Picking out moralistic, ethical shops seems very difficult these days. Scandals abound in the information age, with no shortage of consumers willing to be outraged—but sometimes you just want to invest your money in a company that isn’t cartoonishly evil, right? No more skull-shaped fortresses or horrifying death lasers: here are five super ethical shops that you didn’t know about!
Our 5 Super Ethical Shops
You’ll probably only be familiar with Kesko if you live in its corporate capital, Finland, or one of its northern and eastern European subsidiary states—Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Belarus—but even if you’re from the States or western Europe, Kesko is a company worth knowing about if you are interested in ethical shops.
Focusing on goods like food, home improvement, and car and machinery, Kesko is a bit of a jack of all trades in the home supply industry. They operate more than 1,000 outlets serving 900,000 customers daily, and in February of 2012, Kesko was awarded “the Best Corporate Governance in Finland” award by World Finance Magazine. They’ve also charted on the Global 100’s Top 100 Sustainable Companies of the Year list for 13 consecutive years, since 2004.
The second-largest supermarket chain in North America, Safeway operates over 1,700 stores in North America. In 2013, Greenpeace ranked Safeway number two on its annual ranked list of ocean-friendly seafood providers. They ensure that their in-store brand of canned tuna was sustainably fished. They also lobbyed for science-based ocean conservation policies.
Safeway also offers “Bright Green” products, which are in-house brand products specially made with biodegradable materials. This ensures recyclability and long-term efficiency. Making this one of the most easy to identify products in these ethical shops.
The Co-operative Group
The United Kingdom’s fifth-largest food retailer, The Co-operative Grou. This retailer has more than 4,000 food stores and supermarkets in the country. They also offer food, electrical, financial, insurance, legal services and funeral care at their numerous outlets.
The Co-operative Group is also the largest consumer cooperative in the United Kingdom, owned by over four million active members. Membership is available to anyone over the age of 16 in the UK who agrees to donate £1 out of their first share in the company. As well as sharing and upholding the values and principles upon which the group was founded. In 2016, over £19m was paid out to members and their chosen community causes and charities via a democratically set business strategy.
The Co-operative Group was one of the first organizations in the UK to bestow equal democratic rights upon female shareholders. As well as championing the Fairtrade certification, establishing easy to interpret nutritional information on in-house brand products, and raising animal welfare standards in the industry. Making this not only one of the most ethical shops but also ethical banking and insurance.
The ninth largest food and drug store in the United States, Whole Foods operates over 300 outlets in 38 states. They rank third in the EPA’s Top 25 Green Power Partners list. Also, they are well-known for pioneering the removal of disposable plastic bags in grocery stores. They also founded the Animal Compassion Foundation in 2005, a nonprofit established with the goal of assisting meat producing companies in utilizing more humane methods of raising livestock for sale in their ethical shops.
Costco, the third largest retailer in the whole of the United States. It has long been known for providing above average pay for their employees, resulting in happier workers and significantly reduced turnover. They also have a highly admired Rx discount program that allows members to acquire numerous generic medications at a fraction of their normal cost.
There you go, folks. Five incredibly humane and ethical shops that you might not have known about. Make sure to invest your hard-earned money in companies willing to make the world a brighter place!