Roberts Environmental Center Releases Automotive Reports

The Roberts Environmental Center today released its newest environmental sustainability reports, this time for the automotive industry. The study showed that General Motors and Ford have made major improvements in their newest environmental sustainability reports, jumping from 13th and 15th. The improvements raised their overall score in the Pacific Sustainability Index, which measures the quality of corporate environmental and social reporting and performance, to first and second in the Center’s current round of analysis. Volkswagen, which has long had high quality sustainability reports, ties with GM for first place.

The overall Pacific Sustainability Index score is made up of six independently scored categories that address particular areas of interest.

Volkswagen leads in the environmental intent category, which reflects the level of expression of corporate interest in operating in an environmentally responsible manner. Toyota retains first-place in the environmental reporting categorya measure of the number of environmental topics discussed and the level of detail of the discussion. Fuji Heavy Industries documents the best environmental performance, a measure of the number of environmental performance metrics that are improved from the previous year or that reflect performance better than the average of peer companies. The social categories parallel the environmental ones: Ford leads the social intent category, Volkswagen and Ford tie in the social reporting category, and Johnson Controls leads with its social performance score, according to Center Director, Professor J. Emil Morhardt.

Analysis of corporate environmental and sustainability reports in the Roberts Environmental Center is performed by CMC students. That includes, says Morhardt, downloading relevant information from Web sites of Fortune Global 500 and Fortune 1000 corporations, and utilizing the Pacific Sustainability Index scoring sheet (itself designed and frequently updated by students) to rank reports within individual industrial sectors. As well, the Center periodically publishes full-sector reports with all participating students as coauthors, Morhardt says.

All of these scores represent the interim 2004 reporting data now displayed for all industries on the Roberts Environmental Center Web site: www.roberts.mckenna.edu/psi/pressrelease.asp. A final 2004 sector report, including all updates made by corporations during the summer, will be published in fall 2005.