims of the BCI are to: reduce the environmental impact of cotton production; improve the livelihoods and economic development in cotton-producing areas; improve commitment to and flow of Better Cotton throughout the supply chain and to ensure the credibility and sustainability of the Better Cotton Initiative. The BCI now has more than 60 Retailer and Brand members. Member companies receive a top score under this criteria.

Ethical Energy

Energy Mix

Since 2002 under the Renewables Obligation schemes for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, energy companies have been required to source an increasing proportion of their energy from renewable sources. The minimum requirement for 2021/22 was 49% (19% for Northern Ireland whose order came into effect in April 2005). These schemes were introduced by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Scottish Executive and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment respectively and are administered by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (whose day to day functions are performed by Ofgem).

The top ethical rating indicates that 100% of the company’s energy is generated only from renewable sources. The middle rating indicates that the company generates more than 49% (or 19% for companies operating in Northern Ireland) of its energy from renewable sources. Companies that do not reach the minimum target are given a bottom rating.

More detailed ethical information (appearing in pop-up windows): reading the symbols
This information is designed to give readers an in-depth view of the ethical performance of different companies and brands. All the information on this site are based on extensive research carried out by The Good Shopping Guide. The methodology behind their easy-to-read format is outlined below.

  • Top ethical rating: a green tick indicates that we have found no criticisms or negative records
  • Middle ethical rating: an orange cross shows that there are some criticisms or negative records in this category
  • Bottom ethical rating: a red cross indicates the highest level of criticism and negative records in this category

More detailed ethical information shows the brand name, under which the product is sold, and the company group – which is ultimately responsible for the brand.

The ratings shown on the more detailed information represent criticism from environmental and human rights organisations across the world.  Information from a wide variety of sources – from government agencies as well as NGOs – has been compiled by The Good Shopping Guide’s team of researchers since 2007 and now (research updates pending). Results for companies may occasionally vary from table to table.

Research Tables & Dates 

We’re constantly working to update existing research, including the tables displayed on this site, as well as provide new ethical research audits across all sectors. All of our research is made available for free so that everyone can have equal access to it and make informed, positive purchasing decisions.

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