Eni Takes the Bronze in Fortune's 100 Most Responsible Companies

The prestigious American business magazine Fortune published its annual list of the world's 100 most sustainable companies. Eni finds itself in third place, an enormous jump from the previous year when it was in 28th place.

The reason for Eni's jump in the list, according to Fortune, is that "the company has created a Sustainability Unit that establishes the procedures and objectives of all of the company's divisions." "The company," the report continues, "has published its first sustainability report which provides detailed indications of gas emissions responsible for pollution." Fortune also underlined the fact that Eni has been included in the FTSE4Good and Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.

The reaction of authorities was immediate. Senator Guido Possa, of the Italian Industry Commission, declared: "This is an important recognition in a market that is as competitive as that of energy where nothing is given away. It is a recognition of the Italian management and for our industry that is progressing in a globalized market in which competition is positively Darwinian."

Fortune draws up its list of the 100 most responsible companies in cooperation with the London-based research centre AccountAbility and CSRNetwork. This year, the top slot goes to the British energy company BP, and in second place is the British banking group Barclays. After Eni, the top ten places are filled by HSBC Holdings, Vodafone, Royal Dutch Shell, Peugeout, HBOS, Chevron and DaimlerChrysler. The next Italian company after Eni in the list is Fiat, in 45th place, followed by UniCredit, in 49th and Assicurazioni Generali, in the 71st position.

The concept of responsibility, the magazine explains, is determined by the quality of companies' commitment to the pursuit of pre-defined social and environmental targets. The evaluation takes account of a range of parameters, divided in three areas: strategy, governance and the involvement of 'stakeholders' and a new category designed to measure how well a company actually performs.

The first section examines the extent to which companies' include social and environmental objectives in its business decisions. The second looks at the acceptance of direct responsibility by managers and board members for the achievement of non-financial objectives.

Finally, Fortune gives much importance to the quality of relations between companies and their stakeholders, whether these be the employees, the communities in which the companies operate, associations or any other interested party.

Fortune adopted a new component which measures the impact, allowing the rankings to consider a company's public controversies and its output of carbon per dollar of revenue. The new measure helped ENI and Chevron improve dramatically.

For companies in the energy sector, the specific criteria relates to the measures adopted to limit the emission of greenhouse gases.