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The Good Shopping Guide

If you're in any way concerned with where your hard earned money goes, which companies have the best green credentials and which are not doing their bit to clean up the mess they create, then the 8th annual edition of The Good Shopping Guide deserves a place on your bookshelf.

Covering everything from banks to butter, the Good Shopping Guide reveals the huge disparity in corporate social responsibility standards between consumer goods companies operating in the UK. Using a range of ethical criteria - including animal welfare, boycott calls, carbon emissions, child labour, environmental impact, fair (and un-fair) trade, human rights abuse, and pollution - and a simple scoring system, a dip into the book will quickly reveal just how ethical (or un-ethical) your favourite brands are.

You might be surprised to discover, as I was, that companies that manufacture such everyday household items as Horlicks and Ribena rank amongst the UK's least ethical brands, alongside more obvious bad boys like Esso and Procter & Gamble. The list of the UKs top 50 ethical brands contains fewer surprises, although it was eyeopening to find New Look, bSkyb, B&Q and the Chelsea Building Society listed as well as more obvious contenders such as People Tree, Green Energy UK, Triodos Bank and Traidcraft.

My only criticisms? The section on coffee clearly missed out when it came to updating the Guide (most of the facts and figures used are pre-2007) and the illustrations - beautiful nature photographs whih are sprinkled through the book - aren't credited. It's a small gripe, but I'd really like to know where some of them were taken!

The Good Shopping Guide enables ethical shoppers to channel their spending power in the most effective way possible. Rating over 700 brands and compiled from researching public records, campaign and government information, the Guide lists those companies that have a progressive attitude towards the environment, human rights and animal welfare, and penalises those that disregard or fail to uphold their social responsibilities.


Out now, the Good Shopping Guide costs £14.95



Darryl Bullock. Nov 09

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