Aviva tops rankings for lowest GHG emissions

26th April 2011

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Aviva is the least carbon intensive of Europe's 300 biggest businesses, according to figures published today (26 April 2011).

The UK insurance company has topped the first ET Europe 300 Carbon Ranking, a list of the continent’s largest companies ranked in terms of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced to create their annual turnover and the availability of information on those emissions.

The top 10 places are dominated by businesses from the finance sector, traditionally a less resource-intensive industry, with second place going to Dutch firm Aegon NV and third to the Banco Popular Espanol.

The top ranking non-financial business was telecommunications specialist Swisscomm, which came fifth, followed by mobile phone manufacturer Nokia in 11th position.

The list has been created by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) an independent body seeking to improve the environmental impact of the finance sector.

The EIO aims to put pressure on businesses to share comprehensive and verified data on GHG emissions and has weighted the ranking in favour of those that do.

"Despite most companies producing corporate social responsibility reports, there remain a remarkable lack of transparency and clarity in GHG emissions reporting,” said Sam Gill, operational director of the EIO.

The ET Europe 300 rankings reveal that just 43% of the participants publish independently-validated data on their scope 1 and 2 emissions, as defined in the GHG Protocol.

The European list follows publication of the UK ranking in February, and will form the basis of stock market indexes EIO will launch in May. These indexes have been designed to guide investors as to how well organisations are performing environmentally.

"Investing in a way which can help tackle climate change is an essential component of intelligent long term investment," said Gill. "Through our series of global, regional and national ET Carbon Rankings, the public can access emissions data in an understandable format in one place, highlighting the leaders and laggards.”

The aim is to create pressure for organisations listed in the rankings to improve their position by influencing a company’s share price.

"With world governments unable to agree on solutions and paralysed by political realities, we have to explore all available options before it is too late,” said EIO chair Michael Gill.

“We urgently need to start considering ways in which we can harness the enormous power wielded by the investment system and use it to change corporate behaviour and cut emissions."

The EIO have listed UK mining firm Randgold Resources as an example of an early success story. Rangold came bottom of the UK rankings in February to be ranked 69 after publishing greater information in its annual report.

The EIO will be rolling out further regional rankings in the coming months listing companies in North America, Asia-Pacific and the BRIC economies. This will then be followed by a global ranking of the world’s 800 largest companies.


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