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Doing and Reporting are 2 Different Critters in Green Biz

Some of the Sustainability reporting agents who evaluate companies for their transparency and quality of environmental operations

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Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting

Chevron topped the list of public California companies for overall sustainability reporting, according to a 2008 report, outpacing other reputed eco- and socially-minded companies, such as Google.

Chevron, Cisco Systems Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Agilent Technologies and Occidental Petroleum took the top five slots for overall environmental and sustainability reporting. Rounding out the bottom were Earle M. Jorgensen, VeriSign, Flletwood Enterprises Inc., Ryland Group Inc. and Google.

Reporting Sustainability Efforts

The Roberts Environmental Center of Claremont McKenna College studied the ways in which public California companies used their web pages to communicate their environmental and social efforts using the Pacific Sustainability Index.

"We were surprised to see companies like Google with such low scores while many of the oil companies scored quite high," J. Emil Morhardt, director of Roberts Environmental Center, said in a statement. "It's a lot like the tree falling in the forest conundrum -- companies that perform admirably, but don't communicate their efforts get the same scores as companies that don't even think about these issues. We hope this report encourages socially responsible companies to be more vocal about their efforts while encouraging companies that have not addressed sustainability issues to step up."

Chevron, which received an A+, earned kudos for its reporting on environmental and social intent but was knocked for lack of environmental data, such as for recycling, waste and water, according to the report

Sustainability reporting is voluntary at this time, but is a harbinger of carbon reporting expected to become mandatory for a variety of companies -- such as public companies, those with toxic products, and those that sell to government or green companies.

Some of the Sustainability reporting agents who evaluate companies for their transparency and quality of environmental operations include the following:

Dow Jones Sustainability Index

The annual evaluation of the sustainability performance of companies is compiled by the rating agency SAM (Sustainable Asset Management AG). This year’s evaluation classifies for the first time the affiliated companies in three categories: SAM Gold, Silver and Bronze Classes. Sometimes considered the most important sustainability index, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index's annual evaluation of the sustainability performance of companies is compiled by the rating agency SAM (Sustainable Asset Management AG).

Innovest Nanotechnology Index

Innovest Nanotechnology Index is an index of 15 companies that contribute to a responsible development of nanotechnology. Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a New York-based investment research firm, has reviewed a set of 200 publicly traded and 100 private companies for qualities that it believes to be appropriate in offsetting potential perception risks concerning nanotechnology. In particular, early efforts to offset risks through product strategy, risk management and product stewardship were assessed.

Global 100

Global 100 list compiled by the New York research house Innovest for the third time in row. This list comprises the world's most successful companies in the areas of environmental protection, social affairs and corporate governance. The Global 100 companies were chosen from more than 1800 global corporations.

Advanced Sustainable Performance Indices (ASPI)

Advanced Sustainable Performance Indices (ASPI) was founded in 2001. In a yearly update, Stoxx Ltd. and the French rating agency Vigeo jointly evaluate the sustainability performance of the companies listed in the DJ EURO STOXX.

Oekom Corporate Sustainability Rating

Oekom is one of the leading institutes for sustainability ratings, assessing companies in the fields of Social/Cultural Management, Staff Relations, Relations with Stakeholders, Environmental Management, Products and Services and Eco-efficiency.

Scoris Sustainability Rating 2007

The study represents a comparative analysis of the DAX 30 companies and assesses their corporate activities in socio-politically relevant fields in categories such as Business Ethics, Community, Employees and Corporate Governance

The FTSE4Good Index

The FTSE4Good Index is another distinguished Sustainability Index. It was launched by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange in 2001. This index lists only those corporations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to human rights, social responsibility and environmental protection.

Best in Class

Storebrand Best in Class by Principle Funds of the Scandinavian financial services company. The selection process used a method that assessed criteria such as sustainability management, eco efficiency, transparency and openness for dialogue. Only companies ranking in the top 30 percentile qualify for inclusion in these funds and earn the status "Best in Class."

Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (AsrIA)

four founding members of the recently established Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment in Asia (AsrIA). The organization's goal is to promote sustainable investment in Asia, and in this way contribute to improving environmental and social conditions in the region.

Pacific Sustainability Index (PSI)

The Roberts Environmental Center evaluates the best environmental and sustainability reporting based on the Center's Pacific Sustainability Index (PSI), which provides grades for six reporting subcategories.

Accountability Rating 2007

The Accountability Rating is a tool for measuring the extent to which companies have built responsible practices into the way they do business. The Rating was developed by leading CSR consultancy csrnetwork and international think-tank AccountAbility, and first applied in 2004.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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