High street banks Midland and Barclays have come bottom in a survey of
the ethical credentials of top corporate donors.
The banks each clocked up 14 negative indicators in a survey of the
environmental and social records of leading donors, carried out by
Ethical Consumer magazine.
The magazine, which put Reuters at the top of the green table, assessed
such factors as a company’s links with pollutants, its involvement in
nuclear energy and its stance towards oppressive regimes.
The report suggests some companies make corporate donations in an
attempt to ‘greenwash’ their image, rather than because of genuine
conviction and warns that links with such companies can affect
‘The recent bad publicity Shell has been receiving regarding, first
Brent Spar and then its operations in Nigeria, has had reverberations
among the many recipients of its corporate largesse,’ it argues.
To avoid such pitfalls it suggests charities use ethical data to screen
‘Even though we operate in an imperfect world it is still possible to
make ethical choices and distinctions from among potential sponsors,’ it
After Reuters, the highest-rating ethical performers among the top
donors were BT with four critical indicators and British Gas and BA with
five. At the bottom, NatWest had 12 negative references.