New Roberts Center Report Grades Sustainability Reporting of World’s Largest Energy and Utilities Companies

Duke Energy (USA) gets an A+’ in a study by the Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College. Findings also show a growing commitment by energy companies to invest in renewable energy.

Which of the world’s 50 largest energy companies are doing a great job reporting their corporate sustainability efforts online? According to faculty and student researchers at the Roberts Environmental Center (REC), they rank as follows: Duke Energy (USA), Constellation Energy (USA), Gas Natural SDG (Spain), Xcel Energy (USA), and AREVA (France)all of which earned an A’ grade or higher in an analysis of the voluntary environmental and social reporting of companies on the combined Fortune 2010 Energy and Utilities sectors lists. Thirteen of the 50 companies scored a D+’ or lower, while the greater majority (21) ranked somewhere in the middle, earning between a C+’ and C-‘ letter grade.

The rankings, which evaluated environmental and social reporting, are based on data gathered from energy company websites between January 2010 and November 2011. After drafting a report of their initial findings, researchers gave energy companies two weeks to review and respond to the scores, also affording companies additional input that could improve their rankings.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Roberts researchers say that compared to other business sectors, many energy companies show a “remarkable openness” on environmental issues, likely because the energy sector is “uniquely situated to have a profound impact on many of the most pressing environmental issues” of today. Pressure from environmental groups and consumers, the report indicates, also is driving energy companies to investigate renewable power and clean fuels.

It is the hope that this REC Sector Analysis will encourage corporations to increase environmental and social transparency. Many of the company’s websites represent the company as being responsible when it comes to sustainability, but often times the materials and information on the website does not provide evidence of that, therefore giving them lower scores. Also, many companies report on environmental efforts/policies, but not human rights efforts/policies.

For the full report, including methodology and company scores, visit the Roberts Center website.