Published on October 24th, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
9 Out Of 10 Companies Now Boast Emissions Reductions Targets, Says CDP
October 24th, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
More than 150 companies have been recognized on the CDP A List for 2017 for their leading climate action, led by Unilever and L’Oréal, while 89% of companies responding to CDP now have emissions reductions targets.
CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, published its 2017 A Lists which highlight companies leading on environmental performance — specifically, companies acting on climate change, water, and forests. Additionally, CDP published a parallel series of statistics based on a sample of 1,073 companies currently disclosing their environmental business practices to CDP, of which 89% now have carbon emissions targets, up from 85% in 2016; 68% have set emissions reductions targets through to at least 2020, up from 55% in 2016; and 20% have longer-term targets through to 2030 and beyond, up from 14%.
Further, 14% of responding companies are committed to implementing or already have implemented targets aligned with climate science, while an additional 30% plan to set science-based targets within two years.
According to CDP, if all responding companies meet their current targets, they would be 31% of the way towards being consistent with limiting global warming to below 2 degrees — a 6% improvement from 2016.
“Two years ago, the Paris Agreement fired the gun in the race to a low-carbon economy,” said Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP.
“This year, the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures accelerated the pace. We can already see corporate winners and losers emerging. Best practice, from the scaling of solar power to the construction of zero-energy buildings, with innovation in processes, products and philosophies is emerging; and is increasingly led from the boardroom.
“That’s great news for those companies seizing the opportunity of the low-carbon economy, but the rest need to pick up the pace or risk losing out. The majority of the large corporations we analyzed do not yet appear to have the right, science-based targets in place to successfully transition their business in line with the Paris Agreement, although many have ambitions to take this step in the next two years. We strongly urge them to follow through and align their targets with climate science, to ensure their resilience in the transition to a well below 2-degree world.”
CDP’s A List publication ranked 160 companies (out of a total of over 2,400) as A-grade for their separate approaches to climate change, water, and deforestation. The grades were calculated in conjunction with ADEC, CDP’s Global Climate Change Scoring Partner, and South Pole Group, its partner for Water and Forests scoring. This is the first year that all three rankings are released simultaneously, and is based on increased disclosure to CDP — up 33% since 2013.
Unilever and L’Oréal lead the way, scoring A’s across all three areas of climate change, water, and forests — “demonstrating how business can reduce CO2 emissions, increase water security and tackle deforestation whilst making a profit.”
“Climate change is already affecting companies — both through the direct impacts of steadily rising global temperatures and through the policies that governments around the world adopt in response,” explained Graeme Pitkethly, CFO of Unilever.
“At Unilever, we reduced CO2 from energy in manufacturing by almost two thirds over the past two decades and have set a bold target of being carbon positive by 2030, committed to sourcing 100% of our energy from renewable sources.
“Disclosure through the CDP platform is an important tool for Unilever to measure how we are performing against our sustainability plans and making progress to reduce our footprint. We are delighted to have been recognised as one of two companies to achieve straight ‘A’ scores across the rankings. Being a sustainable business goes hand-in-hand with being a successful business, as we drive profitable growth for our brands, save costs, reduce risk, and fuel innovation.”