Two South African companies included in global list of top carbon disclosure companies

Submitted by: Amanda Botes, Friday, September 21, 2012

<p>Recent extreme weather events that have disrupted production have caused companies to place climate change higher on their agendas according to the latest CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report for 2012 (Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_11116811_bangkok-thailand--november-5-2011--thai-flood-hits-central-of-thailand-higher-water-levels-expected-.html'>witthaya / 123RF Stock Photo</a>).</p>

Recent extreme weather events that have disrupted production have caused companies to place climate change higher on their agendas according to the latest CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report for 2012 (Image credit: witthaya / 123RF Stock Photo).

Two South African companies, Anglo Platinum and Anglo American, have been included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) in the recently released Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 Climate Change Report 2012.  To be included in the CDLI companies have to complete an online survey administered by the CDP on their carbon emissions and emission reduction strategies and allow for the results to be made public. They also need to achieve a disclosure score in the top 10% of the Global 500 companies. 

The CDP also has a second index, the Carbon Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), to measure the performance of companies in mitigating and adapting to climate change.  Anglo American has been included in this index of top mitigation and adaption performers.

CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report

The CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2012 collates information gathered from 379 of the top companies in the world and provides useful information for investors on the efforts that companies are making to plan for climate change.

Some of the main findings of the report are:

Reduction in Scope 1 emissions: From 2009, there has been a decrease in Scope 1 emissions reported by the Global 500 from 3.6 billion metric tons CO2e in 2009 to 3.1 billion metric tons CO2e in 2012. This CDP report however attributes part of this reduction to a proportional fall in reporting amongst energy intensive industries. Only 40% of the respondents noted a reduction in emissions because of emission reduction activities. Other reasons for a decrease in emissions include reducing costs in a business through staff reductions and production cuts.

Few of the Global 500 companies are setting long term reduction targets: Only 20% of the companies documented in the report have set long term reduction targets beyond 2020. The CDP report indicates that an annual reduction in 4% of emissions is required between 2020 and 2050 to reach the global target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees, set at COP17. However, the average of the longer term reduction targets that have been set by companies will result in reductions of only 1% per year.

Climate change integration still on the agenda: Despite the economic downturn most companies (78%) reported that they have integrated climate change into their business strategies. This is an increase from 68% in 2011.

Extreme weather events have created awareness among business of the physical risks associated with climate change: Recent extreme weather events and natural disasters have caused business to be more aware of the physical impacts that climate change will have on their production.  Financial markets have been affected by recent extreme weather events and according to the CDP report; investors are interested to see how companies are planning for climate resilience.

Top performers:

The top overall performers in carbon disclosure and performance can be found in the table below. Two of the Global 500 companies achieved maximum disclosure scores of 100 for the 2012 year, Switzerland’s Nestle, in the consumer staples category, and Germany’s Bayer, in the healthcare sector.  The CDP Global 500 report emphasises the importance of this rating system in attracting investors “Companies in the CDLI and CPLI typically show a deeper understanding of, and address more pro-actively, the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. Their transparency and willingness to disclose information is attractive to investors.” (CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2012:22).

Company

Sector

Performance Rating

Disclosure Score

Bayer

Healthcare

100

A

Nestlé

Consumer Staples

100

A

BASF

Materials

99

A

BMW

Consumer Discretionary

99

A

Gas Natural SDG

Utilities

99

A

Diageo 

Consumer Staples

98

A

Nokia Group

Information Technology

98

A

Allianz Group

Financials

97

A

UBS

Financials

97

A

Panasonic

Consumer Discretionary

96

A

 

To keep updated with sustainability news subscribe to the fortnightly Urban Earth Newsletter.

Amanda Botes