For the first time, Europe’s 300 biggest companies are being ranked according to their greenhouse gas emissions. The ET Europe 300 Carbon Ranking highlights the best and the worst of the continent’s top businesses, focusing not just on emissions but also on levels of disclosure and verification.
The Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO), a UK based independent non-profit research body, employs a transparent methodology for its ranking, based on public reporting of Scope 1 and 2 emissions according to the widely accepted Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
First place Aviva is followed closely by Dutch firm Aegon, which offers life insurance, pensions and asset management services, with respective Carbon Intensities of 0.85 and 1.35 (tCO2e/$M turnover). The top three non-financial companies are Switzerland’s leading telecoms provider Swisscom, followed by Nokia (11th, 5.61) and BSkyB (13th, 6.69).
All five of the companies mentioned above rank in the top category of the ET Carbon Rankings because they publicly report ‘public, complete and verified’ data for their Scope 1 & 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The number of companies providing data in this category totals 129 across Europe’s largest 300 companies.
Sam Gill, operational director of the EIO, says: “The purpose of the Carbon Rankings is two fold – to highlight the carbon emissions and levels of disclosure of the world’s largest companies with the aim of fostering greater transparency and to form the basis of a series of stock market indexes, designed specifically to provide the investment community with a viable tool for tackling climate change.”
He adds: “Despite most companies producing corporate social responsibility reports there remains a remarkable lack of transparency and clarity in greenhouse gas emissions reporting.”
The ET Carbon Rankings make up the first phase of the Environmental Tracking concept. The EIO will be using them to create a series of real-time mainstream investment indexes. The ET UK 100 and The ET Europe 300 are due to be released as ‘live’ indexes in mid May this year.
The ET Carbon Indexes are designed to lower corporate emissions by influencing a company’s share price, offering the investment community an innovative tool to encourage transparency and emission reductions on a global scale. They do this by re-weighting companies according to their position in the Carbon Rankings.
“Investing in a way which can help tackle climate change is an essential component of intelligent long term investment,” Sam Gill points out. “Our ET Indexes are designed to offer investment opportunities along the same lines as their conventional counterparts. However, above all, they apply pressure to companies in a way that cannot be ignored: by influencing their share price.”