The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a collaboration of over 315 institutional investors with assets under management of more than $41 trillion, releases its 5th annual global report, providing the largest and most comprehensive database of strategies from the world's largest corporations regarding the impact of climate change on shareholder value.
CDP also launches the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI), a prestigious honour roll for global corporations addressing the challenges of climate change. The CDLI is comprised of 68 FT500 companies that show distinction in their responses to the CDP survey based on their reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and assessment of climate change strategies.
Climate Disclosure Leadership Index members are distinguished by the disclosure of their awareness of the risks and opportunities of climate change, as well as the quality and effectiveness of programs put in place to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
On behalf of the collaboration of 315 investors, including Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, CalPERS and AIG, CDP has sent a questionnaire to the world's largest publicly-owned companies each year since 2002. This elicits detailed information on the risks and opportunities posed to the companies by climate change.
The companies' responses to the questionnaire, and an analysis of the responses, is published in the CDP reports and on the CDP website (cdproject.net). This year's Global FT500 report is written by Innovest and the US S&P500 report is written by Risk Metrics Group.
Every response has been graded and ranked based on climate disclosure and governance practices. FT500 companies with leading disclosure practise highlighted in the CDLI include Hewlett Packard, Citigroup, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland, Allianz and Unilever. The S&P500 report rates companies under the Climate Governance Index on disclosure, emissions reductions and strategy, with leaders including DuPont, General Motors, Consolidated Edison, Alcoa, United Technologies and 3M.
FT500 Report Findings:
The FT500 report is based on responses provided by corporations within the Financial Times sample of the 500 largest listed companies globally. The report concludes that the world's corporate giants have made "significant progress in understanding and disclosing their positions relative to the risks and opportunities associated with climate change." In particular, the report highlights a narrowing gap between climate awareness and action among the FT500.
S&P500 Report findings:
The S&P500 report finds that many leading US companies are also assessing climate change and developing response strategies, but as a group are not as far along as the more international FT500 sample.
However, the CDP5 response rate increased in all 10 industry sectors of the S&P500, with 9 of the 10 having a response rate greater than 50%, suggesting that American industry has reached a tipping point in addressing this important issue.
Despite an increase in the response rates and quality of disclosure in both samples, there is still a minority of companies who are not engaged in the issues of climate change and who fail to respond to investors' request for disclosure through CDP. In many cases these companies have not considered the risks or opportunities associated with climate change within their business strategy.
Paul Dickinson, CEO of CDP said: "Increasingly, investors view good carbon management as a sign of good corporate management. Our investors are using the quality of the disclosure as a very useful tool to assess how seriously a company is taking the issues of climate change. As CDP data plays an increasingly important role in informing investors on a company's approach to climate change, the pressure is increasing on companies to respond. And by moving CDP data collection into company supply chain management, CDP's reach will grow enormously."
CDP is an independent not-for-profit organisation established in 2000 to facilitate dialogue between companies and investors, supported by quality information, from which a rational response to climate change will emerge.
The Carbon Disclosure Project is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York, with 501(c)3 charitable status. The group of investors is not a legal entity and the Carbon Disclosure Project has no authority to make any other statement on behalf of the participants.
Materials provided by Carbon Disclosure Project. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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