National grid again tops energy and utilities sector environmental and social reporting

Source: Roberts Environmental Center, 17 November 2006

Of the 30 companies in the Fortune Global 500 energy and utilities sectors whose environmental and sustainability reporting was analyzed by the Roberts Environmental Center in 2006, National Grid (U. K.) again achieved the highest ranking in environmental and sustainability reporting based on the Center’s Pacific Sustainability Index. Kansai Electric Power (Japan) moved up five places to second place, Tokyo Electric Power (Japan) remained third, and Chubu Electric Power (Japan) moved up nine places into fourth, signaling a strong improvement in the reporting of social issues by Japanese companies. Almost half the companies achieved grades of B- or better, illustrating a tendency for the companies engaged in careful environmental and social reporting toward a common standard. There is almost no relationship between company size and quality of reporting in these large companies, the smallest of which had annual revenues exceeding $US12 billion.

All materials were scored using the Center’s Pacific Sustainability Index which also provides scores for six subcategories of reporting. The highest scores for these went to Veolia Environnement (France) for expressed environmental intent, Vattenfall (Sweden) for environmental reporting transparency, Kansai Electric Power for quantitative environmental performance and for expressed social intent, and Endesa (Spain) for social reporting transparency and for quantitative social performance.

In this sector the most reported environmental variables were renewable energy or energy efficiency, carbon dioxide production, and water use. The most reported social information was employee health and safety, equal opportunity, and community development.

These findings are based on the information available on the web sites of the largest 30 companies in the energy and utilities sectors of the 2005 Fortune Global 500 list as of September, 2006. All firms were invited to review and comment on the analysis prior to publication, and eight of them brought to our attention relevant information, some posted to their web sites following their review of our draft report, that raised their scores. Better web site navigation tools for environmental and sustainability information are clearly needed on many sites.

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