How Tesla Scored A Zero On Climate Management

, From Chicago, I write about green technology, energy, environment. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors, stands with a Tesla Roadster outside the Nasdaq Marketsite in New York in a file photo. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

</div> </div> <p>Tesla Motors is widely regarded as the most climate-conscious automaker,&nbsp;with an&nbsp;all-electric fleet&nbsp;that&nbsp;spurred&nbsp;clean-car innovation across the industry. But Elon Musk’s company nonetheless earned a zero score this year in an assessment of corporate climate governance.</p> <p>The Transition Pathway Initiative assessed the climate&nbsp;performance of 138 companies in seven sectors, including all the major automakers. Tesla tops the list&nbsp;when it comes to&nbsp;carbon emissions&nbsp;from its products, thanks to a fleet that&nbsp;burns no gasoline or diesel. But Tesla&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/tpi/company/tesla/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/tpi/company/tesla/">finished last</a>, alongside Ferrari and the Chinese automaker Brilliance, when it comes to&nbsp;management of its overall climate&nbsp;impact, because the company hasn’t disclosed&nbsp;any management&nbsp;information.</p> <p>&quot;They clearly are by far the most efficient in terms of alignment with 2&ordm;, but at the same time they’re&nbsp;one of the worst in terms of actually making public disclosure in terms of how they manage climate change as a company,&quot; said Adam Matthews, the director of ethics and engagement for the Church of England Pension Board and co-chair of TPI. His reference to 2&ordm; refers to the international ambition to limit human-caused warming to no more than 2&ordm; C.</p> <p> </p> <p>TPI’s zero score is&nbsp;typically reserved for companies that are &quot;unaware of (or not acknowledging) climate change as a business issue.&quot;</p> <p>That characterization rankled a Tesla spokesman I reached yesterday.</p> <p>&quot;Tesla’s entire reason for existing is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,&quot; said Tesla spokesman Kamran Mumtaz. &quot;Our fleet of vehicles has saved more than 3.5 million tons of CO<sub>2</sub>, and our solar products have produced more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy across the globe. When we read that Tesla is ‘unaware of climate change as a business issue,’&nbsp;we checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1<sup>st</sup>.”</p>

<p>TPI is not the&nbsp;only organization to&nbsp;criticize&nbsp;Tesla’s&nbsp;silence about&nbsp;its climate impact. Trillium Asset Management knocked Tesla <a href="http://www.trilliuminvest.com/shareholder-proposal/tesla-corporate-sustainability-reporting-2018/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:http://www.trilliuminvest.com/shareholder-proposal/tesla-corporate-sustainability-reporting-2018/">in a recent report</a>&nbsp;on&nbsp;the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures:</p>” readability=”45.3778359511″>

Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors, stands with a Tesla Roadster outside the Nasdaq Marketsite in New York in a file photo. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Tesla Motors is widely regarded as the most climate-conscious automaker, with an all-electric fleet that spurred clean-car innovation across the industry. But Elon Musk’s company nonetheless earned a zero score this year in an assessment of corporate climate governance.

The Transition Pathway Initiative assessed the climate performance of 138 companies in seven sectors, including all the major automakers. Tesla tops the list when it comes to carbon emissions from its products, thanks to a fleet that burns no gasoline or diesel. But Tesla finished last, alongside Ferrari and the Chinese automaker Brilliance, when it comes to management of its overall climate impact, because the company hasn’t disclosed any management information.

“They clearly are by far the most efficient in terms of alignment with 2º, but at the same time they’re one of the worst in terms of actually making public disclosure in terms of how they manage climate change as a company,” said Adam Matthews, the director of ethics and engagement for the Church of England Pension Board and co-chair of TPI. His reference to 2º refers to the international ambition to limit human-caused warming to no more than 2º C.

TPI’s zero score is typically reserved for companies that are “unaware of (or not acknowledging) climate change as a business issue.”

That characterization rankled a Tesla spokesman I reached yesterday.

“Tesla’s entire reason for existing is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” said Tesla spokesman Kamran Mumtaz. “Our fleet of vehicles has saved more than 3.5 million tons of CO2, and our solar products have produced more than 10 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy across the globe. When we read that Tesla is ‘unaware of climate change as a business issue,’ we checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st.”

TPI is not the only organization to criticize Tesla’s silence about its climate impact. Trillium Asset Management knocked Tesla in a recent report on the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures:

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