The Carbon Disclosure Project, a US non governmental organisation which gathers climate data, has released its annual report on the carbon emissions of the US’ 500 biggest companies, and the world’s biggest companies, based on data the companies have submitted themselves. The report was co-written by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Fewer than half of the global companies responding reported a decline in their emissions due to emission reduction activities (this distinction is made because emissions can decline for other reasons, such as reduced business activity overall).
The average of long term targets is about 1 per cent a year, which Price Waterhouse Coopers said is “drastically too low” when there have been estimates that society in general needs to reduce emissions by 4 per cent a year.
20 per cent of companies have adopted long term targets to 2020.
49% of companies stated that regulation is an important driver of corporate action.
“CEOs can’t make major investments decisions based on the grand statements made by governments in Rio and at climate summits. They need investment-grade policies,” said Jonathan Grant, director, sustainability and climate change at PwC.
“Governments have not translated their declarations in Durban into more ambitious legislation, or long-term emissions targets, at the national level. The low level of corporate ambition is probably a reflection of this.
“There is little sign of companies breaking the underlying link between economic output and emissions, but with many integrating climate change into their strategies, business will be in a better position to invest if policy issues are resolved.
There were 3382 company requests for information. CDP aims to get company investors behind it, so when it asks companies for information, it can say it is asking on behalf of investors.
The top ten US companies for carbon disclosure (which is not the same as the companies with the best carbon performance) are Pepco Holdings, NYSE Euronext, Wells Fargo, ACE, Eaton, Exelon, Autodesk, Bank of America, Lockheed Martin and Allstate.