Global corporate climate change report released

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

New York (NY) - The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) today released its global corporate climate change report for 2007, indicating a trend that U.S. corporations have begun developing response strategies addressing the climate change.

Being on of the most recognized surveys in its field, the results of the CDP's 2007 survey has been expected for some time. And the results published today can be encouraging - or disappointing, depending on your view.

The good news is that 77% of the world's 500 largest corporations answered the 5-page questionnaire, sent out on February 1 of this year. According to the CDP, which is comprised of more than 300 financial institutions and investors around the world, 80 % of FT500 companies believe that climate change brings risks and opportunities to their business and 95% consider climate change a commercial risk that prompted them to implement a green house gas reduction program "with a specific target and timeline."

The CDP also found that 76% of responding companies have a green house gas emissions reduction program in place, compared to 48% last year.

For the first time in its history, the CDP – which was launched in 2002 as a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York – published a "Climate Disclosure Leadership Index". The index lists 68 FT500 companies, including Hewlett Packard, Citigroup, Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, Royal Bank of Scotland, Allianz and Unilever, which, according to the group, "show distinction in their responses to the CDP survey based on their reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and assessment of climate change strategies."

The corporate climate change report also includes a portion that is targeted specifically at U.S. corporations of the S&P500 index.  

The findings of this portion also found that corporations on these shores are also developing climate change response strategies. However, as a group, the U.S. bunch isn't as far along as the more international FT500 sample, the CDP said.

While the response rate increased in all 10 industry sections of the index over last year , only 56% of the S&P500 responded to the questionnaire. Tech companies that did not reply to the questionnaire or declined to reply include, for example, Amazon.com, Autodesk, Broadcom, Electronic Arts, Citrix, Clear Channel, DirecTV, Intuit, Micron, Novell, RadioShack and Tellabs.

Overall, only 81 of the S&P500 companies have implemented green house gas reduction programs, the CDP said. However, the group noted that an increasing number of U.S. companies sees "climate change as presenting commercial risks than opportunities."

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.”

The survey results of the questionnaire as well as the replies of participating companies worldwide are available at www.cdproject.net.