BP PLC and E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. received the highest scores of 100 global companies evaluated on how they address climate-change risk and pursue strategic opportunities in developing climate-friendly products, according to a report commissioned by Ceres that was released today.
BP scored 90 out of a possible 100, tops in the oil and gas industry and in the overall report, which evaluated 76 U.S. and 24 non-U.S. companies in the 10 most carbon-intensive industries. Other top oil and gas scores were Royal Dutch Shell PLC, 79; Statoil ASA, 72; Total SA, 62; and Chevron Corp. 57. ConocoPhillips Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp. both scored 35.
DuPont scored 85, to lead the chemical industry, followed by Bayer AG, 71; Imperial Chemical Industries PLC, 60; and BASF AG and Dow Chemical Co., both 59.
The lowest scores in the report were UAL Corp. and Williams Cos., both 3; Foundation Coal Holdings Inc., 5; and Southwest Airlines Co., Murphy Oil Corp. and Phelps Dodge Corp., all 6.
"Companies can no longer ignore climate risk and substantial potential business opportunities" it presents, Mindy S. Lubber, Ceres president, said in a teleconference.
Meredith Miller, assistant treasurer for policy in the Connecticut state treasurer's office, which oversees the $21.9 billion Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Hartford, said at the teleconference that institutional investors should use the report's findings as a benchmark for evaluating companies and promoting improved performance on the issue. She said it is investors' fiduciary duty to examine companies on the climate issue.
"Companies that do not prepare for a carbon-constrained future are putting long-term shareholder value at risk," Ms. Miller said. "From an institutional investor point of view, we are looking for the SEC to recognize the opportunities and risks of climate change as material" factors that could affect a company's long-term shareholder value, she added.
Ceres is a coalition of investors and environmental groups that seeks to promote environmental issues at companies. The report was commissioned by Investor Responsibility Research Center and was under way when IRRC was acquired by Institutional Shareholder Services last year.
The study scored companies on five main elements regarding climate change: board oversight, management performance, public disclosure, emission accounting and strategic planning.