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Investigating consistency of judgement across sustainability analyst organizations

Author

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  • Martin Hedesström
  • Ulrika Lundqvist
  • Anders Biel

Abstract

We compare seven major European and North American sustainability analyst organizations on how they rank-order the same set of companies with regards to environmental performance. We also compare the analyst organizations' environmental rating schemes with regards to which evaluation criteria they include. Two industries are investigated: automobile and paper/forestry. Although there is fairly broad consensus on which automobile companies have the worst environmental performance, there is considerable disagreement about best‐performers. The pattern is less clear for paper/forestry companies. With some notable exceptions, and for both industries, all rating schemes contain evaluation criteria targeting those aspects of company performance associated, according to life‐cycle assessments, with the largest potential environmental impact. There are, however, significant divergences as to how many, and which, criteria of medium to low relevance are applied. Sustainability analyst organizations should make explicit to investors and evaluated companies on which theoretical and empirical grounds environmental evaluation criteria are selected. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Hedesström & Ulrika Lundqvist & Anders Biel, 2011. "Investigating consistency of judgement across sustainability analyst organizations," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 119-134, March/Apr.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:119-134
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.511
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    Cited by:

    1. Natalia Semenova & Lars Hassel, 2015. "On the Validity of Environmental Performance Metrics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 249-258, December.
    2. Hedesström, Martin & Andersson, Maria & Gärling, Tommy & Biel, Anders, 2012. "Stock investors’ preference for short-term vs. long-term bonuses," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 137-142.

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