Sustainablog

This blog will cover some news items related to Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility, Stewardship, Environmental management, etc.

22.4.06

Computer Industry, EPA Mull Energy-Efficiency Metric for Servers


Computer Industry, EPA Mull Energy-Efficiency Metric for Servers

GreenBiz.com, 17 April 2006 - Representatives from Sun Microsystems, AMD, and other industry leaders came together with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Lawrence Berkeley Labs at a recent working group to define a standard metric to measure energy efficiency in server technology. Similar to the miles per gallon metric used by many in their decision to purchase a car this metric would, for the first time, enable those purchasing servers to evaluate energy consumption in a standardized way.

Andrew Fanara, team lead for
Energy Star products at the EPA said, "The EPA is extremely happy to promote a dialogue around this topic with a broader array of stakeholders. The meeting went very well and was an important step toward the creation of an industry consensus benchmark for server energy efficiency. Furthermore, we're hearing a lot of positive interest on this topic from our counterparts in Europe where this issue is a growing concern."

As demand for computing power grows, so do the heat and cooling expenses that these powerful systems generate. In recent months, several key industry players, such as Google, have publicly recognized the impact of rising energy costs on their bottom line. With the number of users on the Web expected to rise by 300 million per year into the foreseeable future, even small improvements in Web server energy efficiency hold the promise of significant savings.

Computer makers say that until there is a metric that allows for equitable equipment comparisons, manufacturers can't compete on a level playing field. Armed with better information businesses of all sizes will be able to make better informed decisions about total cost of ownership, the companies say.

Edward Hunter, director for Sun's Eco Responsibility Initiative, added, "This is the right time for the industry to act on this important issue, and the impact will be felt for years to come. These critical issues of power and cooling in the data center are at the top of the agenda for our customers and other companies spanning multiple industries. Sun's initial steps to address these issues through our energy-efficient servers are only the beginning of a new awareness in our industry of how technology can do its part to save resources and have a positive impact on the environment."

Once defined, the proposed metric will enable IT purchasers to conduct side-by-side, industry-standard comparisons for energy efficiency in servers, similar to benchmark measurements such as SPEC and TPC widely used today to evaluate system speed and processing power. The formal metric resulting from the conversations started at this working group is expected to be made public in summer 2006.

Survey Shows Public Corporations Upping Green Initiatives While Smaller Companies Lag


Survey Shows Public Corporations Upping Green Initiatives While Smaller Companies Lag

GreenBiz.com, 20 April 2006 - Since the new environmental, or "green," thinking began sweeping through corporate culture in the 1990s, the larger, publicly traded companies are more likely to continue devoting time and energy to adopting business practices that reduce waste, save energy and water, and consider their social impact. But smaller companies are less likely to adopt formal stewardship programs because of a lack of resources, according to an analysis of about 100 northeast companies conducted by East Coast engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) and released tomorrow by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

The findings, presented today at a special EBC Earth Week Corporate Stewardship event, "Best Practices in Corporate Stewardship," being held 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 20, at the Doubletree Hotel in Waltham, show that about 34% of companies commit to public reporting; and 67% have a formal stewardship policy.

Only about a quarter of the approximate 100 companies surveyed have Environmental Management Systems and most do not regularly report performance to the public. Companies reporting improvements in environmental stewardship see them in their facilities, their measurement, monitoring and reporting, and in their production processes. Companies see the greatest future gain in their operating practices, education, and production processes, so greater efficiencies still seem possible. Product improvement, resource consumption, and improved transportation practices lag in both progress made to date and perceived likelihood of potential improvements. Many companies surveyed have formal environmental policies, but only half of those surveyed have clear goals and specific performance measures.

"These findings indicate that the leaders are still leading, but that the ranks of followers have not filled in," said Leo Pierre Roy, director of environmental services for VHB. who presented the findings at today's EBC event. "This shows that while progress has been made, there is much work to be done. Organizations like the Environmental Business Council of New England and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts are to be commended for encouraging research such as this, and for sponsoring education and outreach to their membership, to help more companies in the region become good corporate stewards."

Environmental stewardship, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility have become topics of steadily increasing interest since the early 1990s. Many leading companies are advancing initiatives to address the impacts and their operations have on society, to improve their business practices, and to involve their employees, suppliers, customers and communities in defining ways that achieve more sustainable and environmentally-friendly operations.

When environmental laws were promulgated beginning in the 1970s, companies sought to comply with the new statutes and regulations. By the 1990s, however, forward-thinking companies began to look beyond mere compliance, seeing the competitive advantages of adopting business practices that reduced waste, saved energy and water, and considered social impacts. Over the years and increasing number of companies have formalized environmental stewardship programs, and begun to track and publicly report on their progress regarding sustainability and social responsibility. Many of these companies, such as Interface Carpet, The Body Shop, and Ben & Jerry's, have been widely recognized for their efforts. The present question is whether other companies are learning from and picking up on these initiatives and adding to the momentum, and whether the results of these initiatives are sufficiently compelling to broadly sustain that momentum.

For many years, regulations have required corporations to report on certain aspects of their operations, such as their emissions through the Toxic Release Inventory, and accidents through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Because of this history, it is not surprising that most corporate stewardship reports address environmental health and safety. Emissions and energy consumption are the most frequently identified metrics, followed by waste reduction and water conservation. Not surprisingly, waste, air emissions, water, and energy efficiency also topped the list of greatest environmental concerns in corporate America.

The research conducted by VHB involved the analysis of recent sustainability/citizenship reports plus a survey of firms in the Northeast. The research investigated trends in public reporting and attempted to identify specific "best practices." Such practices, often referred to as best management practices have yielded significant benefits for those companies which have undertaken proactive initiatives to improve their environmental and social impacts. The corporate stewardship reports of 25 companies were analyzed and their contents summarized. Surveys were completed by 71 Northeast companies and the results compiled into charts and graphs available in the report.

BASF, Dow Chemical planning alternative raw materials usage


BASF, Dow Chemical planning alternative raw materials usage

Greenwire, 18 April 2006 - BASF, the world's largest chemical maker, and Dow Chemical are both exploring alternative raw materials manufacturing methods that include coal, the companies said yesterday.

BASF is committing $121 million over the next two years to research alternative raw materials, including coal, for products such as plastics. Dow is exploring a possible partnership with Chinese coal producer Shenhua to jointly build a plant that would use coal to make ethylene and polypropylene for products such as vinyl chloride monomer and fertilizers.

Several other chemical companies in the United States, which have traditionally used oil and gas as feedstocks, are also hoping to take advantage of incentives built into the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to explore coal gasification as an alternative raw materials source.

"We want to be economically feasible in the United States, and coal enables us to do that," Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said.

Coal gasification is a process whereby heat turns coal into hydrogen and carbon monoxide gas, which can then be used to make ammonia for fertilizer or be liquefied to use as a building block for plastics.

According to the American Chemistry Council, the industry's cost for all feedstocks hit $40.12 billion last year, up from $34 billion in 2004 and $25.1 billion in 2003. Feedstocks amounted to nearly 19 percent of the cost of the $213.75 billion in products the chemical industry shipped last year -- up from 17.5 percent in 2005 and 14.5 percent in 2003.

Coal is also an appealing raw material alternative because of its availability. According to the World Energy Council, the United States had recoverable reserves in 2004 of about 254.4 billion tons while China has 114.5 billion tons (Claudia H. Deutsch, New York Times, April 18).

Wal-Mart Discloses Equal Employment Opportunity Data


Wal-Mart Discloses Equal Employment Opportunity Data

SocialFunds.com, 14 April 2006 - The company joined six others in the S&P 100 that publicly disclose their EEO-1 report, but Wal-Mart still faces shareowner action on union-busting and selling gems mined in Burma.

Earlier this week, Wal-Mart (ticker: WMT) broke new ground by posting on its website its entire EEO-1 report, a confidential document on worker diversity filed annually by companies with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The move came in response to a shareowner resolution filed by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of 275 faith-based institutional investors, which withdrew the resolution in recognition of Wal-Mart taking this leadership step.

"This move sets a new standard in corporate transparency not only for retailers but for all Fortune 500 companies," said Barbara Aires, coordinator of corporate responsibility for the
Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, New Jersey, the lead filer of the resolution since 2002. "As the largest publicly traded company in the U.S. with the nation's largest workforce, Wal-Mart raised the bar for all companies, both privately and publicly held."

"In publicly disclosing how women and people of color advance within the company and what opportunities they have, the impetus for continued progress in this area becomes more tangible," Sr. Aires added. "Our work does not end with this report, however--we will continue our dialogue with management on shaping human resources policies that set new standards for openness and opportunity."

Wal-Mart joins only six other companies in the US S&P100 index that publicly disclose their entire EEO-1 report, according to a
survey by the Social Investment Research Analyst Network (SIRAN). These companies include Citigroup (C), Coca-Cola (KO), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Intel (INTC), International Business Machines (IBM), and Merck (MRK). Another 21 companies provide full EEO-1 disclosure on request from analysts, and another six beyond that provide partial public disclosure.

"It took Wal-Mart a while to get to this point, but they are to be commended for doing exactly what shareholders have been calling upon companies to do," said Heidi Soumerai, director of social research at
Walden Asset Management, a socially responsible investing (SRI) firm that co-filed the resolution. Ms. Soumerai also spearheaded the SIRAN survey and "Call to Action" urging companies to disclose their EEO-1 reports. "The first thing I did after hearing about Wal-Mart was alert Home Depot, where we are filing a shareholder resolution requesting more comprehensive EEO statistics--it's very important for them to see that if a company like Wal-Mart can do it, they can too."

Home Depot (
HD) used to make its EEO-1 survey available to analysts, but it no longer does so, according to Ms. Soumerai.

"I also think it's interesting that Wal-Mart is doing this while in the midst of a sexual discrimination lawsuit," Ms. Soumerai told SocialFunds.com. "Many companies say that they have concerns that this type of disclosure is the impetus for lawsuits."

"We believe that disclosure and accountability may actually help companies avoid lawsuits," she added.

Wal-Mart publishes its own EEO-1 statistics alongside national and industry statistics to provide easy comparison, a decision Ms. Soumerai praises. Walden typically analyzes the top four categories--officials and managers, professionals, technicians, and sales workers.

"It's clear to see where their numbers lag the industry--for example for women in the officials and managers category--but you can also see that they are ahead of the country as a whole on the other important categories, such as professionals, technicians, and sales workers, which are feeder groups for the official and manager category," said Ms. Soumerai. "As for African-American officials and managers, they have 10.7 percent versus the industry's 8.3 percent, and in the rest of the categories we look, they are better than the industry."

While the lack of historical data prevents shareowners from benchmarking against past performance, this dataset sets a baseline for benchmarking going forward.

"As long-term shareholders, one of the things we do with this information is look at trends over time--that's one of the most important apples-to-apples comparison we try to make, and now we have the ability to do that," said Ms. Soumerai. "We would hope and expect to see progress over a three- or five-year period in areas where we haven't seen progress up until this point."

The move also raises the question of how Wal-Mart will handle other shareowner negotiations. For example, a group of 10 SRI firms and faith-based institutional investors sent a
letter late last month to Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott asking the company to address its history of union-busting activity. The company has not responded to the letter, according to lead signatory Conrad MacKerron, director of the corporate social responsibility program at the As You Sow Foundation. Company spokesperson Marty Heires did not respond to SocialFunds.com's requests for commentary.

Wal-Mart also faces investor concern over its sale of jewelry with gems mined in Burma (or Myanmar), a country with a documented history of human rights abuses. SRI firm
Boston Common Asset Management sent a letter in late March praising the company for not selling clothing made in Burma since 1992, and asking the company to follow suit by not selling gems mined there, just as Tiffany's (TIF) has done.

"I received a phone call from the company and they are willing to discuss this further in dialogue," said Lauren Compere, chief administrative officer of Boston Common. "I was told that they are examining the issue of Burma sourced gems along with their overall sustainability efforts related to jewelry, and this will become part of a larger policy addressing gold and diamonds."

This article is reproduced with kind permission of SocialFunds.com
For daily news and articles visit
www.socialfunds.com

19.4.06

New Report: Sustainability Engagement Boosts Financial Performance -- SAM singles out the energy sector as a leader in environmental management.


New Report: Sustainability Engagement Boosts Financial Performance
Source:
Ethical Corporation

NEW YORK, April 12, 2006 - The research arm of a leading sustainable investment fund has produced a new report grading more than 1200 companies by their preparedness in terms of environmental and other CR issues, providing more evidence for a link between non-financial and financial performance.

Sustainable Asset Management's 2006 Sustainability Yearbook (
PDF) looks at 58 sectors, giving an analysis of their sustainability risks and opportunities, and sizing up whether individual companies are reacting. SAM then uses this research to make its own investments, as well as those on behalf of other "ethical funds".

SAM says it has been able to show a conclusive link between performance on sustainability issues and financial performance -- something of a Holy Grail for researchers in this area.

Energy Shows the Way


Three oil companies -- Statoil, Woodside Petroleum and Total -- come out top in the study. Both are high financial achievers and strong performers on environmental issues. In fact, SAM singles out the energy sector as a leader in environmental management.

"The data find a correlation between shareholder value creation, measured by the average return on equity generated over the last five years, and the SAM climate score," the report says.

In assessing how well oil and gas companies are performing on the environment, SAM looks at factors such as their investment in gas and renewable energy, strategies to reduce C02 emissions and efforts to produce cleaner oil fuels.

SAM, which also manages the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, has published two previous yearbook reports.

The retail sector is a big mover since the 2005 report. Dominique Reber, SAM's head of communication, says retailers have begun to address issues such as "healthy living" and how they can better treat their employees.

Supply Chain Improvements


Apparel manufacturers are also reported to have made improvements in the last year with SAM rating Adidas as the leader in the sector. The company has made positive strides on labor practices, the report says.

Across all sectors, the report says, companies have made improvements on the issue of supply chain transparency, but there is still significant room for advances in terms of "human capital management."

The yearbook also includes in-depth analyses of three hot-button issues: climate change, “mobility” (transport) and nutrition.

SAM believes these topics, especially climate change, are likely to be increasingly part of the financial community's analysis of sustainability-related risks. In fact, the report shows that companies have shown a marked improvement over the past few years in reporting their greenhouse gas emissions. From 24% of companies failing to provide “sufficient data” in 2002, only 12% failed last year, according to SAM's sample.

Based in Zurich, SAM takes an approach to sustainability that looks past ethics to the risks and opportunities that ecological or social issues -- such as climate change -- pose to companies. It believes companies can gain competitive advantage by dealing with such issues in a proactive way.

The research, published jointly with consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers, represents one of the most complete efforts so far to compare companies, and sectors, based on their non-financial performance.

It is a showcase for SAM’s database of ten years worth of historical data from companies on their non-financial performance.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format
online.

green.tv Channel Hits the Airwaves


Green TV Channel Hits the Airwaves
Source:
Edie News

BRUSSELS, April 10, 2006 - The world's first environmental broadband TV channel is now on air -- and online -- with films and programs on everything from NO2 emissions around airports and offshore wind farms to "carbon speed dating."

green.tv, developed with support from the United Nations, aims to be a one-stop shop for broadcast environmental information, with a searchable database of programs made by NGOs, community filmmakers, and public and commercial organizations.

Some of the first films to go on air were produced by environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth, Water Aid, and the European Environment Agency. But there are also items from "companies with a firm interest in the protecting the environment," the first one to feature being Barclays Bank with a film on sustainable sports facilities.

"Green TV is a truly innovative project which will no doubt influence the field of environmental film-making and research. It will eventually offer a comprehensive 'one- stop shop' for environmental TV programming -- something that has so far not been available," said Eric Falt, director of communications and public information at U.N. Environment Program.

Areas covered include climate change, air, water, land and green technologies. As well as making use of the broadcast medium to communicate environmental issues, the channel taps into the potential of the internet, including a chat room and the search facility.

Director and producer Ade Thomas compared this to a green-video Google that lets you find specific watch programs on specific environmental issues on demand.

U.K. environment minister Elliot Morley commented on the launch of green.tv: "There are many more people using the internet than watching TV and we also know that there is enormous interest in environmental issues.

"I think green.tv has tremendous potential, bringing together new technology and innovation in terms of how we spread information," he said.

The channel can be accessed
online.

Why global warming is good for business: There are, three clear trends entrepreneurs can take action on immediately


FUTURE BOY
Why global warming is good for business
Climate change isn't all bad news. In fact, there may well be money in it.
By Chris Taylor, Business 2.0 Magazine senior editor

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - We're nine days away from the media event that is Earth Day 2006, so brace yourself for a barrage of depressingly familiar information about the environment's poor health.

Greenland's glaciers melting at an alarming rate? Check. Amazonian ecosystem in near-irreversible collapse? Check. Decomposed vegetation in Siberia, previously buried under permafrost, about to release vast quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? Check again.

Fully 85% of Americans believe global warming is happening now, according to a recent Time/ABC/Stanford poll. We know we're in the midst of some serious climate change, and don't need pictures of polar bears stuck on fragmenting ice caps to drive the point home.

Long-term changes in the business climate

The problem for the business world is that all of the incremental solutions we keep hearing about - use less electricity, drive a hybrid, buy recycled and organic products - don't exactly set entrepreneurs' imaginations on fire. Sure, such efforts cut energy usage bit by bit, but global warming presents opportunities beyond dutiful belt-tightening.

"Saving the world and making a profit is not an either/or proposition," says Bob Willard, a former IBM (Research) executive and author of The Sustainability Advantage.

What makes cashing in on climate change tricky is the fact that it could go in one of two radically different directions. Either the world will continue to heat up, or a complex series of climate changes could tip us over into a sudden new ice age - one so severe, suggests Peter Schwartz, co-founder of the Global Business Network consultancy, that the planet's remaining arable land would only be able to support a mere two billion people. (Schwartz's 2003 report for the Pentagon said plainly that global warming would be a greater threat to national security in the 21st century than terrorism).

But according to global warming scenarios from insurance giant AIG (Research), we won't see major changes in one direction or the other until at least 2040, long past the tenure of today's CEOs.

Strategies for a warmer (or colder) world

So shelve those plans to manufacture more sunscreen or snowshoes for now. There are, however, three clear trends entrepreneurs can take action on immediately:

1) Consumer guilt. Growing concern about global warming - and the urge to do something about it - is a boon for startups like TerraPass, an outfit that's in the guilt-reduction business. TerraPass offers to offset the amount of carbon dioxide your car emits for between $30 and $80 a year, by investing it in clean energy projects that reduce carbon elsewhere in the world. Barely a year old, and started on a $5,000 loan, the company has 3,000 customers and counting.

2) The Kyoto Treaty. Even though the U.S. hasn't signed on, much of the rest of the world is following an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions. That means a larger market for clean technologies. The best part is that you don't have to own a factory with smokestacks to profit from emissions reductions.

A small Silicon Valley company called Planktos, for example, plans to dump huge quantities of carbon-eating phytoplankton algae in the oceans, and sell the resulting credits to European countries that can't cut their carbon dioxide emissions enough to meet Kyoto targets. Despite the fact that this technology is still in the testing stage, it was so attractive to Vancouver's Solar Energy Ltd. that it bought Planktos last year for $1.3 million.

3) Human relations. When Whole Foods Markets (Research) announced in January that it would buy all of its electricity from wind farms, making itself the corporate world's largest consumer of renewable energy, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called them "the most patriotic company in America." Likewise, Wal-Mart (Research), long assailed for its contribution to urban sprawl, is building new stores that use solar energy to reduce costs and boost its image at the same time.

That's the kind of publicity you can take to the bank. Indeed, Sustainability Advantage author Willard cites polls that show more than a fifth of potential job candidates are drawn to such companies. His research also shows more concrete benefits from the adoption of eco-friendly corporate policies: reduced manufacturing expenses, increased market share, a better talent pool and higher productivity. All of this, according to Willard, can lead to a 66% increase in profit on average for small and medium-sized companies that adopt environment-minded practices.

A two-thirds jump in profits, thanks to climate change? That's a far cheerier image of the future for Earth Day than those poor trapped polar bears.

New Report: Oil Companies Using Ethical Transparency to Great Promotional Effect


New Report: Oil Companies Using Ethical Transparency to Great Promotional Effect
Source
GreenBiz.com
URL:
http://www.greenbiz.com/news/news_third.cfm?NewsID=30821

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 13, 2006 - Oil companies are among the "most transparent businesses around," using sustainability, social responsibility, and ethics as good promotion topics, according to a new report.

In Research and Markets' World's Most Sustainable and Ethical Oil Companies 2006, Shell tops the rankings for the third year running. In the 2006 study, Shell achieves the highest score of any oil company ever, achieving 89.01%. Shell was able to substantially improve its already strong 2005 performance of 82% even though this year's study covered roughly twice as many areas as the 2005 study, thus adapting to higher benchmarks in the sustainability in the oil business.

Other major movements in the league table, include Brazil's Petrobas, which moves up this year from 7th in 2005 to 2nd position. While Exxon scored 80% in 2005, it only achieved a score of 68.1% this year, owing to gaps in reporting and thus dropping it from 2nd to 9th place in 2006.

On the other hand, companies are generally their transparency. Russia's Lukoil manages to raise its total score by 23 percentage points from 35% to 58.61%, or a jump of 67%. In September 2005 Lukoil brought out its first sustainability report discussing its achievements in environment, employee benefits and community support, which more than doubled its transparency score from 29% in the 2005 ranking to 62% in 2006.

Fourteen of the 15 companies ranked here publish annual environmental reports. Even Russian gas giant Gazprom has been publishing ecological reports since 1995. While plant modernizations are the focus of companies with older facilites such as Lukoil, Gazprom, Petrobas and Pemex, European and US companies are concentrating on reducing emissions and energy use.

While most companies were proud of reducing water and energy use and reducing emissions, many appear at best ambivalent on new and renewable energy sources.

Of the five overall areas studied (sustainability, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, ethics and transparency), companies do worst in corporate governance, averaging only 58.61%. The differences between the companies is the greatest in this area with Shell and Petrobas both achieving 83.3% and Petronas only getting 4.1%. State companies such as Gazprom and Pemex generally did worst, lacking a management structure controlled by independently staffed board committees. Surprisingly, the three U.S. companies barely made it over the 60% mark despite Sarbanes-Oxley, NYSE laws and the like.

Most companies invest heavily in human resource development and training, such as France's Total which spends EUR 160 on training ($192) annually. Training entails higher productivity but also fewer expensive accidents in what is a fairly dangerous business. To this end, Statoil trained 23,500 employees and contractors in 100 safety seminars. At Total, injuries among employees and contractors dropped from 46 in 2002 to 20 in 2004.

The strong link between employee satisfaction and productivity has prompted an increasing number of companies to carry out annual employee satisfaction surveys. Chevron claims that 89% of its employees thought it behaves "responsibly in relation to the environment" and 80% think Chevron cares about the health and well-being of its employees.

Yet oil companies have been among the most transparent businesses around, using sustainability, social responsibility and ethics as good promotion topics. And thus they continue to upgrade their transparency, which has helped raise the average performance of all companies in this study from 62% in 2005 to a current 67.5%, despite the first time inclusion of Petronas' very weak numbers. European oil companies have more transparent than their American counterparts. The average overall transparency score for the six European companies is nearly 80% while the three Americans attained only 65.5%. Industry-leader ExxonMobil scores only 57%, which is the same as Mexican state-owned Pemex and lower than Russia's Lukoil.

Oil companies have been regularly improving their websites as the world goes online. The key topics are corporate governance and environmental issues, followed in recent years by reports on social and employee projects. Alexey Miller, CEO of Gazprom, even addresses the company's new website as the main topic of his welcoming statement.

Another trend is to publish detailed and colourful sustainability, environmental and social reports. BP publishes the full report in English, German, Spanish and Russian and Petronas has published a social responsibility report annually since 2001 while others are doing it for the second or third (Total) year. Petrobas is even increasing the pace by already having its 2005 data ready for release by mid-February of 2006. Gazprom, by comparison, has not gotten beyond publishing its 2002 data.

On the average, companies scored highest under "ethics" with an average of 73.3%. Ethics in essence means having and promoting a detailed code of conduct and staying out of trouble. Companies with low scores, such as Gazprom and Petronas, largely failed to communicate and implement a code of conduct and ethics, although this is among the least expensive ways of gaining points. Top performers such as Chevron, Statoil and Total, implemented codes explaining how employees should deal with difficult cases of bribery and conflicts of interest. Statoil's general code of ethics is 31 pages long and it publishes codes for its financial management and suppliers, which were last updated as recently as December 2005.

More information is available
online.