Electric Utilities

Driving forces
The electric utility market is entering a major transformation caused by the decarbonization and decentralization of power generation. Companies must deal with the increasing integration of renewable energies into the energy mix, which requires integrated power management instead of simple power generation. Enormous efforts are also needed to develop and replace an aging grid. While electric utilities need to cope with rising costs, sales of their main product have stopped growing in developed markets and face increasing competition from decentralized generation such as solar energy. In emerging markets, industrialization and urbanization imply a huge need for additional sustainable generation capacity. At the same time, infrastructure developments must factor in concerns of external stakeholders, who increasingly raise their voices concerning large power projects. In addition, an uncertain and changing regulatory context increases risks for the very long-term investments typical in this industry. Electric utilities need to develop innovative business models that can generate new sources of load growth that fit this new political, economic and technical environment.

Highlighted criteria
Economic Dimension

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Market Opportunities
  • Risk & Crisis Management

Environmental Dimension

  • Climate Strategy
  • Electricity Generation
  • Operational Eco-Efficiency

Social Dimension

  • Human Capital Development
  • Labor Practice Indicators and Human Rights
  • Stakeholder Engagement

Sustainability leaders 2016
RobecoSAM Gold Class
Terna Rete Elettrica Nazionale SpA* Italy
Red Electrica Corp SA** Spain
RobecoSAM Silver Class
Acciona SA Spain
Enel SpA Italy
Iberdrola SA Spain
RobecoSAM Bronze Class
Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais Brazil
EDP - Energias de Portugal SA Portugal
Endesa SA Spain
Sustainability Yearbook Members
Celsia SA ESP1 Colombia
CPFL Energia SA Brazil
Electricite de France SA France
Entergy Corp United States
Interconexion Electrica SA ESP Colombia
Isagen SA ESP Colombia
* RobecoSAM Industry Leader
** RobecoSAM Industry Mover


This company has been evaluated outside of the regular Dow Jones Sustainability Indices assessment process.


Industry statistics
Number of companies in universe 96
Number of companies assessed by RobecoSAM in 2015 57
Assessed companies to total companies in universe (%) 59
Market capitalization of assessed companies
to total market capitalization (%)


Results at industry level
Dimension Average
Economic 57 92 32%
Environmental 44 94 40%
Social 58 93 28%


Total score

Reading Instructions

The information below provides an explanation on how to interpret the various sections contained in each of the Industry Profiles.

Driving forces
Highlights current and future challenges shaping the competitive landscape of each industry.

Highlighted criteria
Highlights selected industry-specific and general criteria that are applied in the 2015 RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment.

Industry statistics
This section displays the research coverage in 2015 for the respective industry. Assessed companies include those that actively participated in the CSA and companies assessed by RobecoSAM based on publicly available information.

Results at industry level
Offers an overview of the 2015 RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment scores. For each industry the average and the best score of the assessed companies are displayed, as well as the average score and the top score for the economic, environmental and social dimensions. The relative weight assigned to each of the three dimensions is also shown.


Each year, over 3,000 of the world’s largest companies are invited to participate in the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). In the process, RobecoSAM has compiled one of the largest global databases on corporate sustainability.

For each industry, the company with the highest score is named the RobecoSAM Industry Leader, and is considered to be the company within its industry that is best prepared to seize the opportunities and manage the risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments.

Companies whose score is within 1% of the Industry Leader’s score receive the RobecoSAM Gold Class award.

All companies receiving a score within a range of 1% to 5% from the score of the Industry Leader receive the RobecoSAM Silver Class distinction.

Companies whose score is within a range of 5% to 10% from the score of the Industry Leader receive the RobecoSAM Bronze Class distinction.

Within the top 15% of each industry, the company that has achieved the largest proportional improvement in its sustainability performance compared to the previous year is named the RobecoSAM Industry Mover.

Sustainability Yearbook Member
All companies that have been included in the Yearbook, but that have not received a medal distinction, are listed as a Sustainability Yearbook Member. In order to be listed in the Yearbook, companies must be within the top 15% of their industry and must achieve a score within 30% of their Industry Leader’s score.

These logos are trademarks of RobecoSAM and may only be used in connection with corporate communication or marketing activities of the awarded companies (e.g. the awarded companies may refer to the RobecoSAM distinctions in their annual report/sustainability report, in the corporate profile on their homepage, etc). However, these logos may not be used in conjunction with any other products or services neither from the awarded companies nor from other companies.
RobecoSAM has no control over the information on websites linked to this site and thus cannot guarantee the accuracy, reliability nor the veracity of information on these sites. All brand names or company names mentioned or shown on this website are properties of their respective companies.
Read more about the Yearbook's methodology

RobecoSAM is pleased to see that over the years, participation rates in the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment have continuously risen – with a record number of companies taking part in this year’s assessment – indicating that sustainability is increasingly rising to the top of corporate agendas and becoming more mainstream.

RobecoSAM offers insights highlighting opportunities and risks deriving from economic, environmental and social trends and developments that have an impact on the competitive position of companies in each of the 59 industries

Not only are the top 15% of the companies from each industry included in The Sustainability Yearbook, but they are also classified into three categories: RobecoSAM Gold Class, RobecoSAM Silver Class and RobecoSAM Bronze Class. In addition, the top performing company from each industry is named the RobecoSAM Industry Leader.

Furthermore, in order to be included in the Yearbook, companies must achieve a score within 30% of their Industry Leader’s score.

In addition to the companies’ sustainability scores derived from the CSA, a qualitative screen based on RobecoSAM’s Media & Stakeholder Analysis (MSA) is also applied to determine eligibility for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook. The MSA is based on an examination of media coverage and publicly available stakeholder information provided by RepRisk ESG Business Intelligence and evaluates a company’s response to critical sustainability issues that may arise during the year. This process aligns the Yearbook’s methodology with any decision by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Committee to exclude a company from the DJSI, which is also based on the MSA. 

Corporate Actions

Corporate Actions RobecoSAM monitors corporate actions throughout the year. In-line with the treatment of corporate actions for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, RobecoSAM will review corporate actions on a case-by-case basis and apply a consistent methodology. For mergers or acquisitions where the merged/acquired company represents 33% or more of the free-float market capitalization of the combined entity, a merged score will be used for the surviving entity. The merged score is calculated as the market cap-weighted score of the individual entities prior to the merger/acquisition. For companies below this threshold, no merged score will be used and the original score of the acquiring/surviving company will be used.

If a company is delisted as a result of a corporate action prior to the end of October, it will no longer be eligible for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook, given that the entity no longer exists. Companies with a merged score are marked in the Yearbook.

Changes in company names are reviewed periodically and the names of all companies have been updated to the best of RobecoSAM’s knowledge at the time of printing. Name changes occurring after this date may not be reflected in the Yearbook.

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