The Arctic Environmental Responsibility Index: A method to rank heterogenous extractive industry companies for governance purposes

Academic article

The Arctic Environmental Responsibility Index (AERI) covers 120 oil, gas, and mining companies involved in resource extraction north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Finland, Norway, Russia, and Sweden. It is based on an international expert perception survey among 173 members of the International Panel on Arctic Environmental Responsibility (IPAER), whose input is processed using segmented string relative ranking (SSRR) methodology. Equinor, Total, Aker BP, ConocoPhillips, and BP are seen as the most environmentally responsible companies, whereas Dalmorneftegeophysica, Zarubejneft, ERIELL, First Ore-Mining Company, and Stroygaz Consulting are seen as the least environmentally responsible. Companies operating in Alaska have the highest average rank, whereas those operating in Russia have the lowest average rank. Larger companies tend to rank higher than smaller companies, state-controlled companies rank higher than privately controlled companies, and oil and gas companies higher than mining companies. The creation of AERI demonstrates that SSRR is a low-cost way to overcome the challenge of indexing environmental performance and contributing to environmental governance across disparate industrial sectors and states with divergent environmental standards and legal and political systems.