My husband and I recently picked up a copy of the Better World Shopper. Within one reading of the guide, we knew our lives would not be the same. Recommended by a friend, it’s a guide that grades hundreds of companies on the following criteria: human rights, environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice. In theory, it will guide you towards companies that have a lower negative impact on the world, or who are improving the world through their policies.
Elis Jones researched and developed the guide because he believes that:
Money is power. And wherever large amounts of money collect, so also new centers of power form. The latest historical manifestation of this is the modern corporation. Make no mistake, these new power centers are not democracies. We don’t vote for the CEO’s or their policies (unless we are: rich enough to be significant shareholders, informed enough to know what’s going on, and compassionate enough to care about more than just personal profit), yet our destinies are increasingly in their hands.
The book includes a long list of categories, including banking, gas, dairy, markets, etc. Each company is graded on the following: the environment, human rights, community involvement, animal protection, corporate crime, discrimination, employee treatment, and philanthropy. They are then assigned a grade. For example, YourBankHere receives anything from an A+ to an F. Some of our favorite companies received horrible grades, and we’re trying to decide where we go from here. However a big shoutout goes out to our girl Nicole Miller. Her company gets a B-. Not too shabby!
The guide could certainly be expanded and improved. For example, Costco gets a D, but it doesn’t tell you what criteria gave them that grade. They have an excellent reputation because of their support of organic goods and the treatment of employees. I’d like to know what exactly gave them that D. The same with Publix, who I know treats their employees very well, and a host of other companies that we routinely use.
The complete guide can be purchased for $10, or on their website for free. They also offer an app iPhone app.