Leading American companies Proctor & Gamble, Boeing and General Electric fail to mention the risk posed by climate change to their operations in annual filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a new report.
The study What Corporate America Is Saying to Investors About Climate Risk is by InfluenceMap, a London-based non-profit that analyses corporate influence on climate change policy. It evaluates the extent to which America’s 20 largest publicly traded companies reported climate risk in their annual 10-K filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which requires corporations to disclose “the most significant risks that apply to the company.” The report compares the companies’ SEC filings to additional channels of communication such as CEO speeches, legislative consultations, corporate websites and social media, and annual reports, among others.
“It is disturbing that some of the most prominent and profitable companies in the United States seem to ignore the risks posed by climate change,” said US Congressional Representative Raúl Grijalva (Democrat, Arizona) “Not including this information on their SEC filings could provide the public with a skewed vision of the viability of their business and their willingness to adapt to a changing world.”
Using more than 20,000 instances of corporate communications on climate change issues, InfluenceMap’s analysis reveals discrepancies between corporate communications about climate change and the companies’ SEC filings.
For example, Boeing did not mention climate change risk or opportunity in its SEC 10-K filings in 2012, 2013 or 2014. However, the company’s 2014 annual report stated that, “costs incurred to ensure continued environmental compliance could have a material impact on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.”
In legislative consultations, General Electric warned that the Clean Power Plan could lead to stranded assets. The company also has extensive manufacturing facilities and exposure to energy markets that are impacted by climate change. Notably, GE’s 10-K SEC filings in 2012, 2013 and 2014 made no mention of climate change risk.
Even with more than 130 manufacturing facilities in 40 countries, Procter & Gamble made no mention of the risk that climate change poses to their supply chain in their SEC filings in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Of the 20 companies examined in the report, eight have disclosed verbatim information on climate change risk over the last three years. Exxon Mobil inserted an identical 100-word paragraph addressing “climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions” in its SEC filings for 2012, 2013 and 2014.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is now investigating whether the company accurately communicated climate risks to shareholders, showing that lack of disclosure can carry legal consequences.
“The SEC needs to do more to ensure that companies evaluate and disclose the wide-ranging risks that climate change poses to their operations,” said Mindy Lubber, President of the nonprofit sustainability group CERES and director of the $13 trillion Investor Network on Climate Risk. “Climate change is reshaping our economy and companies that prepare for this seismic shift will be more competitive. Investors expect clear and complete reporting of all materials risks, and companies have a responsibility to disclose their climate strategies.”
You can read the report here.
A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon
Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.
There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.
1. The Rise Of Smart Windows
When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.
If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.
2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs
If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.
Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.
3. Low-E Windows Taking Over
It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.
They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.
4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges
Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.
The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.
5. Improving Our Current LEDs
Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.
That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.
Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too
Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.
ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244
IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”
IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.
Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.
Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:
“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.
We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.
There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.
We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”