P&G and 12 other multinationals publicly named by Ukraine as “international sponsors of war”. Who’s next?
Jan 27, 2024
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Today you are a trusted brand, best known for making toothpaste and fabric conditioner, tomorrow you are an “international sponsor of war.” Procter & Gamble (P&G), the world’s largest manufacturer of household chemicals and personal care products, has become the latest international company to fall into Ukraine’s anti-graft agency list of international sponsors of war.
The listing of international sponsors of war also includes OpenWay Group, Danieli, TMS Tankers Ltd., Minerva Marine Inc., Thenamaris Ships Management, Delta Tankers Ltd., Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd., Leroy Merlin, Mondi Group/Mondi PLC, eKassir, Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, Bonduelle.
Agia Zagrebelska, the head of the direction of minimization of corruption risks in the sanctions policy of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention, told Forbes that P&G was targeted because despite a statement about scaling back its presence in Russia to “focus on basic health, hygiene, and personal care items” its income increased this year, “and accordingly, the taxes they pay to the Russian budget have increased.”
The P&G case should make every company that continues to earn billions in Russia consider that they are at risk of being considered a sponsor of war too. Companies featured on the list will now be flagged as “international sponsors of war” within WorldCheck, a due diligence and know your customer database. Perhaps the bigger impact, however, is reputational. Inclusion in Ukraine’s official list of international sponsors of war will affect companies’ reputations for years to come. This stain cannot be washed away by Ariel or Tide; for P&G it is already part of history. For any company working with consumers or other businesses, losing reputation eventually leads to losing market share and profits.
Committing to exit Russia now is the last chance to save the reputation, avoid legal risks, and do the right thing.