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There are many ways to track, report and benchmark performance. From customer satisfaction surveys to industry benchmarks for safety performance, we measure and compare ourselves to others to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement.

The investment community is increasingly focused on comparing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of companies. Many financial organizations and rating companies, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), survey and rank companies annually on ESG issues. We responded to 10 surveys in 2011 and will continue to be selective about those we respond to because of the time and resource constraints . 

Sustainability ratings are complex and opaque, and they are proliferating, which is causing confusion among the stakeholders who wish to rely on them. A new initiative, the Global Index of Sustainability Ratings, is focused on developing a framework that would allow for greater comparability and consistency. We are following this closely with the hope that it will bring some needed standardization and transparency to the rankings process.

As a member of SustainAbility’s Engaging Stakeholders program, this report is benchmarked annually using indicators similar to GRI and on a five-point scoring system based on how completely sustainability issues are integrated into the report. The process enables us to identify strengths, gaps and opportunities for improvement. The 2011 benchmark report noted that we are candid about challenges we face and that we have a strong stakeholder engagement process. Yet we can do better in terms of prioritizing issues in order to provide greater clarity to stakeholders.