IBM, Tesco, Dell Top Ceres’ Climate Change Governance Ranking

by | Dec 12, 2008

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ceres_tech.jpgThe Ceres investor coalition issued a report (PDF) that analyzes the climate change governance practices at 63 of the worlds largest retail, pharmaceutical, technology, apparel and other consumer-facing companies.

The report uses a “Climate Change Governance Framework” to evaluate how 48 U.S. companies and 15 non-U.S. companies are addressing climate change through board of director oversight, management execution, public disclosure, GHG emissions accounting and strategic planning and performance.

The report found that many companies are still largely ignoring climate change, especially at the board and CEO level. Only 11 out of the 63 companies have their boards receive climate-specific updates from management, only seven of the CEOs among the firms analyzed have taken leadership roles on climate change initiatives and none of the companies have linked C-suite executive compensation directly to climate-related performance.

The report finds that technology, pharmaceutical and semiconductor firms are leading the way on climate change initiatives. IBM, Tesco and Dell were the highest scoring companies in the report, with 79, 78, and 77 points, respectively, out of a 100-pint scale. However more than half of the companies scored under 50 points, with a median score of 38 points. Apple scored below the median, with 28 points, despite being perceived as a U.S. green tech leader, according to GreenFactor.

Some apparel companies and retail chains also received high marks, such as Nike (71) and Wal-Mart (69). However the report says the average scores in both sectors were disappointingly low.

The report concludes that more action is needed to align company strategies with GHG reductions, which scientists say are needed to avoid impacts from climate change.

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