PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have come up tops in a recent report by anticorruption group Transparency International.
Out of the 105 largest publicly traded companies, Rio and BHP placed second and third respectively, with Norway’s Statoil taking the highest ranking.
The report analysed the transparency of corporate reporting on a range of anticorruption measures among the 105 companies, which were collectively worth more than $11-trillion and operated across 200 countries.
Company scores ranged from 0 to 10, where 0 was the least transparent and 10 was the most transparent, and were based on public availability of information about anticorruption systems, transparency in reporting on how they structure themselves and the amount of financial information they provide for each country they operate in.
Statoil scored an 8.3, while Rio and BHP each scored 7.2.
Despite the diversified miners’ high score, Transparency International’s chair Huguette Labelle said that multinational corporations could play a more significant role in the fight against corruption.
“As the world continues to recover from the deep economic pain of 2008, the leadership at more companies must commit to stopping corruption,” Labelle said.
The report stated that a lack of transparency made it more difficult to identify where companies earned profits, paid taxes or contributed to political campaigns.
“The multinational companies remain an important part of the problem of corruption around the world. The time has come for them to be coleading the solutions. For this, they need to dramatically improve,” said Transparency International MD Cobus de Swardt.
He called on companies to fight corruption by disclosing more information about how they mitigated corruption and by making public how they were organised and how monies flowed in the countries in which they operate.
“Only with this level of information can citizens the world over know how much money flows into public budgets, a key issue of accountability for governments everywhere,” De Swardt said.
Governments and regulators were also urged to make transparency obligatory for all companies seeking export subsidies or competing for public contracts, while De Swardt said that investors should demand greater transparency in corporate reporting to ensure both ethical, sustainable business growth as well as sound risk management.
The report echoed sentiments issued by Rio chairperson Jan du Plessis earlier this month, when he said that major corporations had to regain the trust lost during the global financial crisis.
Du Plessis urged multinationals and large corporations to reassess how business was done, and to proactively explain operations to numerous stakeholders, adding that large companies had to respond to public and shareholder perceptions.