How we work
We think that information should be availble for consumers. That is why we search for the answers to our carefully targeted questions online: on the websites of the brands, annual reports, CSR reports and other public sources. Neatly, this approach measures a brand’s transparency: no information = no point.
To rank brands for their sustainability and social responsibility, we take the following steps:
1. Trend and best practice analysis
Our rankings are based on the answers to lists of very specific, closely targeted questions. It’s the quality of these lists of questions that really determines the accuracy of our rankings. That’s why our research team is constantly studying industry trends, best practices, available standards and guidelines as well as positions of NGOs when it comes to climate impact, environmental impact and labour conditions.
Using this information, we can make sure our questions focus on the most pressing issues, and are challenging enough that we can really tell which brands are taking their responsibilities seriously and putting real effort into improving their performances. At the same time, it means we can spot the brands that either aren’t talking the talk, or aren’t walking the walk.
2. Selection of sectors and brands
Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to assess all sectors, or all brands within a sector. We try to select the sectors and brands that are of interest for our audience. If you become Friend of Rank a Brand you will join our community and get a say in the sectors and brands we rank, as well as in the criteria we apply. Users of Rank a Brand can request us here to assess the brand they are intersted in. We will then put the brand online as 'not yet ranked'. Our usres can then donate to get the brand ranked. When the required amount is reached we will assess the brand. We also rank sectors and brands on request by other NGOs who are interested in our ranking results and have budget available to cover our costs. In order to remain independent we don't want money from companies to rank their brand.
3. Brand ranking
Brand by brand, we scour their websites and other public sources for the answers to our carefully targeted questions. Each sector has its own list of questions, but they all get assessed on their climate impact, environmental impact and labour conditions. We double check verifiable information such as certifications. We update our assessment at least every two years, if possibile annualy, and also when we receive updated information from brands.
For each brand, we make an online report card, which is shown on our website on the page for that brand, at the bottom of that page. Each one shows you exactly which questions we asked, and where we found the answers. Each brand also gets an overall score and a label: A for the most sustainable brands, and E for brands that are the least sustainable. Lastly, we use those scores to compile a ranking for each sector. That way, you get an overview of how all assessed brands in a sector compare when it comes to how sustainable they are. This is what the labels mean: