CDP and PricewaterhouseCoopers co-wrote the report, which surveyed 338 US companies. The authors say the results show that the S&P 500 are making “significant strides” toward improving their carbon disclosure and achieving their carbon reduction goals, compared to Global 500 companies.
It reveals that the average disclosure score — calculated by CDP to reflect each company’s transparency on climate change — has increased by 13 percent compared to the 2011 report. The survey also found the average disclosure score required by companies to achieve a position in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) has increased by 11 percent to 92.
This is now on par with the minimum score of 94 (out of 100) required for a position on the Global 500 CDLI, which the CDP says shows US companies are continuing to improve their quality of reporting.
Further, the average S&P 500 performance score, which ranks companies according to the scale and quality of their emissions reductions and strategies, increased 44 percent this year, with the addition of 24 companies eligible to receive performance scores.
In the combined performance and disclosure ratings, Pepco, NYSE and Wells Fargo are followed by Ace, Eaton, Exelon, Autodesk, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin and Allstate.
When judged on disclosure alone, Microsoft and UPS top the 2012 list, both with scores of 99 out of 100. That’s an 18-point jump for Microsoft, which scored 81 in 2011; UPS maintained its 99 score from last year. Hess, Pepco Holdings, Sempra Energy, Sprint Nextel and TJX Companies all scored 97.
In other key 2012 CDLI statistics:
- Six companies improved their scores by at least 20 points.
- 25 companies improved their scores by at least 10 points.
- 22 companies scored 95 or greater in 2012, compared to eight companies in 2011.
- On average, companies improved their score by nine points, a 10 percent increase from 2011.
When ranked by performance, 15 companies on the Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI) received an A in 2012, up from 11 in 2011. The average performance score for CPLI companies was 91 in 2012, compared to 79 in 2011 and 85 in 2010.
The findings provide evidence that more S&P 500 companies are taking actions to mitigate their impact on climate change, according to the report authors. Among the S&P 500, 92 percent of the survey respondents reported board or executive-level oversight of climate change compared to 86 percent in 2011.