Environmental Monitoring and Rating

The Situation

Big corporate organizations such as banks, oil and gas, mining, construction, and manufacturing companies play an important role in the economic development and prosperity of countries. However, they also responsible for much of the use of the earth’s natural resources and the environmental pollution in countries.

Nigeria has witnessed several pervasive acts of environmental pollution and a host of other appalling environmental behaviours by several multinational and indigenous companies (MNCs) operating in different sectors. Examples include acts of corporate recklessness that cause oil spills, flagrant gas flaring that pollute the environment and lead to biodiversity loss, mining and manufacturing companies that dump toxic waste in community rivers, construction companies that do not manage dust and air pollution from their operation, companies that engage in illegal logging of forests, telecommunications companies that put their masts in residential areas, quarries that operate next to schools and hospitals, companies that manufacture and sell sub-standard goods, banks that lend money to companies without checking their environmental records, etc.

The federal government as part of its economic development masterplan has expressed commitment to promoting sustainability and responsible environmental behaviour by corporate actors in all segments of the economy.

However, because of lack of transparency in corporate environmental and social responsibility reporting, most Nigerians (and interested international agencies) still have little way of knowing which companies are performing very badly and which are making significant improvements. As a result, public engagement with and pressure on companies to improve their environmental performance is all but absent in the country.

SPP’s Rating and Disclosure Project

A major part of the SPP is to rate the environmental performance of major companies and disclose the performance of these companies to the general public. The program will increase environmental awareness, promote greater public engagement and improve responsible behaviour among corporate, public and governmental actors. The program will expose corporate environmental and social irresponsibility among Nigerian MNCs and promote better environmental performance of private and public enterprise in Nigeria.

At the same time, the project will serve as a good advertisement for those companies that are doing well and provide them with more incentive to do even better. The project will seek to correct the information asymmetry arising from society’s unawareness of the damage caused by poor regulation and irresponsible corporate environmental behaviour. Furthermore, the project is intended to promote interaction and dialogue amongst firms, workers, community groups, consumers, financial markets and government regulators.

Our Aim and Hope

It is intended that the rating and disclosure projects will serve as a complementary tool to command and control type regulation which has so far produced very limited results in Nigeria. The rating and disclosure program will increase environmental public awareness among Nigerians and subsequently result in pressure on the relevant actors (corporate and government alike) to take their environmental responsibility more seriously.

At the same time, it will serve as a tool for exposing companies that consistently flout existing environmental regulations or are simply not making serious effort to improve their environmental behaviour in line with best practices in comparable economies around the world. SPP will provide vital information to the government, the public, international organizations, investors and donor agencies both within and outside Nigerian all of which will help to monitor and improve the environmental performance of key companies operating in Nigeria