Finance wins activist’s approval

The finance sector has the top performing brands most praised by activist groups.

For the second year in a row, a monitoring of more than 6,600 campaigning actions over the past 12 months, have seen insurers’ pledges to divest from coal win particular praise, earning AXA, Alliance, Swiss Re and SCOR a place on the top ten.

Conversely, brands with ties to fossil fuel exploration and extraction are a key target of NGOs’ wrath and feature prominently on the ranking of most criticised corporates.

The SIGWATCH analysis places the insurers AXA, Allianz, Swiss Re and SCOR in the top ten, although with companies such as long-term favourite Unilever - in the number one slot, although it also makes the negative list. All four insurers are commended for strengthening their stance against fossil fuels, praised for pledges to not only divest but also to phase out the insurance and underwriting of coal and other fossil-fuel related businesses.

Nestlé tops the poll of most criticised brands (also a top ten praised company!), with Royal Dutch Shell in second place. The World Bank Group moves up ten places to become the third most criticised brand of 2019 for continuing to support mining development (although it attracts praise for committing to pull out of coal). It also comes under fire for “deepening inequality” by supporting private education in lower income economies.

Brands most praised by activist groups in 2019: Unilever, Nestlé, AXA, Allianz, Yum! Brands, Swiss Re, Danone, VF Corporation, Aldi, SCOR SE.

Brands most criticised by activist groups in 2019: Nestlé, Royal Dutch Shell, World Bank Group, Adani Group, ExxonMobil, Total SA, Unilever, Carnival Corporation, Coca-Cola Company, Sinar Mas Group.

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