Global miner Rio Tinto enters the spotlight this week as one of its uranium mines in Australia leaks toxins into a river leading to the wetlands of the Kakadu National Park, a bi-weekly analysis of companies in the news by ASSET4 data providers shows.
Here is a breakdown of the companies that made headlines May 22 to June 4 for winning or losing credibility based on environment-related activity.
Company selections were made by Christopher Greenwald, director of data content at ASSET4, a Thomson Reuters business that provides investment research on the environmental, social and governance performance of major global corporations. These ratings are not recommendations to buy or sell.
Here are the recent hits and misses:
Rio Tinto PLC has recently faced controversies concerning the impacts of two of its subsidiaries on their surrounding communities. Reports have emerged that a uranium mine operated by Energy Resources of Australia, which is owned by Rio Tinto, has been leaking high levels of uranium, sulphate and radium into a river flowing into the world-heritage wetlands of the Kakadu National Park in Northern Australia. Rio Tinto-owned Kennecott Minerals has also recently faced protests against a planned nickel and copper mine in Northern Michigan on Lake Superior, which local Indian tribes as well and the National Wildlife Federation have claimed will lead to sulpheric acid pollution as well as the destruction of a site considered sacred by native Americans.
Areva recently revealed that it was ending shipments of nuclear waste to Russia. The company had come under increasing pressure as a result of a documentary on the TV station ARTE last October that highlighted the shipments. Greenpeace, which claims to have criticized the shipments since they began 25 years ago, had also recently focused criticism on the company, sending boats to intercept the shipments. Greenpeace argued that the company has failed to prove that all of the nuclear waste sent to Russia for enrichment was eventually returned to France and consequently has been in violation of Russian environmental law and European regulations.