The increasing incidence of extreme weather events disrupting business operations and supply chains globally has pushed climate change up the boardroom agenda, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 Climate Change report.
The report, co-written by PwC on behalf of 655 institutional investors representing US$78 trillion in assets, is an annual update on greenhouse gas emissions data and climate change strategies at the world’s largest public corporations.
This year has seen a 10 per cent increase year-on-year in companies integrating climate change into their business strategies (2012: 78 per cent; 2011: 68 per cent), contributing to a 13.8 per cent reduction in reported corporate greenhouse gas emissions from 3.6 billion tonnes in 2009 as the financial slowdown began to take hold, to 3.1 billion tonnes in 2012.
The fall is equivalent to closing 227 gas-fired power stations or taking 138 million cars off the road. Almost a third of companies (31 per cent) reported no emissions reduction.
“Extreme weather events are causing significant financial damage to markets,” said CDP CEO Paul Simpson.
“Investors therefore expect corporations to think more about climate resilience. There are still leaders and laggards, but the economic driver for action is growing – as is the number of investors requesting emissions data. Governments seeking to build strong economies should take note.”
Bayer, Nestle, BASF, BMW, Nokia and Panasonic were among the corporations that led the way.
Conversely, the world’s largest non-responders to CDP’s emissions request included Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Royal Bank of Canada, Caterpillar, Amazon and Bank of China.
This article is from the November 2012 issue of INTHEBLACK magazine.