10% of companies responsible for over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions



Fifty of the 500 largest companies (Global 500) emit three quarters of the 3.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions caused by the industry, a new report has disclosed.

The CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 published by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and professional services firm PwC, assessed 389 companies listed on the FTSE Global 500 Equity Index.

The report found that carbon emitted by the 50 most polluting companies accounts for about 73% of the greenhouse gases emitted by all companies. This number has risen by 1.65% over the past four years, despite global efforts to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Paul Simpson, CDP’s chief said, “Many countries are demonstrating signs of recovery following the global economic downturn. However, clear scientific evidence and increasingly severe weather events are sending strong signals that we must pursue routes to economic prosperity whilst reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

“It is imperative that big emitters improve their performance in this regard and governments provide more incentives to make this happen.”

The report claims that all of the companies examined can do more to improve their sustainability performances and notes that those that have committed to tackle their environmental and social impact – such as Nestlé, BMW and Cisco Systems – are performing better and getting improved results.

Malcolm Preston, from PwC commented,The report raises questions for some organisations about whether they are focused on sustaining growth in the long term, or just doing enough to recover growth until the next issue arises. With the initial IPCC report only weeks away corporate emissions are still rising. Either business action increases, or the risk is regulation overtakes them”.

Further reading:

Would sustainable investments survive a stock market crash better than unsustainable ones?

What gets measured gets managed: sustainability in 21st century business

90% of investors say CSR and sustainability reports are ‘essential’

Ernst & Young report has sustainability at the top of corporate agendas

UK is fourth most attractive country for renewable energy investment


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