How sustainable are your favourite brands?

News, blog and backgrounds about the sustainability scores of brands

Electronics Brands: It’s Time to Super Charge Sustainability

One Electronics brand (Fairphone) sets an example while three other brands (Asus, Apple, and HP) have made progress for the Electronics sector in regards to sustainability by embracing the challenges and opportunities associated with the Electronics sector. One brand, Fairphone, received a “B” label, and three brands, Asus, Apple, and HP received a “C” label for the Electronics sector ranking. The remaining 15 brands received either a “D” or “E” label. Due to the challenges associated with the Electronics sector, Electronics brands must influence sustainability during the entire lifecycle of their products, from mining minerals and choosing chemicals, to responsible disposal or recycling at the end of a product’s useful life.

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However, many Electronics brands have not yet capitalized on the opportunity to implement initiatives in regards to issues such as product energy efficiency, extension of products’ useful life, product recycling/takeback, elimination of toxic materials/suspect chemicals from products, and avoidance of conflict minerals. The Electronics sector has the opportunity to “supercharge” efforts to be more sustainable, and place these initiatives at the forefront of this sector’s operations. However, many brands have not become actively involved in the unique opportunities the Electronics sector presents.

At the beginning of the electronics life cycle, minerals are mined from the Earth and toxic materials/suspect chemicals are used to assemble electronic products. For example, according to Greenpeace, common plastics and flame retardants used in electronics result in some of the most toxic chemicals known, especially during production at the end of a product’s useful lifecycle. The process of mining electronic products’ materials is also a sustainability issue, especially for conflict minerals. These minerals are mined in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo or surrounding nations, and profits from these minerals support human rights violations in these countries. A number of initiatives have been developed to address conflict minerals.

During a product’s useful life, brands have the opportunity to make their products more sustainable while they are in use by consumers. Certifications such as Energy Star indicate reduction of energy consumption by about 30-50%, depending on the type of product. With technology advancing at an ever-increasing rate, electronics are becoming outdated faster than ever before. Some companies have even been known to design their products such that they will only last a short amount of time, forcing consumers to throw away the device and purchase a newer model. This pattern of a high-throughput electronics lifecycle is problematic because in 2014, the United Nations University estimated that approximately 41.8 million metric tonnes of E-Waste was generated globally, while only about 15% of this waste was taken back and/or recycled. By 2018, E-waste generation is expected to reach 50 million metric tonnes.

Electronics brands can help address this issue by implementing product recycling and takeback programs to encourage consumers to dispose of our recycle their electronics responsibly. In doing so, Electronics brands can even remove valuable materials from old devices, and re-use them in new devices, thus closing the loop on their products and contributing to a circular economy. If E-Waste is not disposed of or recycled properly, it can be extremely problematic when disposed of in developing nations at open dumps that contaminate groundwater or is burnt in open pits, thereby resulting in the release of toxic chemicals into the air.

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Of the brands analyzed for this research, Fairphone scored the highest ranking, a “B” label, on a scale from A (best) to E (worst). Fairphone is the only brand out of those researched to report clear enough on its labor conditions policy and respective results realized at its supplying production facility. Similarly, Fairphone is the only brand that offers chargers for its product as an option only, uses at least 20% recycled plastic for its device, implements an active policy in place to increase the product life –span, and uses only replaceable batteries in its device. Apple is the best-performing brand for this sector in regards to climate change policy, scoring all but one of the maximum possible points on its reported initiatives for this topic. HP is also among the top-performing brands. For instance, it clearly reports on its measures to reduce its water use for its own operations as well as its suppliers.

When you are looking for more specific information on brands, a list of the brands can be found here. We hope to see some Electronics brands receiving higher labels in the future! To encourage your favorite Electronics brands to become more sustainable, you can send them a message through each individual brand’s page on the Rank a Brand website.

 

Support our work

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. If you want to support the work of Rank a Brand we invite you to become Friend of Rank a Brand. We ask from our Friends a contribution of €25 per year, or a higher amount if you can afford, to enable our work. You will have a say in the sectors and brands that we will assess and can contribute to the further development of our criteria. See our website for more info and please share this post.

Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Webshops…Bringing Brands Unsustainably Right to Your Door

Webshops have one distinct advantage over typical consumer retail businesses in that they aren’t located in actual buildings that consume electricity, water, and natural gas; generate waste; and take up space in areas that were previously natural habitats. However, despite these advantages in regards to sustainability, the Webshops sector has its own set of issues, especially in regards to greenhouse gas emissions from logistics, packaging from shipments, and an environmental footprint from consumers returning products to sellers.
In Germany, every third online order is returned, which results in over 250 million returned products annually. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, approximately 5.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world are the result of the transportation/logistics sector. In the United States, where the reliance on plastics and unnecessary packaging is common, packaging adds 29 million tons of non-biodegradable waste to landfills every year.

Overall, the Webshops sector performs quite poorly in regards to sustainability compared to other sectors such as Telecomunication (for instance Vodafone or Telekom), Website (for instance Google or Facebook) or Fashion Retailers (for instance Zara or Asos). Compared to the previous year’s rankings of Webshops, none of the brands received a higher grade label (i.e., an improvement from a C-label to a B-label). No brand scored above C-label, and of the 20 brands, 18 received an E-label, which is considered the lowest score. The Webshops sector is a sector with many relatively new brands, and therefore, one would expect more ambition and innovation on behalf of these brands in regards to their sustainability efforts. Half of the brands failed to implement a policy to reduce or minimize carbon emissions and none of the brands have taken steps to reduce the impact of their packaging by reusing or recycling or reducing the weight of packaging materials.

The German mail order brand Otto stands out as the only brand to receive a C-label, primarily due to its efforts in the areas of reducing and disclosing its climate footprint, providing environmentally and socially preferable options and information regarding the sustainability of these options to its consumers, reporting its paper materials footprint, and implementing labor conditions policies for its own employees as well temporary staff and suppliers. Similarly, the Dutch webshop bol.com receives a higher label compared to the other brands in that it received the next highest score, a D-label. Bol.com demonstrates exceptional efforts in that 95% of its shipping boxes are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. However, all of the Webshops brands have considerable room for improvement in their sustainability efforts.

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When you are looking for more specific information on brands, a list of the brands can be found here for Webshops. We hope to see some Webshops brands receiving higher labels in the future! To encourage your favorite Webshops brands to become more sustainable, you can send them a message through each individual brand’s page on the Rank a Brand website.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. If you want to support the work of Rank a Brand we invite you to become Friend of Rank a Brand. We ask from our Friends a contribution of €25 per year, or a higher amount if you can afford, to enable our work. You will have a say in the sectors and brands that we will assess and can contribute to the further development of our criteria. See our website for more info and please share this post.

Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Rank a Brand: an explanation in 76 seconds

We hope this new video gives you a clear illustration of the work we do at Rank a Brand, and that you like it as much as we do! Also, a huge thanks to our friends from INAGAWA for making the video!

Fighting of the last cold winter days

Brrrr, it’s freezing outside! All time to cuddle up with a cup of warm tea or even hotter coffee. Add in some vitamins and fiber in the form of bananas or pineapples and you are ready to fight those last cold winter days. While these products might keep you warm and pick you up in cold days, they seem to be less affectionate to the world. In the updates for the tea and coffee sectors we see that brands are performing worse than last year (due to the more stringent criteria we have implemented). This leads to the situation that the choices to warm both your heart and body are becoming more limited than before. Moreover the tropical fruit sector is going bananas and does not show any good outcomes, except for one high scoring Costa Rican brand that is sold in Germany. So what are the best options to stay healthy and warm this winter? Let’s find out.

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Black coffee, green tea, or the other way around?

There are two brands that stand out by performing green in both the tea and coffee sector. The German brands GEPA and Lebensbaum both receive an A label, which clearly shows that they have their values in order in both their coffee and tea production processes. When only considering the coffee sector we found a third brand joining these top performers, namely the Dutch brand Hesselink coffee. This brand performs well for its use of 100% Rainforest Alliance certified coffee beans in its production process.

So what are these green brands doing to score an A label? A good example is GEPA, performing well in both sectors, and going the extra mile. They only use 100% fair trade and/or organic certified coffee and 100% environmentally certified tea, namely Naturland and/or EU organic. In addition, GEPA pays premiums up to 65% for their coffee beans and up to 109% per kg for their tea within its ”Fair+” program. This means that GEPA pays higher prices to their coffee and tea farmers than the most commonly used prices that are set in accordance with the Fairtrade standards. Concrete reporting of such premiums, like the premiums GEPA is paying, are rare to find among other brands in both sectors. By now, most brands, if at all, rather refer to collaboration with certification schemes like Fairtrade, UTZ Certified or Rainforest Alliance only.

Something that seems to be difficult to accomplish in both sectors is reporting on the company’s climate policies. This is especially true for the tea sector, where more or less only GEPA and Lebensbaum present clear reporting on these policies. We also see this in the coffee sector, where only Hesselink Coffee and again Lebensbaum come clean in their reports, followed by Nestlé (holder of Nescafé and Nespresso) and GEPA. Here Lebensbaum and Hesselink Koffie are setting a good example for the industry, reporting clearly on its types and sources of renewable energy for electricity and heat. Thereby, both companies also demonstrate that a significant share of its thermal energy (Lebensbaum) and electricity (Hesselink Koffie) is generated on-site. This makes companies less dependent on other companies’ renewable energy supply.

How do you like your coffee?

For coffee lovers there are some good alternatives out there, when GEPA, Lebensbaum, and Hesselink Koffie are not sold near you. Five brands receive a solid B label, namely the Dutch brands Café de Origen, Red Beans, Peeze, and Fair Trade original, and the German brand Café Intención. Furthermore, one German brand receives a C label: Tchibo. However, most widely available coffee brands perform worse, with among others Nespresso, Nescafé, Douwe Egberts, and Starbucks scoring a D label. Illy, Segafredo, and Dallmayr are three examples out of the eight lowest scoring brands, all receiving the E-label. This is mainly due to their totally absent or very meager reporting on policies regarding sustainability and sourcing. Unfortunately, as mentioned, it seems that consumers have to go out of their way to have more sustainable coffee options.

Let’s have a cuppa

For the English blended lovers the results are somewhere in the same direction. In the tea sector, Lebensbaum is the top performer with a solid A label. GEPA also does well and receives an A label as well. Of the remaining tea brands, one receives a B label, namely the Dutch brand Fair Trade Original. Three Dutch brands receive a C label, namely Markant, Piramide, and Zonnatura. What’s good to see here is that the brands ranked with a C label are more widely available (in the Netherlands at least) and can be purchased in many larger supermarkets. In the lowest scoring mark ups it is interesting, though sad, to see that Starbucks‘ tea brand Tazo is scoring lower than Starbucks does in the coffee sector. This is mainly due to the absence of reporting on how much of the tea leaves supply is certified fair trade, whereas Starbucks does mention a clear percentage for this for their coffee beans.

It’s bananas and pineapples!

As for the international market it is unfortunate to see that most tropical fruits brands are stuck in the lowest ranking category, the E label. Compared to last time, when five brands scored a D label, this sector is not headed into the right direction. This is mainly due to the lack of concrete and up to date sustainability reporting, e.g. mentioning certifications but not specifying what share that holds of the total products and not reporting numbers on the waste and packaging reductions mentioned. Chiquita, Del Monte, and Dole do show some effort, but as mentioned, lack any specific and recent data to have this sector come to a sweet ending.

However, something that is good to note here is that even though the majority of tropical fruit brands make it seem impossible to be sustainable in this sector, it can be done! A good example here is the Costa Rican brand Sixaolo that is sold in Germany, scoring a solid A label. Sixaolo is climate neutral and uses only certified (and beyond) tropical fruits in its production. Since the majority of brands is performing so low in this sector however, we advise not to buy their products until they show better performance and look for better alternatives around you in the meantime. When you know of such a better alternative that should not be forgotten in our ranking next time, let us know and give a donation to have that brand ranked. That way we can include these brands in our ranking.

Lighter times ahead for coffee and tea?

While there are some good options out there, the majority of coffee and tea brands performs poor and does not seem worthy of pouring in your cups. When looking at the tropical fruits sector, it is even worse, with too little well-performing international options out there.

When you are looking for more specific information on brands, a list of the brands can be found here for coffee, here for tea, and here for tropical fruits. We are excited to see some brands moving in the right direction and to (hopefully) be able to hand out more A and B labels in the future! You can support this by giving them a nudge in the right direction; look up your brand and send them a message through their page on our website. We will make sure it arrives with them.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Chocolate could be more pure

We start off 2016 with our newest ranking of the chocolate sector. The results range from an A label (best performance) to an E label (worst performance) and are mixed. Similar to most sectors, most brands do not score higher than a D label. On the other hand, four brands receive an A label. These brands consist of the Austrian brand Zotter, German brand GEPA and Dutch brands Tony’s Chocolonely and Fair Trade Original. Luckily, some of these brands are also available outside of their home countries.

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The top performers
Of the A label brands mentioned above, Zotter is the absolute number one. This brand receives 22 out of a possible 28 points. Because of organic and Fairtrade certifications, the brand performs very well on environmental policy and labour conditions. GEPA, Tony’s Chocolonely, and Fair Trade Original all receive 21 points and share the second place. Similar to Zotter they perform very well on environmental policy and labour conditions because their chocolate is Fairtrade certified. When it comes to climate policy, the brands should work on increasing their scores even further by publishing more information on their carbon emissions.

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Four brands receive the second highest label, the B label, and show they are well on their way towards sustainable chocolate. These brands consist of Green & Black’s, the German brands ForestFinest and Die Gute Schokolade, and the Dutch brand Bio Plus. All brands carry at least a Fairtrade certification, and Green & Black’s and Bio Plus are also fully organic.

The general trend
Besides these top brands, the majority of the brands show too little effort when it comes to their performance on climate and environmental policies and on labour conditions. Most of the well-known chocolate brands reside in this group. On the other hand, many of these brands do at least show some steps on the road towards sustainability. With the majority of brands in the chocolate sector receiving a D label, the second lowest grade, this sector performs better than most sectors, where most brands are stuck in the lowest grade, the E label.

Of these brands, four receive a reasonable score with a C label, namely the Dutch brands de Ruijter, Venz, Chocomel, and Jamin, of which the first two are now owned by Heinz. All four perform reasonably well in the areas of environmental policy and labour conditions. This is because all of them carry the UTZ certificate for most, if not all, of their products. The largest group of D label brands are all part ofthree major international companies: Nestlé (with brands like KitKat and Rolo), Mars (which, besides Mars, also consists of brands like Twix, M&M’s, and Snickers), and Ferrero (with brands like Ferrero Rocher and Nutella). All of these brands often carry some certificate (Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and/or UTZ Certified) for part of their products and therefore receive some points. Nevertheless, these brands still have a long way to go to become truly sustainable. This is even more true for brands receiving the lowest E label, among which are well-known brands such as Milka, Toblerone, and Leonidas.

Help purify chocolate
The complete list of this research can be found on the overview page of chocolate brands. Of course we like to see better results, so look up your favorite brand and nudge it in the right direction. This can be done by sending them a message through their page on our website.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Casual clothes are seldom sustainable

At the start of 2015, we’ve adapted more stringent criteria for the clothing sectors. Now, twelve months and over 400 clothing brands later, we publish the results of the final clothing sector we have ranked: casual clothing. Similar to what we have seen in the other sectors, many brands do not live up to the demands of our improved criteria. In general, the casual clothing sector shows lower scores and none of the brands receive an A label anymore. Nevertheless, multiple brands still show to be well on their way to being more sustainable.

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Eight frontrunners
Among the more than 80 brands in the casual clothing sector, there are eight frontrunners scoring a B label: the British brand People Tree and the German brands Kollateralschaden, Hessnatur, Waschbär, armedangels, Bleed, Greenality, and Recolution, many of which are available outside of Germany as well. These brands especially perform well in the areas of environmental policy and labour conditions. Kollateralschaden stands out because its entire production takes place in Berlin. Because of this, the brand receives a score of 100% for labour conditions, which is a rare achievement.

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One of the most important problems in the fashion industry is the bad labour conditions for factory workers. Only at Kollateralschaden payment of a living wage during apparel manufacturing can be considered realized, as this brands manufacturers in Germany only. Furthermore, four brands publish a list of suppliers, namely Kollateralschaden (its own atelier), best online casino People Tree, Recolution, and Monki (part of H&M). Publishing this data shows that these brands commit to transparency and oblige themselves to respond to misconduct in the factories of their suppliers. Through this data, interested third parties are able to research independently if these brands indeed follow labour regulations. Finally, all frontrunners stand out because of their use of environmentally friendly materials. Knowledge Cotton Apparel also uses at least 90% environmentally preferred materials. These are materials like organic cotton and linen, or recycled materials made from cotton, nylon or plastic bottles.

Taking a step back
Because of the more stringent criteria, almost every brand receives a lower score on our sustainability index. A majority (approximately 90%) of brands receives a C label or lower. Sixty-six percent even receives the lowest score, the E label. Because of this low performance, we advise not to purchase these brands until they show improvements. Many brands do not or barely report on reducing their carbon emissions, banning hazardous chemicals, using environmentally friendlier packaging materials, or reducing waste. Among the worst performing brands we find names like French Connection, CarharttStone Island, Lands’ End, and Fossil. We hope these brands take an example of the frontrunners, who prove that a different approach is possible.

Free fall Freitag
Freitag recently experienced a drastic fall in its sustainability performance. This Swiss brand strongly increased in popularity over the last years and moved part of its production from Switserland to riskier countries like Bulgaria and Tunisia. Unfortunately, Freitag does not yet communicate about labour conditions in the factories in these countries. Because of this, the brand now received a D label instead of an A label. The Dutch brands Cora Kemperman and Gaastra showed similar reductions in their results. Cora Kemperman’s score decreased from a B label to a D label and Gaastra’s score went from a C label to an E label.

Help make sustainability more fashionable
While there are a couple of positive exceptions, the whole casual clothing sector performs poorly. The complete list of this research can be found on the overview page of casual clothing. We of course like to see better results, so look up your brand and nudge it in the right direction. This can be done by sending them a message through their page on our website.

To be able to do our work, we need your support. Besides your contribution as a responsible consumer making informed decisions using our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or, subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Sustainability is sexy, but is sexy also sustainable?

Sustainability is long past the image of tree huggers and hippies. Sustainability is hip and sexy. But is sexy also sustainable? Rank a Brand’s latest research on 24 underwear and lingerie brands shows that sometimes it is, but definitely not always. Four brands that make such products show that sustainability and sexy can go hand in hand. Nevertheless, as with most clothing sectors, the majority of brands making underwear and lingerie perform badly when it comes to climate, environment and labour conditions.

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The frontrunners
One label received the highest label on our performance list, which runs from A label (best score) to E label (worst score): the Dutch brand Saint Basics. With this score, consumers can be sure that they are purchasing a top performing brand with respect to sustainability and labour conditions. Two other brands, Pants to Poverty and the German brand Minga Berlin, receive the second best label, the B label. The brands respectively score 24, 22, and 19 points out of a maximum of 31. While Saint Basics and Minga Berlin are local brands, they are available through online shopping and ship to many countries outside of their home country as well. Another German brand that is also available online, von Jungfeld, shows a reasonable performance. With 15 points, the brand receives a C label (reasonable performance, but could still do better).

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The first three brands all perform well in the areas of environmentally certified materials and labour conditions. Saint Basics and Pants to Poverty both use only organic cotton, while Minga Berlin almost reached that point (around 70-80%). Furthermore, all products from all three brands are GOTS certified. Besides guaranteeing better environmental performance, this certification also means that labour conditions during production are monitored and improved. Pants to Poverty and Saint Basics are also working to increase the wages of their employees in low wage countries. Pants to Poverty is even working on a project for a living wage (a wage that a labourer can live well of and is often much higher than the minimum wage). However, the results of this project are not yet published.

The remaining brands
Apart from the four brands mentioned above, only one brand shows a bit more attention to sustainability: Hunkemöller. This brand scores 5 points, thereby receiving a D label. This label means that Hunkemöller has set its first steps on the path toward more sustainability in its production, but still has a long way to go. Just like in most sectors, in the underwear and lingerie sector, the large majority of brands fall behind. Of the 24 brands we examined, 19 fall in the lowest category, the E label. Brands in this category include Björn Borg, Triumph, Sloggi, Victoria’s Secret, and Jockey. We recommend consumers not to buy these brands until they show more readiness to incorporate sustainability in their production processes.

Help make sustainability even sexier
The list of examined brands can be found on the overview page of lingerie and underwear brands. By clicking on a brand, you can find more information about our criteria. Furthermore, you can use this page to send a message to the brand to stimulate it to sell more sustainable and fairer clothes.

To keep doing our research, we could really use your support. Besides contributing as a responsible consumer that purchases more sustainable alternatives through our website, you can also support us financially or by helping in our research as a volunteer. Do you want to be kept up date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

More expensive brands not necessarily more sustainable

For many cheap clothing brands, you might wonder if the low price means that the environment and labour conditions of labourers in low wage countries will suffer. In general this seems to be the case. Sadly, this does not mean that when you pay a premium price for a piece of clothing, it automatically means the environment and labour conditions are improved. From our latest research of 38 premium clothing brands on their performance with respect to climate, environment, and labour conditions, we can conclude that most of these brands hardly perform better than their cheaper competitors.

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The results
Just like in the cheaper sectors, such as the large retailers, premium brands show little effort when it comes to sustainability. Only one brand receives the C label (scoring 13 out of 31 points): COS, one of the brands of fashion giant H&M Group. This score means the brand is performing reasonably with regard to the environment and labour conditions. While both COS and H&M received a B label in our previous ranking, they did not manage to maintain this score. This also has to do with the fact that we made our criteria more stringent. This is because we like to see that brands keep trying to perform better each year.

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COS receives points for its casino online first steps toward reducing its carbon emissions, making use of environmentally prefered materials (14% in 2014), reducing harmful chemicals, and working toward achieving fairer labour conditions in factories in low wage countries. To achieve this latter issue, H&M Group also became member of the Fair Labour Association and the Ethical Trading Initiative. These organizations are committed to improving labour conditions.

The laggards
Unfortunately, the remaining brands do not perform as well. Seven brands receive the second lowest grade, the D label. This label was achieved by the brands Acne, Claudia Sträter, Marimekko, Marc O’Polo, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger. These brands show some first steps when it comes to incorporating sustainability in their company policy, but still have a long road ahead of them. Of these brands, Acne receives the highest score (9 out of 31 points) and comes in second. Third place is shared by Claudia Sträter and Marimekko. Both brands scored 8 points.

The remaining 30 brands remain stuck at the lowest grade, the E label. These brands hardly or do not show any performance with respect to sustainability. We therefore recommend consumers not to buy these brands until they show better results. Examples of brands in this group of laggards are: McGregor, Gant, Benetton, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and Michael Kors.

Help get sustainability into fashion
Before people say that it apparently does not matter which clothes you buy, because it is all just as unsustainable; this is not the case. Research in other sectors by Rank a Brand shows that there certainly are brands that perform better. To find an overview of such brands, you can visit our website, for example the overview page of all clothing brands. By purchasing these better performing brands, you support an upward trend to fairer and cleaner clothes.

You can find the list of the brands we’ve examined on the overview page of premium brands. By clicking a brand, you can find more information on our rating. Through these brand pages, you can also send the brand a message to stimulate them to perform better.

To do the work we do, we could really use your help. Besides your support as a responsible consumer making conscious choices in your clothing purchases, you can also support us financially or volunteer to help in our research. Do you want to stay up to date about our research of the sustainability performance of well-known brands? Then follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Or subscribe to our newsletter through our website.

Soft drinks not so soft for environment and labor conditions

Most soft drink brands show little ambition when it comes to the use of fair trade and environmentally certified ingredients, reduction of packaging, waste and water usage, and climate impact. Let alone that these brands show some actual results. Luckily, there are some exceptions that are performing better. One would expect that a sector that depends so much on water as its main resource to be more careful with water.

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Front runners

For our latest ranking we assessed 30 soft drinks brand. Top performer of this list is Lemonaid. This small German brand is the only brand with a B label, with a score of 14 out of 24. Another German brand, Bionade, scores reasonably well with 11 out of 24, sufficient for a C label.

Lemonaid performs well on labor conditions, by using Fair Trade and environmentally certified ingredients. However, Lemonaid doesn’t provide clear information on the reduction of its carbon and water footprints, so there is still room for improvement in that area. For Bionade, it is the other way around. This pioneer in organic soda has a good score on climate impact and performs pretty well on environmental aspects, but low on labor conditions due to a lack of information. What a great score would these brands achieve if they were able to combine each other’s strengths. Bionade has improved its label from D to C, as a result of increased transparency by issuing their first CSR report.

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Disappointing performance of large brands 

The performance of the large soda brands is disappointing. More than half of the assessed brands, including Dr Pepper, Red Bull, and Rivella, get the lowest label: E. This label means that these brands show little or no interest in sustainability and fair trade. We advise consumers not to buy these brands until they have improved their policies and performance.

Ten other brands have taken first steps and get the D label. These include 7UP, Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Pepsi. Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprit, all brands of the Coca-Cola company, have lost their C label. This was caused by the application of stricter criteria for the use of fair trade and environmentally certified ingredients, packaging and waste. Rank a Brand keeps setting the bar higher, because we feel that brands should continuously improve on sustainability and fair trade. Unfortunately, this is not shown by the large brands.

Help us to improve sustainability of soft drink brands

You can find the full list of assessed brands on the overview page of soda brands on our website. By clicking on a brand you will gain more information about our assessment. Moreover, you can send the brands a message by clicking the ‘nudge this brand’ link.

To improve the sustainability performance of soft drinks, we can use your help. Support Rank a Brand! Besided financial support, you can also help us in our research as a volunteer. If you want to be kept informed about our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter in the upper right corner of our website.

World Food Day: Use Rank a Brand to choose sustainable brands

Today is World Food Day, a day in which there is extra focus on food safety. This special day is organized every year since 1981 by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations. This year, not only Oktober 16th, but the whole week, is centered around food related issues, such as some of the topics from the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’. The main issue during this week is ensuring food for every person on the planet.

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What’s going on?

Special attention for our food is very much needed nowadays. With a growing world population, climate change and the exhaustion of large areas of agricultural land, there are plenty of challenges to be met. Large scale use of pesticides, of which the health risks are not always clear, and the clearing of tropical rainforests are well-known examples. Furthermore, in many countries laborers in the food industry are still exploited systematically. These people receive too little pay for a reasonable existence, work too much hours a day and/or end up with physical complaints as a result of things like spraying pesticides without protective clothing.

What can you do?

The questions that remains with circumstances such as those mentioned above is always: who is responsible? Companies, governments and consumers often point to each other and at the end of the day, too little is happening. Of course none of these parties has full responsibility, but when everyone takes little steps, large improvements can be made.

For a start, a great step for consumers is using Rank a Brand. On our website, you can see which companies take their responsibility when it comes to climate change, environment, and labor conditions. To see how serious they are in this respect, the brands’ performance on criteria such as carbon emissions, carrying certificates (like organic or fair trade) and the reduction of food waste and waste nbso online casino reviews are examined. The brands are then ordered from high to low, and get assigned labels according to their scores as seen in the image below. More information about our methods can be found on the pages ‘what we do’ and ‘how we work’.

Explaining_the_labels

Using Rank a Brand gives consumers the power to create change, by rewarding well-performing brands through the purchase of their products. A list of the better performing brands can be found on the overview page of food and beverages brands. We also regularly communicate about the performance of multiple sectors, like recently for restaurant chains and crisps brands.

Support Rank a Brand

Rank a Brand is a brand comparison website by and for consumers and focuses on sustainability and socially responsible entrepreneurship. We want to provide consumers with a clear overview of the sustainable performance of well-known brands. In this way, they can choose for better performing brands more easily, so that companies are stimulated to produce more sustainable and fair. We do not only rank brands that offer food and beverages, but also other sectors, among which are clothing, electronics, and telecommunication.

To be able to continue our work, we are in great need of your support. Apart from you contribution as a responsible consumer that makes more well considered purchases with the help of our website or app, you can also support us financially or help us carry out our research as a volunteer. Do you want to stay up to date about our research on the sustainable performance of well-known brands? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Together we can make sure that on this World Food Day and during the rest of the year, our food supply will become more sustainable and fair!