The Co-operative has been voted the UKs most ethical company over the past 25 years

August 04, 2014

The Co-operative Group has been the UK's most ethical company over the past 25 years, according to a survey by Ethical Consumer magazine.

The Co-op topped the poll in a readers' survey to mark the 25th birthday of the magazine. The full top ten is as follows:

  1. Co-op
  2. Lush
  3. Traidcraft
  4. Triodos
  5. People Tree
  6. Ecotricity
  7. Suma
  8. Good Energy
  9. Riverford
  10. John Lewis

Ethical Consumer co-director Tim Hunt said:

"Over the past 25 years The Co-op has been at the forefront of the ethical consumer movement.

"From its supermarket, which was the first retailer to stock only Fairtrade bananas and ban products from the Occupied Palestinian Territories, to the pioneering ethical policy of its bank, The Co-operative Group has been a genuine ethical trailblazer.

"Many commentators have had their knives out for The Co-op in recent months. Ethical Consumer's readers however are able to see through the spin and realise that despite the problems The Co-op remains an ethical business at heart - at least for the time being."

Respondents were also asked what they think will be the most important developments in ethical shopping over the next 25 years.

The top five answers were; better ethical labeling, more Fairtrade products, greater corporate transparency, cracking down on tax avoidance and greater use of social media to share ethical shopping choices.