Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Chippenham energy firm named one of UK's most ethical companies

Good Energy employees taking part in the Climate Strike last monthRenewable power supplier Good Energy has been named one of the most ethical companies of the last 30 years.

The list was compiled by the readers of Ethical Consumer magazine, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this month.

Chippenham-based Good Energy was placed at number eight. was The list was topped by Wholefoods collective Suma, followed by cosmetics firm Lush, and Triodos bank.

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia, Fairtrade organisation Traidcraft, consumer-owned supermarket Co-op, organic food supplier Riverford, employee-owned supermarket Waitrose and green power rival Ecotricity also made the cut.

Topping the list of the least ethical companies of the last 30 years, as voted for by Ethical Consumer readers, was Amazon, followed by Nestlé, Asda, BP, Shell, Monsanto, Primark, Tesco, Coca Cola, and Barclays.

Writing about 30 years of the magazine, founder Rob Harrison said: "In 1989, when Ethical Consumer magazine first rolled off the printing presses, Britain had been living through a decade of Thatcherism. Her government had an ideological opposition to any market interventions that protected workers, animals or the environment.

"Ethical Consumer magazine was born against this backdrop, to keep track of (a) new upswing in radical activity and to help guide ordinary people towards sensible product choices in an increasingly confusing environment."

Since 1989 the Fairtrade and Organic movements have been embraced by the mainstream, and boycotting and positive buying is now the third most frequently practised political activity, after voting and signing a petition. Hundreds of thousands of businesses now issue environmental reports – in 1989 there were two.

Founded in 2003, Good Energy employees close to 300 people at its Chippenham headquarters. The company owns two wind farms and eight solar farms, and buys energy from other operators to help its 70,000 customers move away from reliance on fossil fuels.