30 April 2013
South Africa has the highest percentage of companies that publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in the BRICS group of countries, according to a carbon ranking index released by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) on Monday.
The EIO is a London-based independent research organisation that promotes ecological investment systems.
South African mobile telecommunications firm Vodacom came second overall in the EIO’s rankings, while diversified industrial firm Barloworld and miner Kumba Iron Ore placed 11th and 20th respectively.
The index examines the emissions and transparency of the 300 largest firms in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping.
It is one of six ranking reports on emissions disclosure around the world. The Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking series is the only public database of its kind.
Over half of the 45 South African companies in the BRICS 300 ranking were found to be reporting complete data, which includes direct emissions as well as emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity, investments, transportation of goods, waste and employees.
‘Reliable emissions database’
“As the world shifts towards a low carbon model, it’s extremely important that we have access to a reliable, consistent and cross-comparable greenhouse gas emissions database on the world’s largest companies,” chief executive of the London-based EIO, Sam Gill, said in a statement.
A key finding of the index, however, was that none of the 300 BRICS companies surveyed reported emissions across their entire value chains.
These are referred to as “scope 3 emissions”, and include emissions from sources not owned or directly controlled by the firm but which it has some influence over, such as business travel, transportation and distribution.
“Since the majority of total corporate emissions often come from scope 3 sources, large quantities of emissions are not being accounted for,” Gill said.
“This is precisely why the carbon rankings are designed to encourage scope 3 disclosure.”
The EIO will also announce the 2013 Environmental Tracking Scope 3 leaders award on Wednesday to recognise the companies leading the field in emissions disclosure.
“The rankings make up the first phase of the Environmental Tracking mechanism, with phase two seeing them developed into a series of investable indexes within which companies are weighted according to their position in the public carbon ranking,” the EIO said in a report.
“The EIO hopes to make its Environmental Tracking Index Series available to investors later in the year.”