The research ranked 18 chemicals companies, representing over $500bn in market cap, on seven categories, including product innovation, energy efficiency, water risk and carbon regulation.

DuPont was described as the “comfortable leader”, with A and B grades across all areas except for supply chain optimization.  

Dutch companies DSM and AkzoNobel ranked second and third respectively, while the largest company by 2015 market cap – German firm Bayer at $120m – ranked 6th.

The chemicals industry as a whole accounts for around 4.8% of global emissions.

CDP head of investor research James Magness explained: “The high emissions in the chemicals sector mean there is significant potential from efficiency measures for those companies which choose to act.

“Of the key metrics analyzed, we assign the most significant share (40%) to process and energy efficiency, which we see as a proxy for efficiency and competitive advantage. Product innovation has the greatest potential to transform a company’s fortunes, though our analysis highlights the need for more comprehensive reporting and reliability in this area.”

Dow Chemical, which recently spoke to edie about its circular economy initiatives, ranked 9th.

Growing focus

Interestingly, all five US companies on the list received D and E in the supply chain optimization analysis, including last-placed Ashland, which was also the worst performer on future emissions reduction targets.

The research is part of a series of in-depth sector analysis by CDP which aims to provide investors with comprehensive environmental data analysis.

CDP executive chairman Paul Dickinson said: We are seeing investors become increasingly aware of the significance of environmental factors to the bottom line, with the prospect of ever tightening regulation to reflect scarcity of resources.

“What they need is reliable environmental data to assess the financial impacts. CDP’s sector research series is core to a set of tools we are building that investors can adapt as needed to engage with companies on material issues.”

The full table can be found here.

Brad Allen

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