Shell and VW top list of NGOs ‘most hated’ brands in the UK

Nine of the top 20 most criticized companies in the UK were oil, coal or mining companies

Zlata Rodionova@zlata07
Monday 18 January 2016 12:55
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 VW admitted to rigging its US emission test so that diesel-powered car would look like they were emitting less nitrous oxide
VW admitted to rigging its US emission test so that diesel-powered car would look like they were emitting less nitrous oxide

Volkswagen has made a list of non-governmental organisations’ “most hated” brands in the UK for the first time, following a turbulent year for the company dealing with fallout from the emissions scandal.

VW came in at fourth place in the survey that named Shell as the most hated brand.

VW is now the seventh least popular brand in the world, according to the survey of more than 7,500 NGOs by Sigwatch, a consultancy.

Robert Blood, founder and managing of Sigwatch, told the Independent that the Volkswagen scandal allowed NGOs to draw attention to the bigger problem of green emissions.

“Volkswagen is not an oil and gas company. It’s not a company that NGOs want to hate, but in this case they had no choice. It was a big shock for VW as it is a national champion,” he said.

In September VW admitted to rigging its US emission tests so that diesel-powered car would look like they were emitting less nitrogen oxide, which can damage the ozone layer and contribute to respiratory diseases.

“Our company was dishonest with the EPA and the California air resources board, and with all of you, and in my German words, we have totally screwed up,” said Michael Horn, former US chief executive of Volkswagen.

Nine of the top 20 most criticized companies in the UK were oil, coal or mining companies. Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil giant was the most disliked by charities for the second year in a row pushed by continuous criticism over its Artic drilling plans. British oil and gas company BP and mining corporation Rio Tinto ranked second and third respectively.

But Sigwatch has predicted that the cancellation of Shell’s Artic operation in 2015 should make the company much less of a target for NGOs this year.

“Shell has many issues and it won’t drop out of the list but we expect them to be way down the list in 2016,” he told the Independent.

Three banks, Standard Chartered, Barclays and HSBC, were in the top 10 for NGO criticism.

Mark & Spencer, Unilever and Nestlé were the most praised companies in the UK.

These are the 19 most criticized corporations in the UK for 2015

1. Shell (Royal Dutch Shell)

A Greenpeace activist covers the logo of the Shell oil company to protest on May 10, 2012 against the heading of the an icebreaker for Shell's Arctic oil drilling project

2. BP

According to a new report, multinational firms such as BP and E.ON have been enjoying privileged access to key European climate policymakers

3. Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has filed a lawsuit in New York against Beny Steinmetz, alleging bribery of a Guinean official

4. Volkswagen Group

The Volkswagen logo on a screen at the NASDAQ stock market in Times Square in New York

5. BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton could face a $1bn (£660m) clean-up bill for the mining disaster in Brazil

6. Standard Chartered Bank

‘London will take hits in the context of Brexit,’ the bank boss said

7. Barclays Bank

Barclays was hit with a £72m fine for failing to carry out proper checks when a single client from the Middle East brought a £1.9bn deal into the bank

8. Nestlé

Nestlé opened an investigation after reports by non-governmental organisations on its unregulated working conditions

9. HSBC

HSBC took immediate action as soon as the video emerged

10. Glencore

Glencore's headquarters in Baar, Switzerland

11. Morrisons

12. Cuadrilla

13. ExxonMobil

14. Tesco

15. Newmont Mining Corporation

16. Total S.A.

17. Walmart

18. F. Hoffmann-La Roche

19. Amazon

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