Ethical Consumer: Consumers Urged To Boycott Three Climate Change Criminals

JUNE 29, 2007
1:04 PM

CONTACT: Ethical Consumer 
Mary Rayner and Ruth Rosselson on 0161 226 2929 or email

Consumers Urged To Boycott Three Climate Change Criminals

JUNE 29 - As Live Earth calls on individuals, companies and government to take urgent action on climate change, Ethical Consumer calls consumers to boycott three climate change criminals lobbying against a greener future.

Number 1 consumer boycott – Esso Petrol Exxon – the company behind Esso petrol – is the only major oil company to fund front groups that confuse science on global warming. Long the target of climate campaigners, the company also refuses to invest in clean, renewable energy. Exxon has donated millions of pounds to the climate change denying EU think tank International Policy Network and Centre for the New Europe since 1998.[1] Hanna Backman, researcher at Ethical Consumer, says: “The best alternative is to leave the car at home, but failing that, of the major oil companies BP (3.5) invests the most in renewable energy, and Murco (9.5) comes out best in our Ethiscore ethical ratings – so refuel there instead.”

Number 2 consumer boycott – Kenco coffee - Another company delaying attempts to tackle climate change by funding groups which claim that global warming is either a "myth" or not worth tackling, is Altria (previously knows as Philip Morris).[2] Other brands owned by the Altria group: Philadelphia, Terry’s, Toblerone. According to Hanna Backman: “There are so many alternative brands of coffee out there – many of them fair trade – for consumers to choose from. Cafédirect Fairtrade and organic coffee (16), Clipper Fairtrade and organic coffee (14.5) and Traidcraft Fairtrade coffee (14.5) get the best Ethiscore ratings.”

Number 3 consumer boycott – Nouvelle recycled toilet tissue Consumers might be surprised to see a recycled toilet tissue brand in the list, but its parent, Georgia-Pacific, came out worst in a WWF report on sustainability in the tissue sector.[3] Georgia-Pacific’s own parent company, Koch Industries has been part of a team advising Bush on developing a conservative “environmentalism for the 21st century”. This “environmentalism” favoured deregulation and led to statements by Bush that logging was good for forests and that dams were good for salmon.[4] Other brands owned by the Koch Industries group: Lotus Professional and JustOne (napkins).

Hanna Backman says: “There are loads of alternatives to buying Nouvelle. The most ethical of the widely available brands are Naturelle (9) or the Co-op supermarket’s (5.5) recycled ranges. Ethical Consumer’s other Best Buys, available at health food stores and online are the Natural Collection (14.5), Traidcraft (14.5), Ecotopia (14), Essential (14) and Suma (14) recycled brands.”

“There’s more to responsible consumption than just watching your own impact. It’s also worth telling climate change deniers that you won’t give them your money”, says Hanna Backman. “Consumers can email companies through the Climate Criminals campaign page on the Ethiscore website.” (

“Promoting change by informing and empowering the consumer”