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As Technology Scales Up, Billions of Value Wait to Be Unlocked, Says CDP A-List Report

“As new businesses and technologies emerge and scale up, billions of dollars of value are waiting to be unlocked, even as many more are at risk,” says Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP, the organization that works to disclose carbon emissions from major corporations. CDP just released its 2017 A-List of corporations, ranking the 160 companies with climate goals that are driving action on climate change, water and deforestation.

Adobe Systems, Anheuser Busch InBev, AstraZeneca, Bridgestone Corporation, Caesars Entertainment, CNH Industrial NV, Coca-Cola HBC,  Fujitsu Ltd., Kubota Corporation, L’Oréal, and Phillip Morris are among the companies that have earned themselves a spot on CDP’s A List for leading in environmental action in the water arena.

“This year’s A-List is proof that the decision to disclose takes companies on a path towards action. An increasing number of companies are using the insights they collect from the disclosure process as the first step to improving their operations on the ground,” the report states.

CDP says disclosure has increased by 33% since 2013. The water program has seen a significant increase in disclosure since its inception in 2010. This year, 2,025 companies, representing $30 trillion in market capitalization, disclosed their water management performance – nearly twice as many as in 2015. A major incentive for companies to disclose to CDP is that such disclosure has been requested by more than 800 investors with over $100 trillion in assets under management.

Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of water in regards to their business models and climate goals. CDP also released its climate analysis, Picking Up the Pace, this week, which shows that 89% of the highest valued companies disclosing to CDP, have put in place emissions reduction targets in 2017 – up from 85% last year.

CDP is the creator of the Science Based Targets initiative, which helps companies work toward their climate goals by aligning their carbon emission reductions in line with what climate models say is necessary to keep global temperature rise well below 2°C. “From to Coca-Cola to Goldman Sachs, some of the world’s highest profile companies are driving forward change. And where they lead, others are sure to follow,” the report says.

 

Case Study: Unilever

Unilever is one company that has announced its climate goals of reducing emissions from energy by 40% per metric ton of production by 2020 compared with 2008. It met that target four years early, when it achieved a 43% reduction.

A big part of the reason was the rapid growth of renewable energy. At the start of this program, Unilever’s use of renewable energy across its manufacturing operations stood at 15.8%, but with the increased availability of renewable energy sources and the growth of renewable energy certification schemes, 31.6% of the energy the company was using was from renewable sources by the end of 2016.

“Reaching our original target four years early gave us the confidence to commit to an even more ambitious Carbon Positive program,” says Jeff Seabright, chief sustainability officer of Unilever. That program involves: increasing energy efficiency, building on a 24% reduction in energy use per unit of production since 2008; sourcing all the electricity it buys from the grid from renewables by 2020; eliminating coal from all direct and indirect sources of energy by that date; and going 100% renewable in its operations by 2030.

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