Carbon disclosure project questions 500 largest companies over emissions

The world's 500 largest companies are being questioned over their contribution to global warming from their greenhouse gas emissions by a group representing 143 institutional investors.

The investors' group, with assets under management totalling US$20 trillion, are collaborating as part of the Carbon Disclosure Project. This asks companies for the disclosure of investment-relevant information concerning greenhouse gas emissions.

It is the third time that the Carbon Disclosure Project has taken place, (see related story) and companies that have previously refused to give a response are being asked why they think this is not relevant to them or to potential investors. Companies that have previously responded are being asked to report on the progress they have made in reducing their emissions since the last questionnaire was sent out.

The information will be made public, and available, at the Carbon Disclosure website later this year.

Paul Dickinson, project co-ordinator, said: "The numerous indications of accelerating human induced climate change make it clear that there are business risks and opportunities that have implications for the value of investments in corporations worldwide. This makes it necessary for investors to improve their understanding of climate change risks and opportunities. The data to assess these issues is not always available, sometimes lacks comparability or is of poor quality. The Carbon Disclosure Project aims to encourage the development of a common emissions measurement methodology and to facilitate its integration into general investment analysis. The signatories recognise that companies face pressure to comply with constant demands for information and so have joined in this single call for information to reduce the number of requests."

Innovest Strategic Value Advisers have been retained to compile the thematic report and conduct the analysis. This report will be distributed to all participating institutional investors and companies that respond to the questionnaire.

By David Hopkins



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