U.S. Companies Lag Global Ones On Carbon Disclosure
Author: Timothy Gardner
European companies are working harder at disclosing their financial risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions than North American companies, according to an annual report.
Every year for the last decade, the Carbon Disclosure Project has asked 500 global companies on behalf of 534 institutional investors representing more than $64 trillion of assets under management, to measure and report their emissions.
It also asks them to assess how climate change would affect their future financial health.
In this year's survey, Europe had 20 percent of the best performing companies in the CDP's global list of 500 companies who are taking action to outline the risks, while North America only had 6 percent.
Since 2005, the European Union has put mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions from large sources. The United States, the world's second biggest greenhouse gas polluter after China, has no federal limits on emissions of the gases blamed for warming the planet. There is no clear plan for it to do so, since climate bill supporters failed to secure passage in the Senate in July.
CDP said the global companies that disclosed their risks the best in 2010 were Siemens AG, Deutsche Post, BASF, Bayer and Samsung Electronics.
The report showed companies were taking two strategies on climate investing: investing in energy efficiency, in part to save money, and development of products and services enabling customers to cut their emissions.
"Fueled by opportunities to reduce energy costs, secure energy supply, protect the business from climate change risk and reputational damage, generate revenue and remain competitive, carbon management continues to rise as a strategic priority for many businesses," Paul Dickinson, the chief executive of the CDP, said in a release.
(Editing by David Gregorio and Marguerita Choy