The Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO) has ranked insurance groups Amlin and Aviva at the top of its UK 100 Carbon Ranking list.

The ET UK 100 Carbon Ranking list highlights the best and worst businesses regarding greenhouse gas emissions and levels of transparency.

Amlin comes out as the best performer with carbon intensities of 1.21, while Aviva is a close second, with carbon intensities of 1.36. Man Group is ranked in third place (6.29), BskyB takes fourth place (6.69), followed by energy services company AMEC (8.31).

Imperial Tobacco, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Experian Plc, BT Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland Group round out the top 10 of the 100 list.

The EIO is a UK non-profit research body that has produced the ET UK 100 as part of the first in a series of carbon rankings, where the largest companies’ across the globe will be covered through the forthcoming ET Global 800, Europe 300, North America 300, Asia-Pacific 300 and BRICS 100.

The EIO has claimed that it has employed a strict methodology based on the complete disclosure of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the internationally recognized standard for emission reporting.

The EIO will use the rankings to create a series of tradeable indexes, which will be launched later in 2011. The ET Carbon Indexes are designed to lower corporate emissions by influencing a company’s share price. This will encourage transparency and emission reductions on a global scale.

Tony Greenham, head of finance and business, New Economics Foundation, said, “It’s a very sound approach. You’re pushing up the cost of capital for carbon-inefficient companies and lowering the cost of capital for the carbon-efficient companies, and I think that’s a simpler and potentially very powerful mechanism.”

Michael Gill, the EIO’s founder, said, “It’s been a tough 15-year journey to get to this point. It seems that finally, the world is willing to take a serious look at our proposal for a market-based incentive using the investment system and index funds. It completely bypasses the political log jam to be found throughout the world. Time is short, and this is doable if the right people can be pressured into responding positively.”

According to the EIO, only companies that publicly disclose and also independently confirm their emissions data made it into the top category. Two thirds (66pc) of the ET UK 100 companies publicly disclose their data, and only half independently verify their reported emissions. With the exception of BP and GlaxoSmithKline, whose data was defined as incomplete, all companies with a market value over US$100bn publicly disclose their complete emissions data.

Randgold disputes ranking

Randgold Resources, a gold-mining company that operates primarily in West Africa, was ranked the worst of the 100, with carbon intensities of 3,477.34.

Randgold has stated that the information provided by the EIO was incorrect and “that the EIO’s claim that the data on which the company’s ranking was based had to be inferred because Randgold did not disclose its greenhouse gas emissions was unfounded.”

The EIO said that Randgold, “do not make their data publicly available, despite market competitors BHP Billiton and Xstrata both disclosing and verifying their emissions (ranking 31 and 34 respectively). Randgold’s inferred emissions intensity, benchmarked against their highest disclosing sectoral competitor is 3,477.34.”

Rod Quick, Rangold’s general manager of evaluation and environment, said the company had filed its greenhouse emission figures for 2007, 2008 and 2009 as part of the 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project and that they could be publicly viewed at https://www.cdproject.net.

The company also claims that it would have ranked significantly higher if the correct figures were used for the EIO survey.  Randgold reported that its financial GHG emissions intensity for 2009 on an equity basis, was 475 metric tonnes CO² equivalent per US$ million revenue.

Global cruise company Carnival ranked second from bottom and was followed by offshore drillers Ensco, utility company Pennon and the financial services, Standard Chartered. According to the EIO, all of these five are part of the bottom 13pc of companies that do not disclose any emissions data.