About our Scores
The InfluenceMap Scoring System
To measure and score corporate influence on climate change policy, we have developed a comprehensive process of examining publicly available information through reliable data sources (e.g. legislative consultations, respected press, CDP responses). This information is then used to test a set of queries across data sources for each organization (e.g. position on a carbon tax, energy efficiency standards, etc.).
We score each data cell (data source/query intersection) on a 5-point scale, consistently providing evidence to support our scores. There are 96 such scoring cells in each matrix, and the organization’s (either a corporation or an influencer) organizational score is computed using our proprietary algorithm, which accounts for different cell weightings and irrelevant data sources/queries. The organizational score represents the degree to which the organization is directly influencing climate policy and legislation (through its political messaging and engagement with policymakers). It is expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing very supportive influence over climate policy. Organizational scores are computed for both corporations and influencers (e.g. trade bodies, chambers of commerce, advocacy groups, etc.) in exactly the same manner.
In addition, a corporation will have a relationship score, computed by aggregating the organizational scores of the influencers with which it has relationships, and weighted by both the strength of these relationships and the relative importance of their influencers in the climate change policy arena. This score is also represented as a percentage, on the same scale as the organizational scores. For each corporation, the organizational score and the relationship score are combined to compute an overall rating, placing the corporation in a performance band. There are 20 performance bands from A+ (representing a total score from 95-100%) through to E- (a score of 25-30%), with scores below 25% falling in the red "F" band. A score of 60% or more indicates that the corporation is actively supporting policies and regulations towards a low-carbon future. Conversely, scores lower than 40% indicate obstructing behavior. As different sectors face differing regulatory issues, it is most useful to compare the performance bands of corporations within the same sector. Full details of our method can be found here.
A Metric of Corporate Influence
A corporation can influence the policy process in a number of ways. Our method addresses and measures most of these methods for exerting influence, including indirectly through external agents (e.g. trade associations and advocacy groups). Our scoring is therefore a measure of the extent to which a corporation is supporting or obstructing the climate policy process. It is important to note that the InfluenceMap performance band is a measure of the influence the organization may have on climate policy based on our method. It does not say anything directly about the actual performance of the organization on climate related issues, such as GHG emissions or use of various energy sources, issues of which are extensively analysed and rated by others, e.g. CDP.
A Metric of Regulatory Readiness
Our scores may also be regarded as a measure of a corporation's readiness for a low-carbon regulatory regime, based on the assumption that its support for the low-carbon transition originates from a forward-thinking competitive strategy. For example, a corporation which is actively supporting low-carbon regulations may also be strategically shifting its own activities in this direction. This may provide the corporation with competitive advantage, should legislation shift swiftly to disfavor GHG emissions. Conversely, it is unlikely that a corporation engaging in obstruction of climate change policies will be strategically shifting its activities to support a low-carbon transition.
This analysis may be pronounced in energy sectors, which are expected to be heavily affected by a fast shift to a low-carbon regulatory regime, but also in sectors which are indirectly reliant on fossil-fuels (the automotive, electric utilities and chemicals sectors). Moreover, some research has suggested that political donations are followed by decreased shareholder returns. We will be actively analyzing our results from this regulatory readiness viewpoint with selected partners in the future.
The Engagement Intensity
The engagement intensity is a metric of the extent to which the company is engaging on climate change policy matters, whether positively or negatively. It is a number from 0 (no engagement at all) to 100 (full engagement on all queries/data points. Clearly energy and energy intensive users more affected by climate regulations will have a higher engagement intensity than, for example retailers. So an organization’s score should be looked at in conjunction with this metric to understand the amount of evidence we are using in each case to base our score on.