Carbon reporting growing trend in UK

More and more companies are choosing to report on their carbon emissions while also providing better and more detailed information to the Carbon Disclosure Project - but a growing number are having a sudden attack of shyness when it comes to publicising the results.

The CDP is an independent body, backed with the clout of investors with a combined capital of over $41 trillion, which asks major companies to release information on their carbon footprint, and what they are doing to address it, to allow the financial community to make better informed decisions.

On Tuesday the CDP launched its report outlining the emissions, or lack of public information thereon, of the biggest publicly listed companies in the UK.

This year, 70% of the FTSE350 companies agreed to answer the questionnaire, a significant growth on last year’s figure of 49%.

However, the number of companies asking that the information remain confidential also leapt up, from 28% in 2006 to 37% this year.

Interestingly, the carbon intensive industries were the most likely to reporting.

Speaking at the UK launch of this year’s CDP report, the project’s chairman, James Cameron said that since its launch in 2000 it had become the established global reporting system in the investment and corporate world and this growing recognition was reflected by the number of companies taking the request for information seriously.

“This year over 1,300 companies [from around the world] have reported to the CDP,” he said.

“But also the detail in these responses has increased significantly.”

Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock attended the launch where she emphasised the role investors could have in persuading companies to go green.

“It is imperative for Government and businesses to work closely together to question our practices, challenge them and, more importantly, make business choices that reflect the importance of a low carbon economy,” she said.

“Investors have a particularly key role to play in this. They should give consideration to environmental and social credentials, sending out signals to the financial markets to say that carbon disclosure is vital and show companies that it will affect their investment decisions. Together we must work to drive down emissions.”

Sam Bond

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