Climate Counts Earns Praise on Rate the Raters White Paper

Feb 23, 2011 3:39 PM ET

Report Slams Eco-Ratings ‘Secret Sauce’

 From the Environmental Leader:

  • An evaluation of 21 sustainability ratings has found that most fall short on transparency and lack sufficient quality controls.

  • The research by think tank and consultancy SustainAbility also found that ratings systems are often too general in their stated goals and too complex in terms of their criteria and scoring.

  • “We also note inconsistency between some raters’ stated objectives of helping companies improve their performance and disclosure and their own lack of transparency and availability,” the report said.

  • SustainAbility said that too often, raters do not sufficiently explain their methodologies, treating those methods like a “secret sauce”.

  • “If raters truly want to help companies improve, they must provide clear blueprints for how to improve ratings performance (e.g. an “A” requires a company to do X, Y and Z),” the report added.

  • Even raters concerned about disclosing commercially sensitive information to competitors should offer signficiant disclosure to the companies they have rated, SustainAbility argued.

  • The report said that raters showing good practice on disclosure of methodology were CDP, Climate Counts, FTSE4Good, GS Sustain, Global 100 and the Access to Medicine Index.

  Read the rest of the Environmental Leader article here.   About
Climate Counts is a non-profit campaign that scores companies annually on the basis of their voluntary action to reverse climate change. The Climate Counts Company Scorecard -- launched in June 2007 -- helps people vote with their dollars by making climate-conscious purchasing and investing choices that put pressure on the world's most well-known companies to take the issue of climate change seriously. Launched by organics pioneer Stonyfield Farm, Climate Counts believes everyday consumers can be the most important activists in the fight against global warming. Climate Counts has currently evaluated nearly 150 companies in sixteen major consumer sectors with plans to expand the number of companies and sectors. Climate Counts' work has appeared in many of the world's leading media outlets, among them the New York Times, National Public Radio, The Economist, BBC World Service, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The Huffington Post, and the Harvard Business Review. The organization launched its free iPhone app and its Climate Counts Industry Innovators (i2) program in early 2010.   CC12038