Insurers the brands most praised by NGOs, energy firms most criticised

Allianz, AXA and Swiss Re are among the brands to have received most praise from NGOs in 2018, on account of their efforts on climate change.

The insurers make the top five of the annual ranking of most praised corporates, which is compiled by research consultancy SIGWATCH based on its monitoring of comments of more than 9,000 NGOs, overtaking global consumer brands in retail, food and fashion such as McDonald’s, Aldi and H&M, which habitually respond constructively to NGOs. Unilever is the exception to the rule, winning the title of most praised brand for the second year in a row, on account of its initiatives on issues such as palm oil, animal welfare, fragrance disclosure and sustainability.

Allianz, AXA and Swiss Re have shown a strong commitment to ending coal investment and disengaging from the coal industry. Conversely, energy firms with fossil fuel links earn strong disapproval, accounting for half of the most criticised brands in 2018. Kinder Morgan is the NGOs’ most criticised firm due to its oil sands pipelines in North America. Enbridge, Energy Transfer and TransCanada find themselves on the same list for similar reasons.

Other notable ‘most criticised’ brands include Coca-Cola and Walmart. Both have moved down the ranking since last year, and the issue of plastics pollution is part of the reason why.

Commenting on the annual ranking, Robert Blood, founder and managing director of SIGWATCH said, “It is unsurprising that consumer-facing companies are responsive to activists’ concerns, as we know they feel their customers care about such issues and they want to protect their brands. However, it is new to see financial institutions joining them. Undoubtedly this is because they are facing up to the reality of climate change and believe they cannot avoid their responsibility to use their market power to make a difference.”

Brands most praised by activist groups in 2018
1. Unilever
2. Allianz
3. AXA
4. Swiss Re
5. Signet Jewellers
6. McDonald’s
7. Aldi
8. Lidl
9. Nestlé
10. H&M
Brands most criticised by activist groups in 2018
1. Kinder Morgan
2. Monsanto
3. Royal Dutch Shell
4. Nestlé
5. Enbridge
6. Energy Transfer
7. Coca-Cola
8. TransCanada
9. Google/ Alphabet
10. Walmart

    Share Story:

Recent Stories