Russell Stover
Confectionery
Founded in 1921. USA's third largest chocolate manufacturer, after Hershey and Mars. USA's largest manufacturer of boxed chocolates, under the brands Russell Stover, Whitman's and Pangburn's. Previously privately owned, the company was acquired by Lindt in 2014.

Overall

Owned SWI
Rating F
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Russell Stover Chocolates LLC
USA
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG
owns 100% of Russell Stover Chocolates LLC
SWI
Chocolate manufacturers
Established in 1845. Lindt chocolates are sold in over 100 countries. Acquired Russell Stover Candies, USA's third largest confectionery company, in 2014.

Company Assessment

Russell Stover Chocolates LLC
Information
Follow the link to see this company's corporate sustainability claims.
California, the UK and Australia have all enacted legislation requiring companies operating within their borders to disclose their efforts to eradicate modern slavery from their operations and supply chains. Follow the link to see this company's disclosure statement.
Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprungli AG
Praise
The PalmOil Scan app, produced by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), rates companies on their commitment to sourcing sustainable palm oil. Companies are scored on their use of certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), commitment to sourcing CSPO, on-the-ground conservation action, and membership to the RSPO. Companies can earn a rating of Excellent, Good, Poor or No Commitment. This company is rated "Excellent" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
Criticism
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 60 food and beverage companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 14/100. The average score was a disappointing 16/100 and the highest score was 56/100.
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of D.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of D.
Source: CDP (2023)
A 2017 investigation by Mighty Earth, "Chocolate's Dark Secret," found that a large amount of the cocoa used in chocolate produced by major chocolate companies, including this one, is grown illegally in national parks and other protected areas in Ivory Coast and Ghana. The countries are the world's two largest cocoa producers. The report documents how in several national parks and other protected areas, 90% or more of the land mass has been converted to cocoa. Less than four percent of Ivory Coast remains densely forested.
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 30%.
Be Slavery Free's 2024 Chocolate Scorecard rates all the major chocolate companies on their labour and environmental policies and practices. Companies were asked questions in six areas: traceability and transparency; living income; child labor; deforestation and climate; agroforestry; and pesticides. This company received an orange rating: "Needs improvement in policy and practice".
The 2023 Gender Benchmark ranks 112 companies from the apparel and food and agriculture sectors on their efforts to drive gender equality and women's empowerment across their entire value chain. Companies are assessed on governance and strategy, representation, compensation and benefits, health and well-being, violence and harassment, and marketplace and community. This company ranked #82/112, with a total score of 15.6%. The average score was 23% and the highest score was 55%.
In May 2024 Investor Advocates for Social Justice and investors representing more than $8.8 trillion USD called on chocolate companies, including this one, to use their purchasing power to ensure West African cocoa farmers receive a living income for their cocoa. Chocolate companies continue to profit off the backs of child laborers, with an estimated 1.56 million children working on cocoa plantations in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, where 60% of global cocoa supply is produced. Systemic poverty in the region is a driver of child labor, deforestation, and other human rights abuses in the cocoa sector. Despite chocolate companies' commitments over the decades to eradicate child labor, little progress has been made.
Source: IASJ (2024)
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 22/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 23 Sep 2022). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
Information
In 2022 Consumer Reports, an independent nonprofit member organisation, tested 28 dark chocolate bars for lead and cadmium. Products by this company were found to contain unsafe levels of lead and cadmium.
This 2014 report by Friends of the Earth documents a tenfold increase in unregulated, unlabeled "nanofood" products on the American market since 2008. The report named this company among those with products containing unlabeled nano-ingredients. These nanomaterials differ significantly from larger particles of the same chemical composition, and new studies are adding to a growing body of scientific evidence indicating they may be more toxic to humans and the environment.
Source: FOE (2014)
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company has products rated GREEN in the Centre for Food Safety's True Food Shopper's Guide (USA). Companies on the GREEN list have made a concerted effort to avoid GE ingredients and have company policies asserting their position on avoiding GE foods.
This company is a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), an international membership organization representing more than 100 member companies across the cocoa value chain. WCF is committed to creating a sustainable cocoa economy through economic & social development and environmental stewardship in cocoa-growing communities.
This company is a member of the Cocoa & Forests Initiative, demonstrating a commitment to no further conversion of any forest land for cocoa production in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. On March 2019, thirty-three company signatories, accounting for about 85% of global cocoa usage, released detailed individual action plans. The action plans focus on forest protection and restoration, sustainable cocoa production and farmers' livelihoods, and community engagement and social inclusion.
This company is a member of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform, the main food industry initiative supporting the development of sustainable agriculture worldwide. Created by Nestle, Unilever and Danone in 2002, the SAI Platform is a non-profit organization to facilitate sharing, at precompetitive level, of knowledge and initiatives to support the development and implementation of sustainable agriculture practices involving the different stakeholders of the food chain.
The 2024 WWF Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard evaluates the progress and performance of 285 major retailers and manufacturer companies, focusing on actions companies have taken to ensure their own palm oil supply chain is sustainable and free of deforestation, natural ecosystem conversion, and human rights abuse. This company is rated 'middle of the pack' with a score of 14.9 out of a possible total of 24.
The 2022 Corporate Human Rights Benchmark assessed 127 companies in the food and agriculture, ICT and automotive manufacturing sectors on their human rights performance. This company received a score of 20.1%. The overall average score was a disappointing 17.3% and the highest score was 50.3%.
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #75/350, with a total score of 26.8/100.

Company Details

Type:
Wholly-owned subsidiary
Revenue:
600 million USD (2013)
Employees:
3000 (2013)

Contact Details

Address:
Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Website:
www.russellstover.com

Products / Brands

Russell Stover
Whitman's Chocolate