CR performance

Measures and targets

For the 34 commitments in our Business Principles we set 39 measures and targets, demonstrating the progress we have made to operate in a responsible manner. The targets were agreed to 2020 and the measures cover the performance of the whole business (unless otherwise stated). For more performance details for each Business Principle area click on a link below.

RAG (Red, Amber, Green) performance

Business principle area No. of measures  Red     Amber Green RAG score* & status 2019/2020
Customers 8 3 0 5 2.25
Environment 11 3 0 8 2.45
Employees 6~ 0 0 6 3.00
Stakeholders 8 1 0 7 2.75
Communities 5 2 0 3 2.20
Overall 38 (24%) 0 29 (76%) 2.53

*weighted averages (green=3, amber=2, red=1) with ≥2.5 resulting in green, 1.51-2.49 in amber and ≤1.50 in red

~The no. of Employee measures has been reduced by one due to the BITC 'race for opportunity' measure no longer considered as an appropriate reflection of our business approach.  


Previous year performance

Business Principle area RAG score* & status 2018/2019 RAG score* & status 2017/2018 RAG score* & status 2016/2017 RAG score* & status 2015/2016
Customers 2.25 2.50 2.25 2.25
Environment 2.82 2.73 2.55 2.55
Employees 2.14 2.29 2.14 2.14
Stakeholders 2.75 2.75 2.75 2.75
Communities 2.40 2.80 3.00 2.40
Overall 2.51 2.62 2.51 2.45


The below indices provide us with a framework to tackle global, national, local and industry challenges across environmental, social and economic factors, and/or offer an external perspective on how we are doing.

In addition, the growth of socially responsible investment (SRI) and growing interest in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance by many global investment institutions has increased the need to understand the relationship between the corporate responsibility performance and shareholder value.

Index Description Performance
Dow Jones Sustainability Index

The Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) ranks the sustainability approach of the top ten per cent of the world’s biggest companies based on long-term economic, environmental and social criteria.

For 2020, our overall performance was 79% and we retained World Class status for the thirteenth consecutive year. We were awarded SAM Bronze Class in the Sustainability Yearbook 2021.

Carbon Disclosure Project The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) shows our commitment to reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change. In 2020, we received a A- rating. Our previous years' responses to the CDP are available here.
FTSE4Good The FTSE4Good Index Series measures the performance of companies who demonstrate strong ESG practices against globally recognised responsible business standards.

United Utilities Group PLC has been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 27th June 2001. Latest review June 2020.


Sustainalytics, a Morningstar company, is a leading independent ESG research, ratings and data firm. Its ESG Risk Ratings measure a company’s exposure to industry-specific material ESG risks and how well a company is managing those risks.

In April 2021, United Utilities recieved an ESG Risk Rating of 13.0 and was assessed by Sustainalytics to be at low risk of experiencing material financial impacts from ESG factors. United Utilities is also a Sustainalytics ESG Industry Top Rated Company for 2021. 

Vigeo Eiris


V.E, an affiliate of Moody’s, is a global leader in ESG assessments, data, research, benchmarks and analytics. Leveraging their extensive proprietary database, they equip market players with the ESG insight they need to manage risks and better understand and address their social and environmental impact.

We received an overall Advanced ESG score by V.E of 65 in year 2020. 

Euronext Vigeo Eiris

The Euronext Vigeo Index distinguishes companies achieving the most advanced ESG performances as determined by a review of up to 330 indicators.

United Utilities Group PLC has been confirmed as a constituent of the Euronext UK 20 and Europe 120 Indices in year 2020.
MSCI Provides ESG ratings on an AAA to CCC scale for over 6400 companies according to exposure to industry specific ESG risks and ability to manage those risks relative to peers.  As of February 2021, United Utilities Group PLC received an MSCI ESG rating of AA.
ISS-Oekom ISS ESG's Corporate ESG Rating provides investors with comprehensive portfolio company research on social, environmental and governance factors to help identify and mitigate ESG risks and to capitalize on investment opportunities.

In the annual review of November 2020 our status was assessed as Prime. 

GRESB Rates the quality of information, available in the public domain, about our sustainability governance, implementation and operational performance data, and of our stakeholder engagement practices.

Rated A in November 2020.

London Benchmarking Group We audit our community spend using the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) model. We assess spend in terms of employee time, cash and in kind contributions. Our total investment in 2019/20 was £2.26 million.