Directions 2007 - Cutting through the noise of climate change
Using the monocle
Whenever you see this symbol use
the monocle from the front cover,
hold it up to your eye and reveal
a hidden message.
01 Welcome to Directions 2007
02 Tackling climate change – why us?
The Rt. Hon. John Gummer, Chairman
of Sancroft International and Chairman of
the Quality of Life Policy
06 Turning green consumption into mass consump-
tion Steve Howard, CEO,
The Climate Group
10 Carbon neutrality Fiona Harvey, Environment
Correspondent, The Financial Times
14 IS IT ALL TALK?
16 Is it all talk? – salterbaxter’s review of company
responses to climate change
24 BEYOND CLIMATE CHANGE
26 Fighting climate change – as well as other chal-
lenges to sustainable business
Julia Cleverdon, Chief Executive of Business
in the Community
30 The panel judges the CR reports from
the FT UK 100 companies
48 Analysis of the FT UK 100 and
FT Euro 100 companies
56 About us
Welcome to Directions 2007:
Cutting through the
noise of the climate
Climate change is unavoidable these days: every time
you open a newspaper there is a new angle. Blogs,
information sites, dinner party opinions and political
standpoints abound. And that’s before you count all
the supermarkets’ announcements. So the topic for
this year’s Directions was really a one horse race.
But the knock-on effect of the debate of carbon offsetting. The noise around climate
about climate change going mainstream has change also risks stealing the limelight from
actually meant that there is a lot of noise and the broader responsible business agenda. Julia
confusion out there – it is hard to see what is Cleverdon from Business in the Community argues
Nigel Salter, salterbaxter
actually going on. So we decided it was time the case for not getting focused on just one issue.
to cut through the noise and try to put into
context what effective action looks like. And to give you your ‘fly on the wall’ fix on
who’s doing what in corporate responsibility
This Directions report isn’t doom and gloom, generally, the panel are back with their thoughts
apocalyptic scare stories and chest beating. on this year’s FT UK 100 CR reports. We’ve also
Instead it is a slice of real life action, an insight reviewed some of those companies’ actions
Lucie Harrild, salterbaxter into what to do to tackle climate change in the on climate change and we’ve analysed the
lharrild@sa l terbaxter.com
way that’s right for you. John Gummer leads a corporate responsibility activities of the
rallying call to take action; Steve Howard from FT UK 100 and Euro 100.
The Climate Group tells us about the practical
Together initiative; and Fiona Harvey from The It’s a bumper crop again so dive in and, if you’d
Financial Times guides us through the contentions like to, let us know what you think!
change – why us?
Al Gore’s film title ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ could not
have summed up the situation better. It is only human
nature to resist what is not seen as convenient.
Rt. Hon. John Gummer
Chairman of Sancroft International and Chairman
of the Quality of Life Policy
Climate change is the biggest physical only works for the UK, but also the rest of the
threat to mankind and the UK needs to take world – a one world philosophy. Then decisions
a stand. In actual fact we need to play catch made based on that system will have the clarity
up with some countries, such as Germany, to cut through that confusion. Involving global
who are leading in tackling the climate change politics means the process is slow but
agenda. In order to cut emissions by 80% cooperation on a global scale is necessary.
in fewer than 50 years there is need for a
universal response. The UK needs to wake up and realise we are
well placed to lead. Global cooperation has its
Climate change is currently the biggest threat challenges but has had its successes. We have
– but it is also a symptom of how our society’s played a key role within the EU – without Europe
systems are set up wrongly. Increases in wealth there would have been no Kyoto Protocol where
and happiness no longer correlate above quite responsibilities were shared amongst those
low levels of income. But the key to tackling the most able. And in 1997, when I was Environment
issue is to not be overwhelmed by the scale of Secretary, we played a fundamental role in
what needs to be achieved – as in wartime, we the ‘Convention on climate change’ meetings.
just need to get on with it.
Business has received a lot of criticism for
It is true that there is a lot of information, not doing enough to combat climate change.
opinion and noise on climate change out there However, in some cases businesses are moving
– and some confusion. At Sancroft we have been faster than governments.
working with a range of businesses and the
Carbon Trust on the need for a user friendly and Tesco took a leadership role announcing that
universal approach. We need a system that not they are to publish the carbon footprint of their
products. In the same way BP are driving feel that it is so daunting a task that they give up.
towards renewable and alternative forms of Similarly, encouraging consumers to make choices
energy with plans to set up the world’s biggest and enabling them to do the right thing is the key.
low-carbon power business. Coca-Cola’s approach At the moment people are not clear and it is not
to refrigeration and the phasing out of HFCs has made easy enough for them. In the end, they must
meant a wholesale change to the way that sector choose but we should be giving them a helping
now operates. There is evidence that businesses hand with information and encouragement.
are more than ca pable of taking a lead in
combating climate change. However, these It is only human nature to resist what is
are individual examples and a large number of inconvenient. But consumers can make changes,
companies have not yet engaged. Many do not helped by the provision of incentives. For
understand their role and have not yet decided example Tesco have saved one billion plastic
what their position should be. bags by incentivising customers with loyalty
points, encouraging them to reuse. It is also
“ It is only human nature to resist what important to focus on measures to improve
energy efficiency in homes, linking council tax
is inconvenient. But consumers can
with energy consumption. We could offer cuts
make changes, helped by the provision in stamp duty to homeowners who make their
of incentives. ” homes ‘carbon efficient’, the council tax could
be reduced for people who recycle more. The
Government needs to help them understand what is key is not to impose on people but offer choices.
expected of them. Then they must be given time to We should cut the tax on fuel efficient cars
deliver. The key is to keep businesses fully involved and increase it on gas-guzzlers.
in combating climate change without making them
The Quality of Life Policy Group, set up by David With these parameters in place business
Cameron, which I chair with Zac Goldsmith as my and society will see their role and can make
Vice Chairman, outlines the need to be frank and choices based on clear information, avoiding
to face up to the real issues, however difficult. the current overload of contradictory
It is simply not possible to attempt to tackle information and confusion.
climate change unless you address hard issues like
transport. We all like cheap flights and we have all The problem is that our pa rty political structure,
benefited from them. Nonetheless we also know with an election every four or five years,
this is the fastest growing source of emissions and, makes it difficult for the kind of continuous
whatever Michael O’Leary may say, we cannot improvement that is necessary. That is
exempt air travel if we are to reduce our carbon why we need a Climate Change Committee,
footprint. Our proposals are designed to deal with independent from gove r n m e nt, tapping into
the problem in the least damaging way. Nearly a the scient i fic knowledge of the Royal Society.
quarter of flights from London’s airports go to They would focus on targets and measurement,
places that could reasonably be reached by train advising on the best course of action and
in a similar timeframe. We therefore propose that allowing business to do what they do best –
those flights should be more heavily taxed and innovate to solve the challenge. The committee
long haul flights should get priority for the slots at would hold the government accountable and
airports. Doing this will mean that no new runways each year undertake an independent audit of
will need to be built at Gatwick or Stansted. We also their progress. Not only would the committee
want to change the Government’s taxation system keep government and opposition to the task
which penalises full planes to one which encourages in hand, it would also stop the current
airlines to take the maximum number of passengers. confusion which lack of expertise
in gove r n m e nt has created.
If we are to create a way of living that one planet
can sustain, then the approach also needs to
be thought through as a whole. The Quality of
Life Policy Group’s re p o rt emphasises the fact
that combating climate change creates wealth.
“ With these parameters in place
business and society will see their role
and can make choices based on clear
information, avoiding the current
overload of contradictory information
and confusion. ”
The Green Revolution would be as valuable
today to Britain as the Industrial Revolution
was 200 years ago.
Our green products and services will be needed
throughout the world and we will have first
mover advantage. But we have to move quickly,
particularly since the United States has signaled
its intention to take global warming seriously.
President Bush’s Scientific Advisor publicly
stated that there is no argument about the
science of climate change, the only issue is
about how to counter it.
Our report sets out clearly how it can be done.
First our ‘One nation’ philosophy needs to be
extended to the one world we share. If those less
fo rtu n a te are expected to share the responsibility
to tackle climate change then it is only fair for
them to benefit directly from doing so. Secondly
the Gove r n m e nt needs to lead the way and set
the parameters for business and consumers.
So for us to tackle climate change, and make the truth 04_05
less inconvenient, there are five things the government
needs to do – and business and consumers will then have
the direction they need to navigate their way through
the confusion and choose their path for meeting
the challenge of climate change:
create policies and systems that can be
set out the direction and clear parameters
and then the market will deliver. Once public
buildings are specified to deliver energy
savings it opens the way for big contracts,
prices come down and a market is created.
Then businesses know how to react.
And consumers can make their choices.
develop frameworks to prevent distortion
but enable innovation and entrepreneurship.
Builders are the experts in delivering energy
efficiency, they just need to be encouraged
to do so.
new ways of doing things need help at
give business and consumers the information
and the ability to make sense of the issues
and be encouraged to make their choices
– but without over prescriptive regulation
which can end up distorting the results and
Turning green consumption
Surely with the current attention and noise around
climate change there would be lots of individual
action? Actually, no. Consumers believe that solutions
are inconvenient, isolated and expensive. Business
(and government) needs to address this. That is why
the ‘Together’ partnership was formed.
CEO, The Climate Group
It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that
climate change is now big news in the UK.
Not a day goes by without another alarming
story or report hitting our TV screens or the
front pages of our newspapers.
We now have unprecedented levels of awareness
and concern on the climate issue. Research
conducted last year by The Climate Group shows
that an overwhelming 81% of people feel very
strongly about climate change or at the very
least recognise that it is important.
However, as yet, this has not translated into
significant individual action. Our research
also shows that people feel powerless in the
face of such a big problem. They don’t fully
understand the issue and hold the belief the
solutions are inconvenient and expensive.
Above all, consumers don’t want to feel that
they are acting alone. They need help (not more
lecturing) to overcome these barriers. The way
forward was pointed out by a 2006 research
report called ‘I will if you will’ which indicated
that people were willing to change but only
if they were met halfway by government and
business, who they perceive as more able to
effect change than themselves.
This is why, on 23 April of this year, a ground-
breaking new partnership was launched in the
UK aimed at enabling individual consumers to
be more climate friendly.
‘Together’ is a coalition of famous brand British Gas recently launched Zero Carbon,
name companies and retailers committed to which goes further than any other green tariff
making it easier for their customers to take to provide genuine environmental benefits.
up low-carbon solutions. Householders signing up to the Zero Carbon
tariff will: reduce their household energy carbon
Together they aim to help every UK household emissions to zero through Kyoto compliant
to reduce their emissions by one tonne, a total offset schemes which will meet the new DEFRA
of around 24 million tonnes over the next three requirements; help fund a direct increase in
years, more than the combined household investment in renewable energy generated in
emissions of Scotland and Wales. the UK; and contribute to the new British Gas
green fund, which will invest in developing new
B&Q, Barclaycard, British Gas, Marks & Spencer, renewable technologies such as wave power, and
02, National Express, MORE TH>N, BSkyB and oversee a programme to help schools in the UK
Tesco have all united behind the campaign and reduce their CO2 emissions.
are providing effective ways for people to
reduce their impact. The campaign website (www.together.com) will
aggregate the achievements of all the partners
For example, Tesco is committed to selling into one CO2 figure that will demonstrate in real
10 million energy efficient light bulbs this year time the power of collective action (50,000
(a five-fold increase on the previous year) and tonnes of CO2 have been reduced since launch,
is offering them in-store and online at half price. equivalent to every household in Ipswich saving
Marks & Spencer has launched a campaign a tonne or to 18,000 family cars off the road for
to persuade their customers to wash at 30°C a year). Users of the site will be encouraged to
whenever possible, including changing the undertake certain key actions and show how
labels on the majority of their clothing range. they can contribute to their one tonne target.
Loft insulation is one of the biggest single The reasons for bringing ‘Together’ to life at
improvements that people can make to their this moment in time are compelling – both for
home to reduce emissions and B&Q is making the planet and for business.
it easy to plan, buy and install insulation
– if everyone insulated their lofts to the The environmental case is well established, but
recommended level it would save four million it’s important not to become numb to the facts.
tonnes of CO2 per year – enough to fill the Atmospheric CO2 concentration, approximately
new Wembley stadium 500 times. 280 parts per million (ppm) before the Industrial
Revolution, has increased to around 380 ppm
today. Each doubling of greenhouse gas
concentration raises Earth’s equilibrium
temperature by about 3°C. Greenhouse gas
“ The Climatelatent demand forshows strong
and brands that would allow people to reflect
their climate change concern in their spending. ”
emissions are still rising globally and under It is against this backdrop that companies are
‘business as usual’ trends the Ea rt h’s temperature also now starting to ask, in their branding and
is likely to increase by between 2 and 4.5°C by marketing, what are the equivalent opportunities
2100. A rise of 2°C is widely accepted as the that will create new revenues at the same time
threshold for unacceptable and unpredictable as achieving environmental objectives?
change. Latest findings from the leading
international body on climate change, the IPCC, There is a growing belief, demonstrated by the
suggest that in order to prevent a 2°C rise the ‘Together’ partner companies, that helping
global growth in emissions would need to peak consumers to overcome barriers to individual
at around 2015 and decline fairly sharply from action can unlock a significant market opportunity.
there to reach the 50% cut required by 2050.
By acting in collaboration there is less risk of
The business case for action is also clear cut. individual corporate initiatives being seen as ‘one-
Many companies are already reducing emissions offs’ and greeted with cynicism about greenwash.
in their operations and supply chains because
they are finding opportunities to reduce costs In fact, the campaign also benefits from help
at the same time as achieving ambitious and backing from a diverse and growing range
sustainability goals – for example through of non-commercial organisations – the City
improved energy efficiency. Looking beyond of London, the Church of England, DEFRA and
operational emissions to the consumer, the the Energy Saving Trust, for example. Based
Climate Group’s research shows strong evidence on this message of partnership, ‘Together’ is set
of latent demand for products, services and to expand globally and reach a mass audience
brands that would allow people to reflect their running into tens of millions of people already.
climate change concern in their spending.
Instead of trying to argue that one sector is
more important than another when it comes
“It is against this backdrop that
to reducing emissions, it is crucial to understand
companies are also now starting to
the linkages between government, business and
ask, in their branding and marketing, individual action, to avoid a situation where
what are the equivalent opportunities each sector passes the buck to another, and
that will create new revenues at the to work in collaboration to develop solutions
same time as achieving environmental that deliver the win-win outcomes for society.
objectives? ” We believe that bit by bit, and acting together,
we can tackle climate change.
Useful – when treated with caution.
There is a new phrase about town: ‘going carbon neutral’.
More and more businesses are talking about it, but what
does it really entail? Carbon offsetting projects are not
always as they seem, and businesses must be diligent
to avoid good intentions going wrong.
Environment Correspondent, The Financial Times
Treadle pumps in India might seem an odd projects that reduce emissions elsewhere.
kind of investment for a bank. It is a way of making up for the damage that
a company’s activities cause – of erasing a
The pumps, which are worked by foot, are company’s carbon footprint.
alternatives to diesel-powered pumps for
drawing water from underground to irrigate
crops. By using treadle pumps instead of hiring
“ Being carbon neutral simply means
cancelling out the negative effect of
expensive diesel pumps, Indian farmers can
save money and water. The pumps also cut
one’s greenhouse gas emissions on the
the amount of fuel farmers use – and that climate by investing in projects that
saves carbon dioxide emissions. reduce emissions elsewhere. ”
That is the key reason the Co-operative Bank For any company seeking to go carbon neutral,
invests in the pumps, and the reason several there is a three stage process. First, companies
other companies also contribute to providing must cut their own emissions as far as possible
them. These companies are using the invest m e nt – it could be as simple as turning off lights
in pumps as pa rt of their commitment to and computers, or as complex as overhauling
becoming ‘carbon neutral’. processes, like installing new equipment or
using less materials.
An ever-lengthening list of companies are
seeking carbon neutral status, ranging from Second, companies can look to buy their credits
international banks, retailers and media from ‘green’ sources. A growing number of
companies to small enterprises with a handful companies are investing in their own wind turbines
of employees. Among the household names and solar panels to cut their future energy bills.
that have pledged to become carbon neutral But for companies where this is impossible, buying
are HSBC, Marks & Spencer, BSkyB and its environmentally friendly energy means taking
parent company News Corporation. A few a green tariff from an electricity supplier, with
villages in the UK have also decided to go energy supplied from renewable sources such
carbon neutral, and individuals can even as wind or hydroelectricity.
seek carbon neutrality for themselves.
However, this is not always possible in the UK
Being carbon neutral simply means cancelling as not enough renewable energy is produced
out the negative effect of one’s greenhouse to satisfy the soaring demand. Most companies
gas emissions on the climate by investing in that do not already have a green supply will find
“ Companiesneed to be wary
of a few potential problems
before they set out. Some
carbon offsetting projects
are not what they seem. ”
they cannot source one so easily now. But it It’s not just treadle pumps, either. Companies
should become easier: the Government is aiming that have already gone carbon neutral have
for 20% of the UK’s electricity to come from used a huge variety of projects: solar panels in
renewable sources by 2020, so the amount India, wind farms in China, energy efficient light
of green electricity available is set to grow. bulbs in Jamaica, hydroelectric power plants
The final stage of carbon neutrality is to in eastern Europe, more efficient cooking stoves
‘offset’ a company’s remaining greenhouse in Africa. All of these cut the amount of carbon
gas emissions by funding projects that reduce produced where they are used.
carbon dioxide elsewhere.
As more and more companies, and individuals,
This is where the treadle pumps come in. seek to go carbon neutral, the amount of money
By funding the purchase of treadle pumps for being raised for projects around the world
poor farmers, companies can contribute to the through the sale of carbon credits is growing
reduction of emissions in the developing world. quickly – from zero a few years ago to a
projected $4bn by 2010.
“ A tonne of carbon saved in the Companies embarking on offsetting need
developing world is just as valuable in
to be wary of a few potential problems before
mitigating climate change as a tonne they set out. Some carbon offsetting projects
of carbon saved in a rich country. are not what they seem.
Cutting carbon in poor countries can
also bring additional social benefits, In a wide-ranging investigation of the market,
such as improving people’s economic the Financial Times recently found many
examples of bad practice. For instance,
situation and bringing them technology offsets were being sold from projects
to which they would not otherwise that brought no, or questionable,
have access. ” environmental benefits.
Carbon credits were being sold to
companies for many times their real
value. The same credits were being
sold twice over.
And companies that were already
profiting from their carbon cutting
activities were profiting twice over by
selling carbon credits to others wishing
to be green.
These potential problems should not necessarily
deter companies from offsetting. Businesses,
after all, have many good and valid reasons
for going carbon neutral: the desire to be good
corporate citizens, and the knowledge that
the Government is increasingly regulating on
environmental issues, for instance. Companies
can even cut costs in the process by improving
their efficiency. And taking on environmental
goals is a great way of engaging staff and
But in order to avoid the reputational risk of
investing in a bad carbon offsetting project, any
company taking such a step should carry out
proper due diligence on the project first – just
as they would for any other investment.
There are several guides to carbon offsetting
available to companies wishing to consider the
option: for instance, the Carbon Trust has one, as
does F&C Investments. But whichever guide you
choose, the key points are always the same:
If you are buying offsets through an Demand that the carbon credits you buy
intermediary, ask for detailed information on are placed in a registry, which guards
exactly where the credits are coming from. against the same credits being sold
several times over to different buyers
Companies should take care that the by unscrupulous offset intermediaries.
credits they buy are additional, which
means that they come from projects Consider carefully whether you want
which would not have happened without to buy credits from forestry projects.
the financing provided by carbon credits. These are numerous, and tend to be the
This is important because if a project, cheapest credits, but they are also the
such as a wind farm, was financially viable most controversial. Trees, as any schoolchild
in any case, buying carbon credits from it knows, absorb carbon dioxide from the air
simply enriches the owners and the money as they grow, so forests should be a good
could have been better spent elsewhere. way of cutting carbon. But there are
problems: it is difficult to tell how much
Do not buy any credits that have not been carbon a forest absorbs; the trees can take
verified by an independent third party – 70 years to grow, so it takes decades for
there are examples where carbon credits the carbon to be reduced; and it is difficult
have been sold from non-existent projects, to ensure that, over such a long period,
or projects that do not generate the the trees do not die off or get cut down.
carbon reductions they claim. In addition, there is some evidence that
forests in northern regions may contribute
to global warming, absorbing heat that
would be deflected by snow cover.
“ creditsare examples where carbon
have been sold from
non-existent projects, or projects
that do not generate the carbon
reductions they claim. ”
IS IT ALL TALK?
IN THE NEXT SECTION WE HAVE TAKEN A LOOK AT
WHAT COMPANIES ARE REALLY DOING TO TACKLE
CLIMATE CHANGE, AND WHAT THEY ARE TELLING US
ABOUT IT. DESPITE ALL THE NOISE AND CONFUSION
THERE ARE SOME PATCHES OF CLARITY, WHERE
MEANINGFUL ACTIVITY IS GAINING MOMENTUM.
BUT IT ISN’T ALL GOOD NEWS…
Use the monocle to reveal a selection of notewo rt hy
responses to climate change.
Is it all
68% of the FT UK 100 talk about climate change to some
degree in their corporate communications (73% of the
FT Euro 100 do too).*
The long-term target set by UK Government is a 60%
reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.
55% of senior executives in a KPMG and YouGov survey
expect climate change to impact on their companies
strategic development plans and the Carbon Disclosure
Project has generated its highest ever response rate this
year – 77% of the FT 350 responded.
But according to DEFRA’s latest figures, CO2 emissions
in the UK for 2006 have risen by 1.25%.**
Confusing isn’t it?!
So we want to get to the stories behind the percentages, and find out the reality
of the corporate response to climate change – aside from all the noise of the
climate change debate. We believe their response to this issue should be tailored
to their operations – and that makes it hard to sum up with quick numbers the
effectiveness of UK plc’s strategy to tackle climate change.
But don’t worry, we’re not going to throw masses of conflicting information at
you to add to the confusion. Instead we are taking a snapshot to review good
practice. The companies voted best CR communicators by our independent
panel (see page 30) are reviewed here for their response to climate change
and we hope you will find some insights that help define your own strategy.
** according to salterbaxter’s analysis this year, see page 48 for details.
** taken from www.defra.co.uk. 2006 figures are provisional and expect to be within 1% of the final figure to be published in
January 2008. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas accounting for 85% of the ‘basket’ of greenhouse gas emissions in 2006.
Methane and nitrous oxide are the other two main greenhouse gases, and their levels are falling.
How we did it Key:
We have reviewed the companies who are
identified as leading communicators by our
independent panel. We’ve looked at the companies’ A
communications in the public domain, nothing
else. We decided to do that because only A = Company is doing well with their efforts
transparent and open communication from a to tackle climate change.
company on their position and behaviour will
cut through the confusion on this issue. We
figure that if a company is doing something
well in this area they would definitely want B
people to know about it.
B = Company is working on a response but
We considered the effectiveness of the activities there is still lots to do.
and communications, and applaud ‘fit for
purpose’ – sophisticated programmes for carbon
intensive companies and smaller considered
programmes for low carbon users.
C = Company has either not fully engaged in the climate
And to understand the big picture we checked change debate, or is only just beginning to.
the emissions figures to see if the activities are
delivering real results.
BAE Systems BAE haven’t really grappled with their position on climate change yet,
beyond a recognition of the link with energy use, CO2 and greenhouse
Emissions status gases. But what does count in their favour is a willingness to publicly
discuss that. So it will be interesting to see what develops.
Slight drop in CO2 emissions in the UK,
but rising in the US
Producers and users of fossil fuel based energy – so high impact,
BHP Billiton high risk and high opportunity. BHP Billiton have raised their game this
Emissions status year and revised policy and activities: more partnerships; more R&D;
increased targets on efficiency. The challenge will be to quantify the
6% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity
results. An A rating for the strategy but it’s the performance that is
over five years.
the real test now.
Is it all talk?
British Airways The airline industry is often at the eye of the storm in the climate
change debate. BA does communicate about their carbon footprint,
Emissions status their emissions and include a piece on the debate in their industry.
But they don’t talk about adaptation and they state they aren’t a big
CO2 emissions from flights have crept up,
contributory factor to climate change without adequately acknowledging
though fuel efficiencies improved
the airline industry’s reputation. Fuel efficiencies have improved but the
actual CO2 emissions from fl i ghts have cre pt up. It’s a B rating but a
B minus really.
BSkyB Sky are a leading company on this issue. They have programmes to
manage emissions and communications with all stakeholders including
Emissions status employees and consumers. Highlights include: a recent TV advert;
a competition to upload short films about climate change on their
Overall emissions are up (though due to
website; events; and roadshows. It will be interesting to see how quickly
acquisition), core business emissions are down
they can instil the same ethos into acquisition businesses and continue
to bring emissions down.
BT A clear strategy (or carbon busting plan), which is accessible and
engaging. There are separate information sites with pledges and
Emissions status competitions. The tone is straightforward and the commitment to
awareness raising is definitely high. This extends to employees too,
CO2 emissions dropped but now stabilised
a group often overlooked. So an A rating.
Experian A good example of an approach that is fit for purpose. Experian has
a clear strategy, convincingly argued, and the CO2 figures are falling.
Emissions status They aren’t the most carbon intensive business, but they recognise
their responsibilities and are taking action. A good progression would
CO2 emissions falling
be more engagement with the workforce and the supply chain to roll
the message out to a wider audience.
GSK have a comprehensive document on the website which covers
GlaxoSmithKline their understanding of their role in tackling climate change, their
Emissions status approach and some interesting insights into how they might adapt
in a world with a changing climate. A statement in the CR report puts
CO2 and equivalent emissions are down for energy
climate change into context as one issue amongst many important
and production but travel is going up
ones for GSK to tackle, showing a measured approach. However,
it does seem that GSK is just beginning to tackle this issue following
stakeholder pressure, so perhaps more is to come.
HSBC HSBC have a high profile on this issue. They were an early adopter
and their strategy includes (amongst other things) carbon neutrality,
Emissions status a survey on public confidence, engaging Stern as an adviser, a carbon
management taskforce and the HSBC Climate Partnership. So their
Overall CO2 emissions are going up
rating is A but they must be careful: all those initiatives must remain
coordinated so as not to contribute to confusion; and performance
needs to be addressed.
Imperial Tobacco Imperial recognise climate change as an area for attention and have made
some progress but it sounds like they are really getting started in tackling
Emissions status it this year. They state they are considering approaches including low
carbon technology, renewables and offsetting. They have achieved some
CO2 emissions falling
energy efficiencies though. So a B rating for now but there should be
significant developments in order to keep that rating.
J Sainsbury Sainsbury’s consumer website takes the reader stra i g ht to the CR re p o rt
on this subject. Some consumers might find that information a bit
Emissions status confusing as it brings together energy, packaging and waste and does n’t
talk about what climate change is all about. There are good initiatives
CO2 emissions reported to be dropping but would
but there isn’t the sense of strategy that ot h e rs get across and this isn’t
be good to see figures over time
a sector that can shy away from the issue. So the communications feel
a bit lukewarm.
Johnson Matthey Johnson Matthey’s approach comes across as a measured response to
climate change in line with business needs. Initiatives are apparently in
Emissions status place and they note that some of their products have the ability to assist
in a transition to a low carbon economy – but on the other hand they
CO2 is falling for the second year
haven’t included some parts of the business in the climate change strategy
(eg transportation and precious metals). And they could engage with
a wider range of audiences with the information they have to offer.
Legal & General Legal & General don’t articulate a clear policy on climate change,
although they do monitor and report on greenhouse emissions.
Emissions status Their disclosure on climate change is low, especially as their SRI
business lists it first on the list of engagement topics. There are
Overall carbon emissions are increasing slightly
objectives for next year so perhaps improvements are on the way.
Is it all talk?
Man Group Another early adopter of a carbon neutral strategy, but with clear
energy reductions and thought around offsetting. Though not a carbon
Emissions status intensive business the strategy is a good example of being thorough
and fit for purpose. Working with employees is a large part of the
CO2 emissions down
approach including workshops, audits, mentors and internal
Marks & Spencer The doyen of the CR communications world, Marks & Spencer’s ‘Plan A’
(because there’s no Plan B) programme has climate change at the top.
Emissions status Marks & Spencer’s commitment to tackling climate change is clear
and it is being rolled out to customers – labels inform about washing
CO2 emissions from energy use are down,
clothing at lower temperatures and carbon from air freight. At the
but are up from transport
other end of the value chain they are working with suppliers, and they
partner with the Women’s Institute for more awareness raising. It is
definitely an A rating. Continued clear communications are key to avoid
A being part of the noise of the climate change debate.
National Grid National Grid have made climate change a focus area and publish a
clear public position statement. They use the World Resources Institute
Emissions status greenhouse gas protocol to break down how they monitor and manage
emissions, which is helpful in explaining what they consider is within
35% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
their sphere of control. They also offer smart metering and energy
efficiency schemes in US and are conducting a Met office study in the
UK. But being such a significant player in the utilities sector, they
should engage consumers more.
Reckitt Benckiser Reckitt Benckiser have a vision to make eight billion products carbon
neutral in 2006 and 2007. They already tackle lifecycle analysis for
Emissions status the production and use of their products. So it’s a bold target and
mitigating climate change is high on their list of sustainability
Greenhouse gases from manufacturing and
priorities. They also pledge to tackle carbon footprint issues with
general energy use falling
suppliers, employees and customers. However, they could come under
fire for using only a forestry project to offset their emissions. If they
deliver on their plans an A rating would follow.
Rexam Rexam are overlooking climate change, both in terms of articulating
their responsibilities and in grasping an opportunity. They operate
Emissions status environmental management systems including resource efficiency,
eco efficiency and a mention of the use of alternative energy sources.
CO2 constant over three years, but energy savings
But this only links to climate change if you know how to read between
in parts of the business – a bit unclear
the lines. And it is an opportunity for the business to deliver packaging
which complements potential customers’ positive product values –
something missing from the business to business marketing site.
Embarking on a new three year plan including emissions reductions,
Rio Tinto new technologies and better communication. They have conducted a
Emissions status risk assessment of climate change related losses and operate internal
knowledge sharing across regions. One of their videos also tackles the
Greenhouse gas equivalent emissions and
subject, though perhaps over-simplifies. An A rating for the amount
energy use rising
going on, but performance is a concern.
Royal & Sun Alliance Royal & Sun Alliance are running a number of initiatives: becoming
carbon neutral; eco-insurance pro d u c ts for customers; insurers of
Emissions status renewable energy projects; and part of the ‘Toget h e r’ initiative.
However, considering they are in insurance and weather-related risks
Emissions going down
are key to the business you might expect more information on their
strategic approach, and for them to include information on their site
aimed at intermediaries. So really a B rating.
SAB Miller SAB Miller do recognise their impact on climate change and how the
results could affect them – threatening crop and water supply, the raw
Emissions status materials for their business. They have programmes in place and are
communicating. What isn’t so clear is how effective programmes are
Overall CO2 emissions are going up
across the global operations. So you are left with the feeling you don’t
have the complete picture.
Sage has no information at group level. In the chief executive’s
Sage Group statement, the UK business says it’s tackling climate change backed up
Emissions status with some information about energy saving initiatives. There is also an
objective to measure carbon footprint but no figures are reported. The
No exact data although some energy
business is a low carbon emitter but the lack of a coordinated approach
across the group means a C rating.
Scottish Power Climate change is number four out of 12 material issues and Scottish
Powe r’s approach seems pragmatic – a significant issue, a challenge,
Emissions status with some positive achieve m e nts as well as difficulties. They use a
combination of policies and there are signifi cant changes in their energy
A rise in CO2, NOx and SO2 in the last year,
supply portfolio. But there is something noticeably absent in their
though the trend is downwards
‘summary of approach’ docu m e nt: a commitment to engage with
customers. So still an A rating but room for improvement.
Is it all talk?
SEGRO SEGRO recognise the importance of climate change, and have some
targets in place, but the coverage is low key when you take into account
Emissions status their sector and impacts. Their risk assessment does put energy use
and emissions as a material issue and there is a rare mention of
Incomplete data but CO2 in own offices falling and
adaptation – interestingly classed as high risk but low influence. As they
renewable energy rising
honestly admit that some targets are not met – one of which being
communications and awareness – and there has been work done on
carbon footprint calculation and renewable energy use, the rating is B.
B But there should be more.
Shell Interestingly when you first go onto the environment and society pages
of Shell’s website, there isn’t a main navigation area for climate change.
Emissions status But then there is significant information in the environment section
which links to other areas of the site. It is a detailed programme but it
Greenhouse gas emissions from operations are
can be hard work to find what you want on the website. An A rating but
falling but targets give them room to increase
as Shell have calculated that their products are responsible for 3.1% of
global CO2 emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels – and there are
no targets to reduce this – you are left wanting more.
Unilever Unilever has a working group which is trying to tackle the whole
range of emissions from product to consumer use. So they give a real
Emissions status impression of strategically getting to grips with all levels of their
impacts (though they are yet to communicate on how to adapt to
CO2 from energy use going down
changes caused by the climate). Unilever is also the leader in its sector
in the Carbon Disclosure Project. With such prominent brands and a
history in bringing corporate responsibility messages to the consumer,
they could consider engaging more in this area.
Vodafone Vodafone have an internal communications programme to promote
energy efficiency. Their CEO statement suggests that they are in a low
Emissions status carbon sector. But on the other hand they do have a huge customer
reach which they aren’t working with to raise awareness, and overall
Emissions are rising
emissions are rising. They do seem to have been working on the
network efficiency as their biggest impact. So some positive activity
but more needed before it could reach an A grade.
Our top 5 tips 22_23
for your approach to climate change
In our review, we saw a pattern emerging – so we’ve put
together five things we think companies need to remember
when considering their plans to tackle climate change:
Adaptation – it’s become that strange phenomenon, ‘there’s an
elephant in the room’. Companies and communities need to give
consideration to how they will adapt in a changing climate. While
many companies now frankly admit that climate change is a reality,
only a few talk about how they will react to weather change. This
might be identifying how operations will change, or how products
and services can meet new needs. The lack of consideration for
adaptation is both a risk, and a lost opportunity.
02. Awareness raising
Awareness raising – some companies with mainstream
consumers as a major stakeholder group are having some
success. But it’s not widespread and many of the other
stakeholder groups are being overlooked.
03. Plain language
Plain language – there are companies doing a good job of not skirting
around the issue, but others are not clearly articulating their approach,
perhaps because they aren’t clear themselves about what it should
be. We don’t advocate doom and gloom or scaremongering about the
effects of climate change, but companies do need to tell it like it is.
04. Numerous initiatives
Numerous initiatives – some companies have a raft of activities
which can be achieving a lot, but the challenge is to make sure
they don’t end up confusing and just make more noise around
Relevance – the approach to climate change needs to be right for the
company and its sector. It brings together all our top tips: the right
initiatives explained in plain language including plans for adaptation,
whilst raising people’s awareness.
BEYOND CLIMATE CHANGE
CLIMATE CHANGE IS A FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE
BUT IT CAN’T HIJACK THE WHOLE CORPORATE
RESPONSIBILITY AGENDA. WE HOPE WHAT YOU
HAVE JUST READ HAS PROVIDED SOME USEFUL
INSIGHTS, BUT NOW WE ARE MOVING ON TO
OTHER ISSUES AND A ROUND UP OF THIS YEAR’S
REPORTING AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
Use the monocle to pick out other key CR issues
that climate change must not eclipse.
GREENWASH LIP-GLOSSING GREENWASH LIP-GLOSSING GREENWASH LIP-GLOSSING GREENWASH LIP-GLOSSING
SECRECY BRIBERY SECRECY BRIBERY SECRECY BRIBERY SECRECY BRIBERY
UNEMPLOYMENT A C C I D E N ATES
TR UNEMPLOYMENT A C C I D E N ATES
TR UNEMPLOYMENT A C C I D E N ATES
SUPPLY CHAIN CHILD SUPPLY CHAIN CHILD SUPPLY CHAIN CHILD SUPPLY CHAIN
CHALLENGES LABOUR CHALLENGES LABOUR CHALLENGES LABOUR CHALLENGES
SOCIAL SKILLS SOCIAL SKILLS SOCIAL
EXCLUSION GAP EXCLUSION GAP EXCLUSION
TRUST REPUTATION GROWTH LICENCE CONSUMER
TO OPERATE CONFIDENCE
– as well as other challenges
to sustainable business
Chief Executive of Business in the Community
With corporate attention focused on climate change, some
CORRUPTION MISTRUST are asking whether companies should return to the ‘green’
roots of corporate responsibility. Julia Cleverdon argues that
companies taking this approach are missing the point.
The role of business in tackling climate change the world’s first set-top box with an automatic
has been thrust onto centre stage over the standby facility. It has also now engaged
COMMUNICATION past 12 months. Sir Nicholas Stern’s Review of employees in eco-schools. BT has taken a
the Economics of Climate Change highlighted different angle, working closely with its suppliers
the need for businesses to reduce their carbon to produce products that have a lower carbon
dioxide emissions to avoid severe economic footprint than their predecessors, so emissions
consequences, and the UN’s Intergovernmental savings can be passed on to its customers.
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasised
the short time window for action, with These companies are successfully combining
emissions needing to peak and decline within the reduction of their environmental footprint
the next 20 years. with business benefits, and continuing to
create wealth for the UK. And they should
This has not gone unnoticed by the corporate be commended and used to inspire other
world. Out of the 1,000 business leaders that companies, some of whom are only just
attended this year’s Prince of Wales’s May Day beginning their climate change journey.
Business Summit on Climate Change, nearly
two thirds saw climate change as a risk for But to see corporate responsibility
their business. What is encouraging, however, just through the lens of climate change
is that 90% also saw the opportunities it
offered, whether through cost savings, new
would be to miss the rich mix of issues
market opportunities or as a driver to engage on which business has been making
and retain employees’ trust. an impact.
It is those companies that truly understand Taking a broader approach
those opportunities that are making a real When Business in the Community was formed
difference. Take for example BSkyB, winner of 25 years ago in the wake of race riots and social
the Man Group International Climate Change unrest in the UK, the purpose of the group of
Award 2007. It recognised the consumer desire leading businesses was to work collaboratively
for affordable green products and introduced to tackle the key social issues of the day. Since
“ For some businesses and sectors
climate change is an absolute
priority, but for others there are
more pressing and immediate issues PRIVATE EQUITY
that they can impact upon. ” MISTRUST
then, our network of businesses has grown, A more enterprising and talent
as has the range of issues that companies are driven skills base
expected to address. In our jubilee year, David The future skills base of the country is critical
Grayson, Professor of Corporate Responsibility to our competitiveness as so many of the job
at Cranfield, has pulled together a commentary opportunities will increasingly need much higher
on Business in the Community’s successes and level qualifications. Upskilling the existing
failures in doing this along the way, available workforce, as well as developing a more relevant
at www.bitc.org.uk. and enterprising cu r r i culum for 14-19 year
olds is vital. The roll call of companies who have
A glance at our Corporate Responsibility Index, illustrated their impact through Business in
published in the Sunday Times as ‘Companies the Community’s excellence awards include
that Count’ and now in its sixth year, shows the Oracle learning programme, the Deloitte
how companies are having an impact across employability initiative and the Esh Group
the corporate responsibility spectrum, from co n struction project for 14-16 year olds. We will
responsible selling to diversity in the workplace. all need to step up the quality, impact and scale
of our business engagement in this area and
Taking this broader approach allows I am delighted that Gordon Brown has asked me
companies to consider all potential social and as Chief Executive of Business in the Community
environmental issues that may impact upon to lead the review on how business-education
them and focus on those that are most pressing partnerships can help to achieve world class
to them and on which they can make the most educational excellence in the next 10 years.
difference. Key to this is realising that every
business is different. For some businesses and Winning trust
sectors climate change is an absolute priority, Scrutiny of business by the public, media and
but for others there are more pressing and shareholders has grown in sophistication.
immediate issues that they can impact upon. Companies are no longer taken at face value.
They have to back up what they are claiming
Recognising the challenges with hard evidence. This is particularly true
The three main issues that business will need for the growing number of private equity funds.
to consider over the coming years are: the need Business in the Community’s membership
for improved skills and a greater social cohesion now covers one in five of the private sector
to ensure that the UK remains competitive workforce, and one in five of that same
in global markets; the need for transparency workforce is now employed by companies owned
across business to regain trust in an increasingly by private equity. With the high stakes and
questioning environment; and the need to media coverage involved in the takeovers of
integrate corporate responsibility into the these businesses, many questions are being
heart of their operations. asked on what these funds are doing to improve
the social and environmental impact of their BUSINESS
newly acquired businesses.
The Walker Report on private equity sends a This is not a large company preserve. Masses
firm message to owners of those businesses of small to medium sized enterprises also
that the key to improving trust is transparency. provide inspiration on how to do this. When
Open reporting of impacts and public asked ‘Why are you volunteering in your local
benchmarking of performance through tools community?’ a small engineering company in
such as Business in the Community’s Corporate the West Midlands replied ‘it is just part of what
Responsibility Index will help business to win we do’. Smaller businesses have decision takers
over the public, media and investors. That is closer to community need.
where the bar needs to be set, and is a key
challenge for businesses across sectors. The challenge now is to spread good
practice to those companies that
Making corporate responsibility part of
are just starting on their corporate
how business does business
In this climate of mistrust, it is important that responsibility journey. Collaboration
corporate responsibility activities are not applied is key to this.
as ‘lip-gloss’ to core operations. They need to
be at the hea rt of the business. To achieve this, Whether through the supply chains of leading
companies need clear direction and commitment companies or business networks such as
from senior management and their approach Business in the Community and its May Day
to corporate responsibility needs to be fully group of companies committed to tackling
i ntegrated into their everyday operations. climate change, using the leaders to inspire
the laggards will be vital in helping all
Some companies stand out as clear examples companies address not only climate change,
of this. Marks & Spencer’s ‘Plan A’, named but the wider pressing issues which affect
because the company believes there is no Plan our competitiveness and our cohesion.
B, sets out how it will tackle the key issues
facing it as a business. From how it will reduce
waste, to how it will ensure it maintains fair
partnerships with suppliers, the Plan recognises
corporate responsibility as central to the
highs and lows
of the top 100 UK companies
The panel is on it
In last year’s Directions, the panel got under the skin of the top 100 companies
in the UK, looking at how effective their corporate responsibility reports were at
communicating strategy and activities.
Another year has passed and a fresh group of experts are looking at this year’s
crop of reports. The attention that climate change has received has really put
corporate responsibility in the spotlight. So businesses need to turn up the
heat on their communications to withstand the scrutiny. And there is evidence
that some are.
So this year there are high expectations and the panel are hot on the trail of the
companies under analysis. As in previous years the panel were given some basic
guidelines but their findings on the good, the bad and the ugly are their own.
1. The assessments should be based on information on
company websites or in public reports available up to
and including 3 August 2007.
2. The panellists are encouraged to be forthright!
3. The panellist’s decision is final (but please feel free to
get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss it).
Please note the views expressed are the panellists’ own and not necessarily those of their organisations.
Company list taken from the Financial Times, 30 March 2007.
The judging panel 30_31
01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09
01 Nancy Turrell College and is responsible for corporate communications, working with leading
CSR Manager, Nestlé responsibility communications work international brands writing CSR reports and
Nancy joined Nestlé UK as CSR Manager in at salterbaxter. websites, and developing social marketing
July 2007. Before joining Nestlé she spent campaigns. Adam holds an MSc in the Public
five years at Sainsbury’s as CSR Manager. 05 Angela McClowry Understanding of Environmental Change from
Nancy read Business and Italian at Environment Analyst, British Energy UCL. Before working in communications
University College London. consultancies, Adam was a pollution
Angela is an Environment Analyst with a campaigner for Friends of the Earth.
particular fo cus on CSR policy for industrial
02 Stuart Poore and commercial electricity supplier, British
Director of CR, Virgin Media Energy. Her background is in environmental 08 Stephanie Maier
management and she worked previously for a Head of Research, EIRIS
Stu a rt is Director of Corporate Responsibility
at Virgin Media where he leads on the social, large agribusiness investment management Stephanie is Head of Research at EIRIS,
enviro n m e ntal and ethical dimensions of the company in her native Australia. a leading global provider of independent
company’s reputation management. Prior to research into the social, environmental and
joining Virgin Media, Stu a rt looked after CR 06 Andrew Vickerman other ethical performance of companies.
at QinetiQ having previously worked in public Global Head of Communications & Stephanie works on developing new
affairs and environmental campaigning at External Relations, Rio Tinto, London research products and approaches, recently
WWF-UK. launching the new climate change criteria.
Andrew has overall responsibility for media,
She has researched and written on the
corporate communications, public affairs,
03 Cindy Cahill engagement approach to SRI and was a
corporate social responsibility and community
Head of CR, Deloitte member of the Indicators Working Group
relations. He has a BA, MA and PhD from
Cindy is Partner responsible for Corporate developing the new GRI sustainability
Cambridge University. Prior to joining Rio
Responsibility and Sustainability Services Tinto he worked as a deve l o p m e nt economist reporting guidelines (G3).
at Deloitte UK. In addition to providing CR and as a consultant for international
services to a number of Deloitte’s largest organisations, including the World Bank. 09 Stefan Reichenbach
clients, Cindy is also responsible for leading In his current role Andrew played a leading Head of Environment Markets, Reuters
Deloitte’s internal CR programme. She is a role in the Global Mining Initiative, a mining Stefan is Head of Environmental Markets at
member of the Deloitte Global CR executive industry exercise focused on addressing the Reuters. Under Stefan’s leadership, Reuters
and has helped a number of member firms contribution of the industry to the transition has emerged as a leading business media
to develop their CR practices. to sustainable development. company for the environmental finance
sector. Stefan introduced innovative online
04 Lucie Harrild 07 Adam Garfunkel initiatives that inform the global carbon
Head of CR communications, salterbaxter Independent CSR Communications market and bring the market’s buyers
Lucie has a background in corporate Consultant and sellers together. Stefan holds an MA
and consumer communications, SRI and Adam is an independent CSR communications in Economics from Cambridge University
CR consultancy. She holds an MSc in consultant. He has more than 10 years’ and an MSc in Environmental Change &
Environmental Technology from Imperial experience in ethical business Management from the University of Oxford.
The FT UK 100
Sectors Page Sectors Page
Aerospace & Defence 32 Household Goods 39
Banks 33 Life Insurance 39
Beverages 33 Media 40
Chemicals 34 Mining 40
Construction & General Industries 34 Mobile Comms 41
Electricity 35 Nonlife Insurance 41
Fixed Line Telecoms 35 Oil & Gas 42
Food & Drug Retailers 36 Real Estate 42
Food Producers 36 Software & Computer Services 43
Gas, Water & Multi-utilities 37 Support Services 43
General Financial 37 Tobacco 44
General Retailers 38 Travel & Leisure 44
Health, Pharma & Biotech and
Healthcare Equipment & Services 38
Environment, health and safety (EHS) have own performance data and also by using
typically been the focus of aerospace and benchmark data, comparing themselves to more
defence reports, primarily due to the heavy pollution intensive sectors.
industrial nature of activities – manufacturing
aircraft parts and military equipment. Comprehensive reporting on the key challenges
This year was no exception, with extensive faced by defence related activities remained a
reporting on EHS activities from both challenge for re p o rts. Whilst BAE’s was the only
Rolls-Royce and Smiths Group. report that detailed issues raised by stakeholders
throughout the year, it failed to discuss them
Aerospace Climate change was also a common theme for in the necessary depth, brushing over issues
& Defence: reports and was broached through discussions such as recent Saudi-related accusations.
of ‘innovation’. Companies reported on Future challenges will include reporting more
BAE Systems technological advancements in avionics systems transparently and thoroughly on their human
Rolls-Royce Group and engine design that promise to deliver rights position, product stewardship, supply
Smiths Group improved energy efficiency and fuel savings chain and lobbying activities. So the winner,
for aircraft, whilst others reported on the latest based solely on the limited stakeholder
Panellist: developments with products such as ‘green’ lead engagement, is BAE.
Cindy Cahill free bullets. Some of this may be due to the
Deloitte demands of buyers such as Boeing and Airbus;
meanwhile others have criticised it as being purely And the winner is:
‘greenwash’. Re p o rts used emissions data to back BAE Systems
up environmental performance, both using their
Banks continue to invest significantly in their agenda. Alliance & Leicester’s ‘Right to Rea d ’
CR profiles. The responsibility of helping to programme and RBS’ ‘Face2Face with Finance’
tackle climate change is now a clear priority deserve special mention in this regard.
for the sector with each of the ‘big 5’ jostling
for position and differentiation. HSBC remain Each of the companies reviewed appear to place
clear leaders, especially in view of their a strong emphasis on employee well-being,
Climate Partnership with environmental NGOs. creating a sense that these are very nice places
Banks to work. This is backed up with a raft of hard-
On the customer side, the issue of responsible hitting metrics on diversity and opportunity that
Alliance & Leicester lending takes top billing although one wonders undoubtedly differentiate this sector as ‘people-
Barclays whether these companies are ducking some oriented’. Refreshingly, HSBC also give the issue
HBOS uncomfortable truths. Beyond pledging to of executive remuneration and accusations of
HSBC share data on vulnerable borrowers, our big ‘fat-cattery’ some fairly ‘up-front’ treatment.
lending institutions are less than convincing
in their claims to be meaningfully addressing
soaring and distressing levels of personal debt. And the winner is:
Royal Bank of Scotland
Standard Chartered E l sewhere, big sums of money are being
ploughed into building co m m u n i ty invest m e nt –
Panellist: HBOS give £8m annually to their Foundation,
Stuart Poore for example – alongside some impress i ve and
Virgin Media m eaningful co ntributions to the education
The companies in this sector are experienced SAB Miller and Scottish & Newcastle both
reporters. Diageo’s report sets up a clear use video on their website to articulate their
vision of the business reinforcing that sense approach, a great way to hold the interest of the
of confidence from the beginning. And their viewer/reader. However Scottish & Newcastle’s
marketing activities around the responsible actual report is less engaging, though quite
drinking message show they are integrating proficient. Being an 85 page document, it is
CR into other communications – and it will be on the long side. The winner is SAB Miller, for
Beverages: interesting to see where they take that in the good presentation of information online and in
future. However the relative achievements print, plus using features like video to get the
Diageo across global operations are a little harder to message across. But actually it is very close
SABMiller get a sense of. Overall the report can be a bit in this sector.
Scottish & Newcastle dense to read and breaking information up
* note, due to publication dates SAB Miller’s re p o rt is a more
would be helpful. recent version
SAB Miller’s* is also a heavyweight report,
though not as bad as those 100 page tomes And the winner is:
of years gone by. Its focus is more towards
sustainability and it reports on 10 quite specific
key issues giving a clear sense of direction. SAB
Miller’s web information is straightforward to
navigate too, and it gives a fast insight into the
business and what it wants to communicate.