Autozone vs. O’Reilly – The Battle for Sustainable Mufflers

O’Reilly and Autozone are two major auto parts retailers that have hundreds of stores all over America.  Automotive manufacturers and suppliers are collaborating in efforts to improve the environmental performance of their organizations. These suppliers must have the ability to maintain rates of renewable resource harvest, pollution creation, and nonrenewable resource depletion that can be continued indefinitely. To achieve this, the auto industry must band together and practice sustainability.

The automotive sector is no exception to the rule. Deciding on what store to buy your auto parts from can be a difficult one, so we’ve broken down both retailers and what your purchase will support.

Why you should trust us

At Ethically, we compile scores from over 700 verified sources to create a granular profile of more than 10,000 companies and brands, evaluating their impact on the environment, society at large, and good business. You can learn more about Ethically’s process in our Methodology and you can see the scores yourself by downloading the Ethically browser extension.

The companies

O’reilly Automotive

O’Reilly Auto Parts is an American auto parts retailer that provides automotive aftermarket parts, tools, supplies, equipment, and accessories in the United States serving both the professional service providers and do-it-yourself customers. Founded in 1957 by the O’Reilly family, the company operates more than 5,660 stores in 47 states, and 22 ORMA stores in Mexico.

Autozone 

AutoZone, Inc. is an American retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories, the largest in the United States. Founded in 1979, AutoZone has over 6,400 stores across the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the US Virgin Islands. The company is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Scores Overview

These two companies, while often compared side by side, are close when it comes to ESG measurements but there are some key differences that put one above the other.

Overall, O’reilly Automotive scored a 45/100 and Autozone scored a 52/100. This difference is highlighted in all three categories of the scores. Autozone appears to beat O’reilly by a few points in the sub categories as well.

Let’s dive in (Reminder, check out our Methodology for definitions on each of these subtopic scores)

Impact on the environment

Impact on the environment relates to how a company or brand impacts the natural world around us. This could be related to the products they create, their manufacturing policies, or even their corporate response to climate change. O’reilly Automotive and Autozone both impact the environment in a number of ways, from their manufacturing policies to the products they produce. Below are more details comparing these two companies.

O’reilly Automotive

Score: 45

Autozone 

Score: 53

Comparison 

Autozone takes the lead ahead of O’reilly Automotive in this category, with the scores being 53 to 45. This category has to do with the companies’ compliance with environmental regulations, energy efficient operations and development of renewable energy and alternative environmental technologies. 

Double clicking on that score difference, Autozone scored a 60/100 in Energy & Climate Change, a 47/100 in Environment Policy & Reporting and a 52/100 in Resource Management. On the other hand, O’reilly Automotive scored a 58/100 in Energy & Climate Change, a 28/100 in Environment Policy & Reporting and a 48/100 in Resource Management.

Impact on social responsibility

Social responsibility includes all the things that make a company “good”. Whether that’s giving back to the community, standing up for equal rights, treating workers fairly. O’reilly Automotive and Autozone  both have a number of policies around LGBTQ+ rights, community outreach, and equal pay and rights for all.

O’reilly Automotive

Score: 48

Autozone 

Score: 51

Comparison

A smaller difference can be observed between both companies within the social responsibility category, where O’reilly Automotive scores a 48/100 and Autozone scores a 51/100. This category includes all programs, policies and performance in diversity, labor relations and labor rights. It also focuses on compensation and benefits as well as employee safety.

The major differences were the respective companies’ Diversity and Labor rights rankings O’reilly Automotive: 47 vs. Autozone: 51, Training, Health & Safety rankings O’reilly Automotive: 49 vs. Autozone: 52 and Compensation with O’reilly Automotive: 49 vs. Autozone: 50 score.

Quality of corporate governance

Corporate governance is much like social responsibility, but for how the company operates internally. Do they have a diverse board? Is there transparency in accounting? Are they doing what they need to do to survive and operate in an ethical and correct manner? O’reilly Automotive and Autozone both are large public companies with shareholders and boards they answer to.

O’reilly Automotive

Score: 46

Autozone 

Score: 52

Comparison

In the companies’ scoring within Governance where O’reilly Automotive achieved a 46/100 and Autozone a 52/100. These scores refer to leadership structure and the values that determine corporate direction, ethics and performance.

Upon further analysis, Autozone pulls away from BJ’s Wholesale in the rankings of Board (55 vs 51), in Transparency & Reporting (49 vs 43) and in Leadership Ethics (52 vs 45).

Summary

Ethically partners with CSRHub as a primary data source, which in turn, aggregates over 700 data sources, compiling them into simple, easy to digest grades. 

O’reilly Automotive and Autozone are both well known places for a quick stop to get car parts. Knowing the ESG difference between the two is impactful. Autozone scores a few points higher than O’reilly Automotive. Within the comparisons, it is observed that O’reilly Automotive is behind in certain areas but especially in the environment category.  If you’re an O’reilly Automotive advocate and want to see more evidence that they’re committed to these areas, email our CEO at jada@ethically.life and let us know. We’d love to hear from you.

If you want to stay up to date on how O’reilly Automotive or Autozone is progressing with their scores, make sure you download Ethically. We pull data regularly to make sure our scores reflect how companies are doing today, not years ago.

As always, please check out our Methodology page for more details on how we get our ratings data.

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