Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, wants the 9,100 employers in which it holds stakes to submit details on factors like fresh-water use and climate effects, with state-run power giant, Statoil, coming under fire.
Almost all Norwegian companies lag behind in the high standards for reporting their impact on the environment, which the US$1-trillion fund is promoting around the world. The fund is barred from investing domestically and it wants data on issues like water use and climate effects to be sent to London-based NGO CDP, which was formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project.
The CDP last month released a study of over 100 cities which now obtain at least 70 per cent of their electricity from renewable sources.
In Norway in this week’s study, only two of the companies included, DNB bank and property dealer Entra, were on a CDP list of 160 A-rated performers for disclosure last year.
Norway’s state-controlled oil giant Statoil was given an F-grade for not providing details of its fresh-water use, after it refused to take part in the CDP study.
On climate-change reporting, however, including tracking greenhouse-gas emissions, Statoil was given A-.
The CDP said there were no Norwegian employers among almost 100 firms, including L’Oreal, Walmart and Toyota, rated as leaders in tracking greenhouse-gas emissions in their supply chains.
“If Norwegian companies want to take a leadership role on climate change they should be engaging with their suppliers on these issues,” said Sonya Bhonsle, CDP’s supply study chief.
Norway’s fund, managed by the central bank and built from Norwegian oil and gas revenues, said investors needed data to compare risks. The wealth fund’s policies, such as restricting investments in coal companies, have a huge financial influence globally because it owns on average 1.4 per cent of all listed shares worldwide.
Statoil spokesman Erik Haaland said the firm did not take part in the CDP fresh-water survey because most of its operations were offshore, using sea water. Statoil also has water-intensive US-based shale investments in oil and gas.
“The questionnaire is quite extensive, and since the issue is less material for our operations, we made the decision to not take part,” he said.
On fresh-water use, most major foreign energy companies joined Statoil in declining to take part in the CDP water survey, with exceptions including Total and Neste Oy.
Statoil’s Oslo offices. Picture credit: Flickr