The reports score companies based on the reporting, intent, and performance of environmental and social sustainability efforts. The research, based entirely on material released on the firms' Web sites, gives grades of A+ to Johnson Controls, Toyota, General Motors, and Daimler AG in the motor vehicles and parts sector; Stora Enso in the forest and paper products sector; ABB in the industrial and farm equipment sector; Coca-Cola in the consumer food, food production, and beverages sectors; and France Telecom and Vodafone in the telecommunications, network, and peripherals sector.
"In this round of reporting, more companies than ever before are in the top quarter of the overall range of scores," said J. Emil Morhardt, Roberts Professor of Environmental Biology at CMC and director of the Roberts Environmental Center. "Clearly, sustainability reporting is continuing to be adopted, at least in these large corporations." But, as Morhardt pointed out, "Although there is a general size effect in the quality of reporting in most sectors in this sample there are smaller companies that do a very good job."
To create the report's ranking, Morhardt and his team evaluated each company's Web site using the Pacific Sustainability Index including sector-specific questions. The index uses a general systematic questionnaire to analyze the quality of sustainability reporting. The selection of questions was based on the most frequently-mentioned topics in almost 1,800 corporate sustainability documents analyzed from 2002 through 2008 by the Roberts Environmental Center. The company's grades in this report were assigned on a grading curve, giving an A+ to the highest scoring companies and those with scores near it.
"In the current business climate, a demonstration of corporate social responsibility is more important than ever," continued Morhardt. "What we are analyzing is the quality of that demonstration - how transparent the companies are with respect to their environmental and social issues, and how good a job they are doing resolving any problems they currently have and avoiding future ones."
The detailed analyses also reveal what social and environmental themes these companies perceive to be most important to the American public today. The research screened Web site content to determine the most frequently reported topics. Companies with environmental achievements tended to tout their accountability and energy efficiency efforts while socially responsible businesses highlighted their superior policies and care for human rights.
To view the complete reports, visit: http://www.roberts.cmc.edu/PSI/SectorReports.asp.
About Roberts Environmental Center
The Roberts Environmental Center is an environmental research institute at Claremont McKenna College located in Claremont, Calif. Its mission is to provide students with a comprehensive and realistic understanding of today's environmental issues and the ways in which these issues are being and can be resolved. The Center strives to identify, publicize, and encourage policies and practices that achieve economic and social goals in the most environmentally benign and protective manner.
Scoring Summary Highest Highest Highest Environmental Social Lowest Industrial Overall Reporting Reporting Overall Sector Scores Scores Scores Scores Consumer Food, Coca-Cola Coca-Cola PepsiCo Coca-Cola Food PepsiCo Groupe Danone H.J. Heinz Enterprises Production, InBev InBev Company Pilgrims and Beverages Coca-cola Pride Sector Land O Lakes Forest and Stora Enso Weyerhaeuser Stora Enso Universal Paper International NewPage Corp. International Forest Products Paper Stora Enso Paper Products Weyerhaeuser Weyerhaeuser Plum Creek Timber Potlatch Industrial ABB Cummins ABB Teleflex Inc. and Farm Cummins ABB Black and Nacco Equipment Black and Komatsu Ltd. Decker Industries Decker ITT Corp. Komatsu Ltd. Motor Vehicle Toyota Motor Volkswagen General Motors China FAW and Parts Johnson Johnson Ford Motor Shanghai Controls Controls Toyota Motor Automotive General Motors Daimler AG Koc Holding Daimler AG Tele- France France Telecom Vodafone Softbank communications Telecom Telecom Italia Telefonica Carso Global Vodafone Nippon Telecom Telecom Telecom Telegraph Italia KDDI Italia and Telephone