PZ Cussons
Personal care and cleaning products manufacturer
Founded in Africa in 1884 by George Paterson and George Zochonis (PZ). Nigeria is their largest market.

Overall

Owned UK
Rating C
About the Ratings
PZ Cussons Plc
UK

Company Assessment

PZ Cussons Plc
Praise
This company has either signed PETA's statement of assurance or provided a statement verifying that they do not conduct or commission any animal tests.
Source: PETA (2023)
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 B.
Source: CDP (2023)
Criticism
This company scores Ethical Consumer's worst rating for their use of palm oil, signifying they are using no or minimal certified palm products, and with no or minimal positive commitments.
A 2022 BBC News, Mongabay and the Gecko Project released a joint investigation that looked into a scheme that was intended to help lift millions of Indonesians out of poverty and cut them in on the spoils of the global palm oil boom, but has instead been plagued by allegations of exploitation and illegality. They identified 13 companies, including this one, that have sourced palm oil from producers alleged to have withheld plasma (a portion of large-scale plantations to be shared with local communities), or the profits from plasma, from Indonesian communities over the past eight years. The losses suffered across Indonesia by communities owed plasma could stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Protests by local tribes over plasma are violently suppressed by Indonesian authorities.
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 "Poor" (retrieved 18 Nov 2023).
Source: WAZA (2023)
Information
This company uses plastic microbeads in some of its personal care products. These particles are not retained by wastewater treatment so end up in the ocean where they contribute to ocean plastic pollution, and are hazardous to sea life. While the effects of microplastics on human health are not completely understood, there are concerns about plastic additives, such as phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors which are shown to have harmful effects on life.
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 failed to respond to WWF's requests for information.
This company has signed a letter of intent (https://bit.ly/2rdBlwn) to participate in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which claims will lift 50 million people in Africa out of poverty by 2022. But according to a 2015 report by ActionAid, the scheme will benefit multinational companies at the expense of small-scale farmers and is likely to increase poverty and inequality in Africa. Launched in 2012, the New Alliance provides aid money from rich countries like the US and the UK, and helps big business invest in the African agricultural sector. But in return, African countries are required to change their land, seed and trade rules in favour of big business. The New Alliance will: Make it easier for big corporations to grab land in Africa: Prevent farmers from breeding, saving and exchanging seeds: Heavily promote chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which increase farmers’ risk of debt as well as damaging the environment and farmers' health: Replace family farms with low paid, insecure jobs; and Prevent countries from restricting crop exports, even at times of domestic shortage.
This company has a number of sustainability claims on its website in the areas of environment & plastic, palm oil, business ethics, charitable giving and CSR policies.
PZ Cussons has a joint venture (PZ Wilmar Ltd) with Singapore's Wilmar International to develop 100,000 hectares of palm oil plantations plus build a palm oil refinery in Nigeria. Wilmar is the world's largest palm oil producer.
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 C.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of C.
Source: CDP (2023)
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.

Company Details

Type:
Public company
Founded:
1884
Revenue:
656 million GBP (2023)
Employees:
2,672 (2023)
Subsidiaries:
PZ Cussons Australia Pty Ltd
Body care product manufacturing
Acquired Rafferty's Garden baby food business in 2013. Bought the five:am organic yoghurt business in 2014, but sold it to Barambah Organics in 2021.
Rafferty's Garden Pty Ltd
Baby food makers
Rafferty's Garden was founded in Australia in 2008 by Adrian Pike. In 2010 private equity firm Anacacia Capital acquired a majority stake. Then in 2013 PZ Cussons bought the company from Anacacia, with Pike retaining an undisclosed minority stake

Contact Details

Address:
Stockport, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Website:
www.pzcussons.com

Products / Brands

PZ Cussons Australia
Charles Worthington Shampoo
Cussons Soap
Duo Laundry Detergent
Fudge Hair Styling
Graphite Deodorant
Imperial Leather Hand Wash/Sanitiser
Imperial Leather Body Wash
Imperial Leather Mens Grooming
Imperial Leather Deodorant
Imperial Leather Soap
Morning Fresh Dishwashing Detergent
Nilodor Air Fresheners
Original Source Body Wash
Original Source Hand Wash/Sanitiser
Pure Hand Wash/Sanitiser
Pure Body Wash
Radiant Laundry Detergent
Rafferty's Garden Baby Food
St Tropez Tanning Lotions