By Gemma Childe on 10th May 2012
British bus companies are better than Apple and Google when it comes to corporate responsibility, according to a sustainability league table.
The report found that FirstGroup, the UK's biggest bus operator, was second best in the world for social and environmental governance.
Eiris, the responsible investment research service, compiled the report by examining the ethical record of all 2,063 companies in the FTSE All-World Developed Index of large companies.
A spokesman for FirstGroup, which also operates the First Great Western rail franchise, said: "We take our need to reduce carbon seriously."
Bus company The Go-Ahead Group was the 10th best globally and was praised for sustainable public transport. By contrast, US tech firms Apple and Google received low scores. The report graded companies from A to E. Apple and Google received D grades.
Mark Robertson of Eiris explained: "Google scores poorly overall when compared to other technology companies in its sector, largely a result of poor performance on environmental-management reporting."
A spokesperson for Google said: "Reducing our environmental impact is something we have always cared about: it makes sense from a business perspective, but more importantly, it can do a lot of good and have huge benefits for the world."
The German sportswear manufacturer Puma was rated the global leader despite once being associated with sweatshops. The British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline and the Dutch electronics maker Philips also came out well in the report. Philips, which came seventh, was praised for its "environmentally and socially beneficial services".
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of drugs for cancer, diabetes and asthma, was praised for improving healthcare worldwide and for "promoting access to medicines in the developing world".
Oil and gas producers ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Occidental were among those given the lowest E grade.