Report Grades Sustainability Reporting of the Largest Chemical Companies

The Roberts Environmental Center (REC) has released an analysis of the environmental and social sustainability reporting by 30 of the top companies in the Chemical Sector of the Fortune 500. REC ranked Bayer, BASF, and Sherwin-Williams high on the grading scale.

The original scoring took place between December 2008 and January 2009. The companies were provided the opportunity to review the initial scores and make recommend changes to the points given or to add information for a potentially higher score. Many companies responded with new information, which substantially increased their grades.

“Bayer, BASF, and Dow Chemical have been the champions of sustainability reporting in the chemical sector for years,” said REC Research Fellow Elgeritte Adidjaja. “This year, however, Sherwin Williams caught up in the review period by disclosing much of the information needed in their sustainability reporting and publishing it on-line, raising their score from the bottom half of the sector to near the top.”

Several companies, including BASF and Praxair, submitted newly-published Sustainability Reports to be re-scored. Through this process of revision, the REC empowers each company to improve its own before final publication of the sector analysis.

As expected, companies with higher revenues and profit margins tended to score higher in the report. Larger companies are more heavily scrutinized in the public eye and have additional resources to put into monitoring and reporting sustainability performance. However, while this may be a trend, it is not a rule, as several large companies have low scores and some of the top performers are relatively small.

View the complete report.

Scoring Summary

Highest Overall Scores

Bayer

BASF

Sherwin Williams

Highest Environmental Reporting Scores

Bayer

BASF

Highest Social Reporting Scores

Bayer

Sherwin Williams

Dow Chemical

BASF

Lowest Overall Scores

Mosaic

Hexion Specialty Chemicals

Solutia