RepuTex Rates Top 100 Companies
Friday, 17th October 2003 at 1:10 pm
Mining companies are the most socially responsible businesses in Australia, a new rating system for the top 100 listed companies has found. But most have failed the ‘green’ test!
Companies were assessed on the basis of social impact, environmental impact, workplace practices, and corporate governance, then graded from D to AAA.
Westpac Banking Corporation was rated as the most socially responsible company in Australia, and was the only company to score AAA, after rating in the top four on all criteria.
RepuTex rating committee chairman and former federal opposition leader John Hewson says the best performing sector was mining and metals, followed by utilities, energy, and transport.
Hewson says the results show that these companies are working hard to address community concerns, particularly in relation to environmental and workplace issues.
The worst performers were media, hospitality and health care, and pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
As a group, the top 100 companies fell down on environmental responsibility, with 86 not making the grade, having little concern for the environment.
The inaugural RepuTex index showed many companies still believed they had no role to play in protecting the environment.
Nineteen independent groups such as the Wilderness Society, the Australian Council of Social Service and the Institute of Chartered Accountants rated the companies on corporate governance, environmental and social impact and workplace practices.
Ten other companies received the AA rating including Shell, BHP Billiton, Coca-Cola Amatil, Insurance Australia Group and Queensland Rail.
The ratings show that the mining, utilities, energy and transport sectors are the best performing while the insurance sector as a group was rated unsatisfactory in the Corporate Governance category.
Overall, they did best on corporate responsibility, with 78 companies rated satisfactory or better – although the insurance sector as a whole was rated unsatisfactory.
At the same time, BHP Billiton released its own sustainability report card looking at its performance in health, safety, environment and community (HSEC). Its community contributions, and supporting community programs amounted to $US42 million or 1.4% of its pre-tax profit, exceeding it’s 1% target. A pilot Matched Giving Program support 274 Not for profit organisations in three countries.
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