What we do
Rank a Brand is an independent and reliable brand-comparison website that assesses and ranks consumer brands in several sectors on sustainability and social responsibility. Our rankings and assessments are fully transparent.
Rank a Brand contributes to a transition towards a sustainable and fair global economy by stimulating brands to continuously perform more responsibly, driven by consumers continuously making more responsible shopping choices. We do this by:
1. Creating a large international movement and a well-used tool by and for consumers to assess and compare policies and performance of brands on sustainability and social responsibility.
2. Creating pressure on brands through consumers, media and competitors to continuously improve their policies and performance on sustainability and social responsibility, and to be fully transparent on this.
3. Increasing awareness among consumers of their responsibility and influence on brands, and encouraging and facilitating them to select sustainable and fair brands.
Rank a Band assesses and ranks major brands in several sectors on sustainability and social responsibility, and uses these rankings to inform and advise consumers, general public and media. Rank a Brand encourages both consumers and brands to act responsibly, sustainably and fair, directly as well as through publicity and social media. We encourage competition between brands on sustainability and social responsibility.
See our explanation in this video
Rank a Brand has ranked 700 brands - of which about two third international brands - in 6 sectors, divided in 25 subsectors, ranging from fashion and shoes to food and beverages, travel, webshops, telecom and electronics. Each brand is assessed on climate impact, environmental impact, labour conditions and transparency. Based on scores on several criteria the brand gets a label varying from A-label (best, 75-100% of maximum score) to E-label (worst, less than 15% of maximum score), providing the consumer a clear advice whether or not to buy this brand.
On the website you can find the score for each brand, and - scrolling downwards - the criteria that we have used, how the brand scores on each of them and what we based this upon. The labels for each brand can also be found on our App for iOS and mobile site. All rankings are updated at least every two years, and if possible every year.
We focus on brands rather than products or companies, because brands are recognizable for consumers and are sensitive on their reputation. Our position is that brands should not offer only a few sustainable and fair products, but should implement sustainable and socially responsible policies for their full range of products and services and for all their processes and suppliers, and in all countries where they operate. Another, more pragmatic reason is that assessing individual products is less efficient and less reliable because of the required data and effort. We select sectors and brands which have a significant impact on sustainability and social issues, and in which consumers show an interest. Our position is that brands should demonstrate to their consumers that they have actually implemented sustainable and socially responsible policies. The brand has the responsibility to prove so and to be transparent about it. The assessment on their policies and performance is done in a transparent way by trained and qualified rankers of Rank a Brand, based on verifiable public data and relevant specific criteria. These criteria are defined in consultation with key stakeholders and experts. We expect brands to continuously improve, learn from best practices and take good notice of relevant developments and requirements. Therefore, the standards which they have to meet will get higher over time. Like we will continuously improve our research and criteria.
Rank a Brand cooperates with other organizations, including Hivos, Clean Clothes Campaign, FSC, Friends of the Earth / Milieudefensie, World Wildlife Fund, Solidaridad and Stoere Vrouwen for the development of criteria and for the ranking of specific sectors.
In the past, several brands have indicated that their policies and practices have been influenced by Rank a Brand. For example, in 2012 H&M changed its policy to reduce its relative climate footprint (CO2 emissions in relation to its turnover) into a target to reduce its absolute footprint, after being criticized by Rank a Brand. In 2013 EkoPlaza improved its reporting on sustainability after they had found out that their score on Rank a Brand was low due to a lack of transparency. Rank a Brand is often referred to in the media. Our website is in English, German and Dutch. In 2015 we had 760.000 visitors on our websites, 14.000 likes on Facebook, 4.000 followers on Twitter and 3.000 subscriptions to our newsletter.
What can you do?
There are different ways to engage. The easiest way is to only buy brands with an A- or B-label. You could also nudge a brand to improve their performance on sustainability and social responsibility. Consumer pressure often helps. If you want to support and enable our work and join our community, you can become Friend of Rank a Brand. If you want to participate in our research you can become a ranker.
Annual report and strategic plan