Financial institutions Westpac and Insurance Australia Group (IAG) have scored some of the highest ratings for corporate social responsibility practices in a new global index of public companies.
The FTSE4Good ESG Ratings scheme, released this month, takes stock of the environmental, social and governance practices of more than 2300 public companies globally, taking into account the management of elements concerning environmental, human rights and supply chains as well as corporate governance and bribery issues.
The ratings were provided relative to the risks inherent in managing individual companies’ social responsibility.
Westpac scored the highest possible index with a score of 5, while IAG was given a score of 4.8. Resources company, BHP Billiton, also scored highly at 4.4, along with construction group, Mirvac.
Australian companies were counted among some of the most environmentally conscious in sectors such as real estate, insurance, financial services, construction and resources.
Australia ranked 15th overall among the countries benchmarked, with an average rating of 2.93.
The index company behind the scheme, London-based FTSE, formed the ratings to provide a benchmark for companies to track their own progress and determine that of others.
The ratings scheme is expected to be reassessed twice a year by research company EIRIS and will be overseen by an independent committee of members of the investment community, academia, the business community, unions and non-government organisations.
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