Retailer Marks and Spencer has topped a research league table that analysed the extent and depth of carbon measurement and reporting at all of the UK's FTSE 100 list of leading companies.
The independent report confirmed High Street chain M&S has reinforced its position as a global leader on taking carbon management seriously.
Researchers at Carbon Clear scored publicly available information from each company in the FTSE 100 against 47 reporting criteria.
The analysis, carried out in summer 2012, focused on how companies measure, report and verify their carbon footprint, their existing and planned strategies for reducing emissions, their actual carbon reductions and their work to engage stakeholders about their climate change programmes.
The top 10 performers were Marks and Spencer, National Grid, Aviva, RSA, BSkyB, BT Group, Hammerson, Sainsbury, Whitbread, Kingfisher, Pearson and Vodafone – three companies were listed in joint tenth spot.
Today's report found the Supermarket sector is the best performer in the FTSE100, followed closed by Publishing with the Manufacturing, Mining & Metals and Building Materials sectors coming bottom of the league table.
There was a significant range in scores, from the highest score of 89% to the lowest score of just 9%.
Mark Chadwick, Chief Executive of Carbon Clear said: “Although companies are engaged with carbon management, there is still work to be done. This year’s criteria were more challenging than the previous year and it shows in the results, with overall lower scores across all areas.
“However, there has been significant progress by some companies this year, and others have built on the success they had last year, demonstrating how companies’ carbon management matures over time.
“Carbon Clear hopes that companies will use this analysis to benchmark their performance and develop their business to incorporate carbon management as part of a long term, sustainable approach.”
101 companies were included in this year's FSTE 100 data analysis because British Airways and Iberia, both part of International Airlines Group report their sustainability as separate companies.
Across the four competency areas, companies’ average performance scores are lower than 2011. The report explains this is due to more challenging and thorough assessment criteria.
It added: “Carbon management has become increasingly important to businesses and is no longer just an accumulation of industry certifications or a mere check box exercise.
“Instead it has become an integrated part of companies’ business strategies. The demand to push carbon management up the business agenda comes from a range of stakeholders, from investors through to consumers, who want businesses to lower their environmental impact.
“There are also regulatory demands on companies to manage their carbon, from the Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency scheme to proposed mandatory carbon reporting regulations. The Government’s aim in requiring businesses to measure and report their carbon emissions is to contribute toward the UK’s 2050 carbon targets and make sure business is playing its part in mitigating climate change.
“Businesses are increasingly aware that they must engage with their stakeholders on carbon