European and Asian companies are paying more attention to global warming than their American counterparts. And chemical companies are more focused on the issue than oil companies.
Those are two conclusions from “Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection,” a report that Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmentalists, expects will influence investment decisions.
The report, released yesterday, scored 100 global corporations — 74 of them based in the United States — on their strategies for curbing greenhouse gases. It covered 10 industries — oil and gas, chemicals, metals, electric power, automotive, forest products, coal, food, industrial equipment and airlines — whose activities were most likely to emit greenhouse gases. It evaluated companies on their board oversight, management performance, public disclosure, greenhouse gas emissions, accounting and strategic planning.
The report gave the chemical industry the highest overall marks, with a score of 51.9 out of a possible 100; DuPont, with 85 points, was the highest-ranking American company in any of the industries. Airlines, in contrast, ranked lowest, with a score of 16.6; UAL, the parent of United Airlines, received just 3 points.
Well, clearly government policy and media attitudes have more to do with market behavior and regulation than the “free market fundamentalists” would care to accept.