Established as an independent not-for-profit in 2000, the CDP issues an annual report of private sector companies’ environmental strategies and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which is based on responses to their standardized survey. This covers over 7,000 securities in 47 countries and is issued as the CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report. This year, however, is the first time the CDP has issued a “Climate Performance Leadership Index.”
As its authors write, “This definitive league – the A List – presents the public companies that are taking the most action to help drive the transformative action at scale that we so urgently need. Further, these corporations are implementing strategies that benefit their bottom line. These companies, such as Coca Cola HBC, which has saved US$20 million and reduced its emissions by 30,000 metric tons through product design, demonstrate that a low carbon future does not mean low profit.”
The A List represents less than 10 percent of the 1,971 companies surveyed this year, yet accounts for $23 billion of annual investments to reduce carbon emissions. The largest leading companies in the list (by market capitalization) include Apple, Microsoft and Google. Over 25 percent of Spanish and Belgian companies that participated in CDP’s survey received an A, which gives Spain and Belgium the best environmental reputations on the list. Europe in general did better than other regions, with nearly 50 percent of companies headquartered in Europe making the list. One-third of the A List are located in either the United States or Japan.
In his forward to the report, CDP CEO Paul Simpson writes, “There is a palpable sea change in approach by companies driven by a growing recognition that there is a cost associated with the carbon they emit. Measurement, transparency and accountability drives positive change in the world of business and investment. Our experience working with over 4,500 companies shows the multitude of benefits for companies that report their environmental impacts, unveiling risks and previously unseen opportunities.”