Saturday, July 14, 2007

Socially Conscious Gas Guide, Part 1: Environmental Rankings

I'd be remiss if I didn't start off by stating that the most socially conscious gas choice you can make is not to buy it at all, or barring that, to buy less. So try walking/biking more, car-sharing, and getting better gas mileage, for starters.

Nonetheless, most of us will be buying gas at least occasionally, and for many of us, we do it all the time. And gas is a very unique purchase in many ways-- we typically have almost no brand loyalty and often a lot of options. So it's worth exploring what the social and environmental implications are of the brands we choose.

This is going to be a multi-part guide, since there is a ton of information I've found to share, but we'll start with the impact these gas companies have on the environment. There are a lot of information and rankings out there, which I tried to compile for you in one place. (Let me know if you know of more for me to add!) So without further ado:

Specific Environmental Issues/Areas

Corporate Governance and Climate Change rankings from Ceres:

  • BP: 90 (out of max 100)
  • Royal Dutch Shell: 79
  • Statoil: 72
  • Total: 62
  • Chevron: 57
  • Anadarko and Sunoco: 39
  • Amerada Hess, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil: 35
  • Less than 35:
    • Marathon (26), Occidental (25), Valero (24), Apache (22), Tesoro(15), Burlington (13), Devon Energy (11), El Paso (9), Murphy Oil (6), Williams (3)
Renewable energy strategy and investment, Jantzi Research (looks at 23 companies, skewed to Canada):
  • High performance: BP, Shell, Suncor
  • Low performance: Burlington, Marathon, ExxonMobil
The Toxic 100-- top air polluters in the US:
  • #3: Conoco-Phillips
  • #6: Exxon-Mobil
  • #22: Tesoro
  • #28: Valero
  • #55: Sunoco
  • #64: Chevron
  • #81: Amarada Hess
  • #84: Marathon
Refinery Eco Ratings, Better World Handbook:
  • Sunoco: +40%
  • Chevron: +18%
  • Citgo: +17%
  • Conoco Phillips: 0
  • Total: 0
  • BP: -10%
  • ExxonMobil: -33%
  • Shell: -43%
[Methodology is not explained but I'm pretty sure this is looking at the % of refineries that rank either high or low in pollution... ie 2 good refineries out of 5 total is 40% for Sunoco, while 1 good refinery and 4 bad refineries out of 7 for Shell is a net of -3/7, or -43%.]

Overall Environmental Ratings

Innovest's EcoValue21 rating (AAA best, CCC worst):
  • Shell: AAA
  • BP: AA
  • Suncor: AA
  • Marathon: B
Jantzi rankings[PDF] environmental subscore, Canada-based:
  • Nexen: 7.6
  • Petro-Canada: 6.3
  • EnCana: 5.4
  • Suncor, Shell Canada, Syncrude, Imperial Oil: 5.0
  • Talisman: 4.9
  • Husky: 4.0
  • Canadian Natural Resources: 3.0
Sierra Club's "Pick Your Poison" Rankings:
  • Top of the Barrel
    • Sunoco
    • BP
  • Middle of the Barrel
    • Citgo
    • Valero ie Corner Store/Shamrock/Ultramar/Stop N Go/Beacon
    • Chevron/Texaco
    • Shell
  • Bottom of the Barrel
    • ConocoPhillips ie 76/Conoco/Phillips 66
    • ExxonMobil
Coming up next... a look at the human rights/workers' rights & safety/etc aspects of these companies, and an attempt to sum up and draw some conclusions.


Susanna a.k.a. Cheap Like Me said...

This is really interesting, thank you! I tend to buy gas from the Safeway closest to me ... have you encountered any info on whose gas supplies store-branded gas stations at Safeway, King Soopers/City Market or Costco?

School Loan Consolidatin said...

I buy gas at the costco and it tends to be a little bit cheaper. Nice article though

School Loan Consolidation

Lisa said...

"It says: Coming up next... a look at the human rights/workers' rights & safety/etc aspects of these companies, and an attempt to sum up and draw some conclusions. "

but how can i get to that article?