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Supermarkets come out on top on carbon reporting

Britain’s supermarkets are scoring the highest when it comes to reporting on their carbon emissions and showing evidence of carbon reductions, according to a study into FTSE 100 companies.

The report published today shows that most companies in the FTSE 100 are now regularly reporting on their emissions, but supermarkets achieved amongst the highest scores. Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer were three of the top 10 performers in Carbon Clear’s research that studied publicly available information on FTSE 100 companies’ carbon reporting. The other top performers were British Sky Broadcasting, Pearson, Aviva, RSA Insurance Group, GSK, Hammerson and Kingfisher.

Criteria and findings

The researchers scored Britain’s biggest publicly quoted companies against 33 reporting criteria, covering areas such as carbon footprint, reduction targets, reduction activities and engagement. The average score was 56 per cent, while the top score was 97 per cent and the lowest 12 per cent.

The findings show that 93 companies in the FTSE 100 had issued a 2010 carbon report by June 2011, and 77 companies report carbon reductions in relative or absolute terms over the previous 12 months.

When broken down into sectors, as well as supermarkets, publishers, chemicals and pharmaceuticals and waste and water all scored highly. The worst performing sectors were manufacturing, mining and metals and building materials.

While the research indicates Britian’s PLC’s are getting better at carbon reporting, it shows there is still room for improvement. The report, for example, found 16 companies were unable to report any historical emission reductions and are yet to publish any plans or targets for achieving future reductions.

A recent review of FTSE 500 companies on carbon reporting by the Environment Agency also found big business was getting better at disclosing information about its environmental performance, but concluded that the quality of information was too varied and some cases basic.