Climate and Energy Benchmark

In partnership with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), WBA is developing the Climate and Energy Benchmark. This benchmark will assess and compare the climate action performance of companies across three high carbon-emitting industries: oil and gas, electric utilities and automotive. This webpage informs you about the set-up of the benchmark.

“Aviva has indicated that it would like to use our ownership influence to promote strong action on climate change. We have also indicated that we would be taking voting action if we do not receive TCFD consistent report and accounts. The benchmark will be an open, credible and robust way of us focussing our stewardship efforts on those companies of greatest concern. It will also help us allocate capital accordingly. “

Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investments

“Ranking companies on their actual behavior doesn’t only drive the top of the list to set new boundaries, it also stimulates the companies in the lower regions to adapt their strategy and behavior.”

– Wim Leereveld (Chairman of the Board Index Initiative & Founder Access to Medicine Index)

Our ambition

WBA wants the Climate and Energy Benchmark to become a leading information and engagement tool for decision makers of relevant stakeholder groups (investors, politicians and policymakers, NGOs, (industrial) consumers, the media and the companies themselves).

The goal is to independently and objectively measure the performance of companies across three industries that have a major impact on climate change on their contribution to limiting global warming to well below 2°C. By making this benchmark free and accessible to all, we enable governments, investors, consumers, and civil society to exert their influence to improve corporate climate action performance. By doing so, we support the achievement of SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement.

The aim of the benchmark is threefold: incentivize companies to align their strategies and operations with a well below 2-degree pathway, create a race to the top by rewarding companies that are best in class, and visualize progress between 2020 and 2030.

Our objectives

Involving high carbon-emitting industries in climate action is a priority issue, considering the urgent need for global climate action reflected in both the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 13) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Corporate climate action is pivotal in fighting climate change but also for the creation of jobs and a green economy.

To achieve SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement, it is crucial that significant progress in climate action is demonstrated by the companies between 2020 and 2030.

WBA’s Climate and Energy Benchmark will measure this progress over time.

1. Develop and publish benchmark reports.

Develop and publish benchmark reports. WBA and CDP develop and publish a Climate and Energy Benchmark, subdivided into three separate industry-specific benchmarks focusing on oil and gas, electric utilities, and the automotive industries. These industry specific benchmarks measure corporate climate action performance of the 90 largest listed and state-owned companies within these three high carbon-emitting industries. To ensure results are comparable, robust, and understandable, each industry specific benchmark will be designed using similar overarching principles.

2. Develop benchmark methodology based on stakeholder involvement.

Through an extensive multi-stakeholder process, including dialogues, roundtables, and workshops, we develop the benchmark methodology. First, we validate a conceptual framework building on the ACT-framework, integrating the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). The framework enables the comparison of climate action performance of all 90 listed and state-owned companies on an aggregate level. Then, the framework is translated into industry-specific methodologies for the three selected industries enabling the comparison of climate action performance of companies in specific sectors.

3. Build a lasting user network.

A lasting network is built and expanded around the benchmark, consisting of relevant and influential stakeholders that will use the benchmark in their engagement with companies. Relevant and influential users are from a diverse range of stakeholder groups such as (multilateral) government organizations, financial institutions, (industrial and household) consumers, civil society, media and companies themselves.

About our partner CDP

CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs a global (environmental) disclosure system. Over the past 15 years CDP has created a system that has resulted in unparalleled engagement on environmental issues worldwide. CDP wants to see a thriving economy that works for people and planet in the long term. To do this, CDP focuses investors, companies and cities on taking urgent action to build a truly sustainable economy by measuring and understanding their environmental impact. To achieve this, CDP runs the global disclosure system that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. CDP has built the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data in the world. CDP’s network of investors and purchasers – representing over US$100 trillion – along with policy makers around the globe, use the data and insights to make better-informed decisions.

Why a Climate and Energy Benchmark?

WBA’s Climate and Energy Benchmark will clarify what society expects from high-emitting industries and companies.

Companies often deal with a wide range of stakeholders with diverging expectations and priorities. Through an extensive multi-stakeholder consultation process, the benchmark can identify common ground among key stakeholders and build consensus around these expectations. The benchmark methodology translates these expectations into clear metrics, providing companies with a path forward.

The Climate and Energy Benchmark will clarify where and how companies can contribute to SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement.

The potential contribution of an industry to climate action is influenced by an industry’s core business and position in the value chain. This both determines and limits the influence of industries and companies. The benchmark clarifies the role of companies in achieving SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement but also highlights the responsibilities of other stakeholders.

The Climate and Energy Benchmark will promote a race to the top.

Provided it is robust, credible, and ensures a fair and scrutinized analysis, the benchmark will be a powerful tool to raise awareness on climate action and shape the debate on the role of industries and companies. The league tables that derive from benchmarks leverage the forces of competition to improve performance: leaders are motivated to do more, while laggards are incentivised to catch up.

The Climate and Energy Benchmark will help track progress.

For companies and investors, regular issuance of league tables helps measure and track progress both relative to peers and to societal expectations. The benchmark would, for instance, track both how a company performs relative to its peers and whether these efforts are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Who will use the benchmark and for what?

Benchmarks are a proven and effective information and engagement tool.

Benchmarks can be used by both the companies included in the benchmark and a range of stakeholders that want to engage with these companies, such as: policymakers, investors, (industrial) consumers, civil society and the media. The benchmark will be made free and publicly available to all, enabling all stakeholders to exert their full influence when engaging with companies. Benchmarks can also be used to recognise and celebrate leaders for their success and encourage them to do more. For top performers, the results can be used as a source of competitive advantage: for example, in their external communications.

Get involved

For further information, please contact:

Vicky Sins, Lead Climate and Energy Benchmark at WBA
Tony Rooke, Technical Director at CDP

Vicky Sins
Lead Climate and Energy Benchmark

Charlotte Hugman
Research Analyst

Matt Gwyn
Engagement and Content Strategist