US Firms Barely Rank in Global Climate Change Disclosure Lists

US Firms Barely Rank in Global Climate Change Disclosure Lists

Business charts image via Shutterstock.

When it comes to comprehensive climate change disclosure, it's safe to say that European companies blow their North American counterparts out of the water.

More than half of European companies -- 53.6 percent -- analyzed in a new report publicly revealed complete data on their greenhouse gas emissions and took the extra step of getting the data verified. In comparison, a paltry 8.8 percent of North American companies did the same, as measured by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO).

The U.K. nonprofit released five sets of rankings that score climate change disclosure of the world's largest companies. The rankings include the Environmental Tracking (ET) Global 800, which ranks the world's 800 biggest firms, the ET North America 300, ET Asia Pacific 300, ET BRICS 300 and an updated ET Europe 300. Baxter, Gold Fields and Westpac Banking were the top scorers in their respective indexes, while BASF topped the lists of two indexes. (See the top five leaders and laggards for each index on the next page.)

The rankings are meant to spotlight and reward companies that transparently disclose their carbon footprints and take steps to reduce them, while also casting the spotlight on the laggards. EIO's first rankings released earlier this year focused on the  released rankings earlier this year on the ET Europe 300 and ET UK 100.

The information will eventually be used as the foundation for a series tradable indexes.

The rankings have been expanded to reward companies for disclosing their complete Scope 3 emissions, which pertain to indirect emissions produced during employee commuting, in supply chains or through business travel.

Just one company, BASF, disclosed emissions in all 15 Scope 3 categories, which helped to put the chemical company at the top of the ET Global 800. Rounding out the top five firms are Anglo American, Gold Fields, Alcatel-Lucent and Santander BR. The rankings are based on level of disclosure, verification and carbon intensity.

Overall, 23 percent of ET Global 800 companies reported incomplete data, while another 32 percent reported none.

In North America, 39 percent of firms reported no data, and 18 percent reported incomplete data. At the other end of the spectrum are firms like Baxter, United Parcel Service and Praxair, all of which disclosed each of the three scopes of greenhouse gas emissions and had the data verified.

"It is interesting to note that the percentage of companies reporting complete data is below 50 percent, even in the country with the highest degree of reporting," the report said. "This is indicative that though North America is making progress in terms of GHG emissions reporting, there is still a long way to go."

Here are the firms that scored best and worst on each of the five indices released today:

ET Global 800
Top 5
1. BASF
2. Anglo American
3. Gold Fields
4. Alcatel-Lucent
5. Santander BR

Bottom 5
1. Jardine Matheson HDGS
2. Jardine Strategic HDGS
3. Honeywell Int
4. Hutchison Whampoa
5. Fortune Brands

ET North America 300
Top 5
1. Baxter International Inc.
2. United Parcel Service
3. Praxair Inc.
4. Bank of America
5. E.I. du Pont de Nemours

Bottom 5
1. Silver Wheaton Corporation
2. Honeywell International
3. Entergy Corporation
4. Edison International
5. FirstEnergy Corporation

ET BRICS 300
Top 5
1. Gold Fields
2. Santander BR
3. Vale
4. Itau Unibanco
5. Inf. Development Finance

Bottom 5
1. Federal Grid Company
2. Cheung Kong Holdiings.
3. NTPC
4. ENN Energy Holdings
5. Sabesp

ET Asia-Pacific 300
Top 5
1. Westpac Banking
2. National Australia Bank
3. Transurban Group
4. Telstra
5. Wesfarmers

Bottom 5
1. Daewoo Engr. & Con.
2. Taiwan Cement
3. Daito Tst. Construction
4. Samsung Engineering
5. Shikoku Electric Power

ET Europe 300
Top 5
1. BASF
2. Anglo American
3. Alcatel-Lucent
4. Commerzbank
5. Xstrata

Bottom 5
1. Aggreko
2. KGHM
3. JSW
4. Bouygues
5. Pkagrupa Energetycna

Business chart image via Shutterstock.