Eskom and the top 100 JSE companies account for 64% of South Africa’s total carbon emissions.

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Eskom and the top JSE 100 companies in South Africa account for 64% of the country’s total carbon emissions for 2012. This is according to the recently released Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) South Africa 100 Climate Change Report for 2012.  The report collates carbon information gathered from the top JSE listed 100 companies in South Africa for the 2012 period. The report states that South Africa’s total carbon emissions are equal to 510 million tonnes of CO2e. 

The top South African JSE 100 direct carbon emitters for 2012

The report reveals that there are a few dominant carbon emitters in South Africa. Eskom is by far the highest direct (Scope 1) carbon emitter at 231.9 million tonnes of CO2e for the 2012 year. Out of the companies listed on the JSE 100, Sasol is the highest contributor at 61.4 million tonnes of CO2e. Arcelor Mittal is the second highest emitter at 10.9 million tonnes of CO2e. BHP Billiton (3.2 million tonnes CO2e), Anglo American (3 million tonnes CO2e) and Sappi (2.8 tonnes CO2e) are the next three highest direct emitters of carbon.


The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

Over 5,000 companies participate in the CDP worldwide. The South African CDP is an initiative by the National Business Initiative in association with the London CDP.

Companies that report to the CDP are required to disclose information on climate change, including their management of risk and opportunity. Companies are rated on their transparency of disclosure and on their performance.

A reduction in direct and indirect emissions

The CDP SA 100 Climate Change Report highlights that there has been a reduction in both direct and indirect emissions from 2011 to 2012 by the JSE 100. Direct emissions have decreased from 137 million tonnes CO2e to 132 million tonnes CO2e, while Scope 2 emissions have decreased from 98.4 million tCO2e to 86.6 million tCO2e for the same period.

The report attributes these to reductions made by leading emitters in the materials sector and to the exclusion of a top emitter from 2011 in the 2012 report, as this company is not included in the 2012 JSE 100 and therefore was not asked to report.

Second highest disclosure rate

The 2012 South African CDP report achieved a response rate of 78%. Although this is a decrease in response rates from 2011 (83%), South Africa rates second only to the Europe 300 which had a 92% response rate. The report attributes the decrease in response rates to a number of new companies entering the JSE 100. On the other hand 13 companies that are not part of the JSE 100 voluntarily reported.

The report indicates that there has been an increase in the quality of reporting for the 2012 year and an increase in verification. The average carbon disclosure score has improved from 76 in 2011 to 82 in 2012. Furthermore the number of companies calculating and reporting on their Scope Three emissions (indirect carbon emissions other than electricity) has also improved from 78% in 2011 to 93% in 2012.

Joanne Yawitch, CEO of the NBI says, “in a context where investor confidence in South Africa is under pressure, South African transparency and performance in what is an investor lead initiative is a shining light. It would appear that South African businesses have also entered an implementation phase and have been focusing on practical steps to improve disclosure and are also addressing performance.”

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Amanda Botes