Source: AccountAbility, 24 June 2004

Today sees the launch of the first global index, The Accountability Rating®, which evaluates how well the worlds 1001 largest companies account for their impacts on society and the environment. This topical index is released at a decisive time, as trust in big business continues to be eroded by corporate scandals.
The announcement of The Accountability Rating® coincides with The United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York, where many of the G-100 companies covered by the index will be in attendance to discuss business leadership in a global society. Developed by AccountAbility2 and csrnetwork3, The Accountability Rating® measures the state of corporate accountability by ranking individual companies on their global sustainability performance4.

Mark Line, Director csrnetwork commented, The survey delves much deeper than simply examining whether companies are meeting the basic requirements of sustainability reporting: it identifies the companies that have really integrated responsible business practices into their core processes a prime facet of accountability.

The Accountability Rating® provides compelling insights:
The average score of G-100 companies was just 24%
Scores varied widely from 67% for BP, and 60% for Suez, (1st and 2nd respectively) to a low of only 1% for the lowest scoring company.
The top ten features seven European companies, two Asian companies, and only one US company – Hewlett-Packard.

Full details of the methodology and results are available in a new report – The Accountability Rating® 2004, Encoding Accountability. The rating maps out how businesses must change if they are to create long-term economic value and contribute to sustainable development.

Simon Zadek, CEO AccountAbility commented, The Accountability Rating moves us beyond a narrow focus on reporting adhoc non-financial activities to one that illuminates the links with business strategy, performance and long-term value creation.

The Accountability Rating® assists companies and stakeholders practically improve their overall performance, and ensure that accountability enables performance, rather than provides backward-looking data. Mark Ware, Group Vice President of Communications and External Affairs for BP, commented "this new rating provides new insight into performance strengths and weaknesses, and will help guide BP and other companies on where disclosure improvements could be made."