The Carbon Disclosure Project, a non-profit that advocates corporate climate change disclosure on behalf of a large pool of institutional investors (funded by WWF, government environmental agencies, and various foundations), released its fifth annual report with great fanfare yesterday. In proceedings moderated by Harold E. Ford Jr. (DLC, Merrill Lynch) and keynoted by Bill Clinton (with a video message from Rupert Murdoch), the CDP’s Paul Dickinson announced the results from their questionnaire, sent to 2400 companies around the world. 1300 responded, including 77% of the Financial Times 500, compared to 72% in CDP4, 71% in CDP3, 59% in CDP2, and 47% in CDP1. 76% of responding FT500 companies reported implementing a GHG emissions reduction initiative compared to 48% in CDP4. Europe-based firms had the highest response rate with 83%. However, North America-based firms demonstrated significant improvement with a CDP5 response rate of 74%, compared to 66% in CDP4. South America-based firms also increased their response rate to 60% in CDP5 from 50% in CDP4. The website allows users to search responses by company name (some responses are not publicly available). The executive report is also available.
It’s interesting, for example, to contrast BP with ExxonMobil, both of whom offer detailed disclosures. BP has active wind, solar, biofuels, and CCS divisions, and is concerned by melting permafrost; ExxonMobil sees climate change as an opportunity for growth in the natural gas sector and is looking to reduce flaring in its natural gas wells in Nigeria.
In coverage, the New York Times notes that Gas Emissions Rarely Figure in Investor Decisions and the Washington Post and Business Week cover the Wal-Mart press release about setting up a program to measure its supply chain footprint. Agence-France Presse emphasizes the finding that World companies show big interest in climate, US firms lag, whereas Reuters sees the positive message that Climate change spurs industry restructuring. Forbes discusses Sun Microsystems’ launch of OpenEco, a corporate social-networking website for tracking GHG emissions.