LONDON: Gillette and Pepsi are among the major brands most effectively building their green credentials, a new study has found.

Research provider EIRIS assessed 300 firms from the FTSE, and found that while one-third of the featured companies had a "significant" environmental footprint, only 27% of this group are "adequately managing" the risks and challenges they face.

The latter total did mark an increase against 2008, when 16% of such organisations were satisfactorily dealing with these matters.

Indeed, in 2010, 31% of enterprises carrying a large ecological weight tied executive remuneration to carbon emissions, up on 14% in 2008.

More broadly, nearly 30% of the whole sample boasted "good" or "advanced" climate change policies, while a majority are at an "intermediate" stage.

Both scores recorded double-digit gains over two years ago, as the proportion of businesses offering a "limited" - or "no" - response declined to almost zero.

"One significant factor in the improvements seen has been efforts by companies to minimise the impact of expected stricter rules and regulations worldwide in the near future," the study said.

Approaching 100% of firms possessed an official policy detailing schemes to mitigate emissions, although just 46% have outlined long-terms aims, and 60% had set short-term targets.

"The area with the greatest room for improvement is the linking of executive remuneration to climate change performance," EIRIS asserted.

"Creating a link … would move companies closer to the post credit crunch consensus that executive pay should be more closely aligned with company performance."

Elsewhere, 99% of corporations released information about ecological matters, and over half are either "good" or "advanced" in this area.

A leading 30% had attached numerical metrics to central issues, but the remaining 70% may struggle to ascertain the potential in-house consequences of climate change unless they follow a similar route.

EIRIS also scrutinised the members of Interbrand's latest Top 100 Global Brands rankings, to discover whether these assets matched financial strength with environmental activity.

Overall, 42 of the panel contributed large product-related greenhouse gas emissions, and this selection yielded mixed findings.

"Only 31% of brands with a high climate change impact received a 'good' assessment meaning that they have the minimum policies, management and reporting and disclosure mechanisms required to tackle climate change and manage the associated risks to their brand value," the study said.

Another 64% were perceived as "intermediate", and 5% attained a "limited" status.

Gillette secured the best rating, boosted by the fact its owner, Procter & Gamble, boasts specific goals covering everything from educating consumers to using renewable energy and recycled materials.

In contrast, Porsche lodged one of the lowest figures, failing to publish normalised emissions data, targets and performance indicators.

Rivals Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Honda have made considerable headway in all the ways Porsche comes up short.

PepsiCo was credited with forming long-term energy use reduction plans and making clear progress in the last few years, thus proving more effective than Coca-Cola on both measures.

Dell has also tied senior pay with environmental results, generated meaningful goals, and cut the emissions linked to its goods.

Apple may not have implemented any such programmes, but its greenhouse gas output is falling, something that has proved more challenging for Dell.

"With increased regulation, growing consumer and investor awareness, and the trend for improved climate change management responses in general, we expect climate change and other sustainability issues will become increasingly important factors in the determination of brand value," EIRIS concluded.

Data sourced from EIRIS