Seventy-four percent of Global 500 companies reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project are now reporting emissions reduction targets, showing companies are increasingly taking climate change mitigation seriously, according to the latest report from the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Within Retail, more than 90% of companies report such targets, with 76% in Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals and 70% in Oil and Gas. Within the Technology, Media and Telecoms industry, 68% have reduction targets.
Out of the 500 U.S. listed S&P constituent companies invited to complete CDP’s Sixth Questionnaire, responses were received from 321 (64%) companies. This represents a year on year increase from 47% in 2006, through 56% in 2007. Increases in the number of responses and in the amount of detail contained in the responses from constituents of the S&P 500 is a signal that many US corporations are preparing for the possible introduction of new regulation under the next administration.
The overall response rate to the CDP among Global 500 (FTSE Global Equity Index Series) companies was maintained at 77% in 2008. European and North American companies set the pace among constituents of the ‘Global 500’ with response rates to CDP’s annual Questionnaire of 83% and 82% respectively. This compares to a response rate of just 50% in respect of Asian companies in the Global 500. Out of the 383 companies that completed the Questionnaire, 58 companies (15%) were responding to CDP for the first time.
The majority of the 77% of Global 500 companies that reported to CDP cited regulation as a key risk factor. A background of regulatory uncertainty has, for many companies, translated into a ‘wait and see’ policy which, in turn, has served to delay strategic investment decisions.
The construction industry cites energy efficient buildings and energy upgrades as representing opportunities. The Technology, Media and Telecoms industry sees climate change bringing opportunities for travel substitution through teleconferencing and mobile devices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Manufacturing sector cites temperature changes, flooding, increased storm intensity, water shortages, spread of disease and change in local weather patterns as significant physical risks. Water supply was cited as a critical risk by the raw material, mining, paper and packaging sector, as well as the utilities sector, which also saw consumers becoming more aware of greenhouse gases due to rising fuel prices, which could lead to a decrease in demand.
Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index
Global 500 companies with ‘leading’ disclosure practice are highlighted in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI). The highest scoring companies in the CDLI include:
• BASF; Bayer (Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals);
• Exelon; Iberdrola; Scottish & Southern (Utilities);
• Nissan Motor (Manufacturing);
• Barclays; Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc; Munich Re; National Australia Bank
(Financial Services) and
• EMC (Technology).
US companies were also graded and the top scorers within the US Carbon Disclosure leadership Index were:
• PPG Industries (Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals);
• Exelon (Utilities);
• Citigroup; Merril Lynch & Co., Inc. (Financial Services);
• Cisco; EMC (Technology, Media and Telecoms); and
• Prologis (Hospitality, Leisure and Business Services).
Under the Carbon Disclosure Project, some 30 U.S. cities have also agreed to measure their carbon footprints.
Here is CDP’s 2007 annual global report.