Finance sector firms score well in latest Sigwatch rankings

Jonathan Boyd
Finance sector firms score well in latest Sigwatch rankings

Sigwatch, the consultancy that tracks the views of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) says that brands in the finance sector have scored well in its latest rankings, for example, because of commitments to divest from coal.

The consultant mentions names such as Axa, Allianz, Swiss Re and SCOR placing in the list of top 10 most praised companies among NGOs globally.

Its rankings are based on monitoring of more than 6,600 'campaign actions' over the past 12 months. Sigwatch says that pledges to divest from coal by insurance companies help explain their relative scores on the rankings. Other companies with links to fossil fuel exploration and extraction on the other hand feature among the most criticised brands.

Some financial institutions do score poorly. For example, the World Bank is the third most criticised brand according to Sigwatch's methodology, which is blamed on its continued support for mining development, as well as "deepening inequality" by supporting private education in lower income economies.

Royal Dutch Shell is the second most criticised brand - linked to its contribution to climate change, corruption allegations related to a Nigeria oil deal, and being the subject of a criminal trial in Italy. Adani Group, the Indian miner, is the fourth most criticised over its Australian coal mine. ExxonMobil and Total are the fifth and sixth most criticised.

Robert Blood, founder and managing director of Sigwatch, said: "Finance firms are the star performers in this year's most praised rankings. As Greta Thunberg and climate activists call on business leaders attending this year's World Economic Forum to end the 'madness' of investing in fossil fuels, Axa, Allianz, Swiss Re and SCOR are showing the way. By praising them, NGOs are rewarding them for a job well done and encouraging others in their sector and beyond to follow their example."

"This year we expect activist groups to ramp up their campaigning against the fossil fuel economy and the businesses that fund it. It will be interesting to see if they are able to replicate their success in securing commitments in coal to also exit oil and gas."

Brands most praised by activist groups in 2019

  1. Unilever
  2. Nestlé
  3. Axa
  4. Allianz
  5. Yum! Brands
  6. Swiss Re
  7. Danone
  8. VF Corporation
  9. Aldi
  10. SCOR

Brands most criticised by activist groups in 2019

  1. Nestlé
  2. Royal Dutch Shell
  3. World Bank Group
  4. Adani Group
  5. ExxonMobil
  6. Total
  7. Unilever
  8. Carnival Corporation
  9. Coca-Cola Company
  10. Sinar Mas Group


Jonathan Boyd
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Jonathan Boyd

Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope.