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Unilever named most sustainable amongst top food and beverage firms



British firm Unilever has been named as the most sustainable food and beverage company, ranking high on farmers, workers and the climate, in a scorecard that rates the top ten firms in the sector.

The rankings, complied by Oxfam America rate the top ten food and beverage companies – Associated British Foods, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mondelez, Mars, Pepsi Co, Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever. Each firm is given a performance mark out of ten across seven themes – transparency, women, workers, farmers, land, water and climate.

In a blog, Sophia Lafontant, lead for the Behind the Brand campaign, states, “It’s exciting to watch these heavyweights battle for the number one spot, however it is clear that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“One area that seems to be a major weak spot for the majority of the top ten companies is the lack of investment and support to farmers in their supply chain, with half of the big ten barely scoring a 2/10 on the farmers theme. That combined with growing climate change impacts affect not only the farmers, but the companies themselves. It’s a lose/lose situation as it stands now.”

Unilever scored 50 points out of a possible 70, and was ranked ‘good’ for farmers, workers and the climate. The only theme where the company failed to be ranked as ‘good’ or ‘fair’ was for women, which the scorecard highlights as an area where more progress is needed. Unilever has previously been named as one of the most sustainable companies in the world, along with ten other British companies.

Following Unilever in the Battle of the Brands scorecard is Nestle, scoring a total of 48, which scored high on land and the climate but fell behind on the women theme. Also in the top three is Coca-Cola despite only scoring two points in the farmers theme.

Making up the bottom three is Associated British Food, General Mills and Danone, who were mostly ranked as ‘poor’ across the categories, scoring 21, 22 and 22 respectively.

Lafontant added, “While the majority of the top ten food and beverage companies have committed to improvement around gender, climate, land and others the challenge is following through and showing real change on the ground.

“We need to see action – for people and the planet. Together, we can keep the pressure on these companies to move them from policy to practice.”

Photo: BromfordGroup via Flickr

Further reading:

Green app launched to help retailers with energy efficiency

SolarCity offers $200m green bonds to retail investors

M&S, Unilever and London Stock Exchange among world’s most sustainable companies

Unilever, John Lewis and M&S in top 10 most sought-after employers

M&S and Waitrose score top marks on animal welfare


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