Investors press 1,600 ‘laggard’ businesses to report environmental impacts

The call to action, being made by more than 280 financial institutions to some 1,600 companies, is being coordinated by CDP. CDP is targeting companies in sectors with high environmental impacts, including oil and gas, power generation, mining. manufacturing and transport.

Firms are being asked to disclose through the CDP platform, in a drive to ensure comparable disclosures.

Collectively, the corporates receiving letters under the campaign represent a combined $21trn in global market capitalisation. While not all of them disclose their emissions in a meaningful way, CDP estimates that they collectively emit more CO2e than the EU and Canada combined each year.

CDP has named several repeat offenders to receive letters. They include several fossil fuel majors such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and state-owned Saudi Aramco. Also listed are Glencore, Caterpillar and Swiss pharma giant Roche Holding AG.

In the transport sector, firms receiving letters include Volvo and Tesla. Tesla prides its work in accelerating the electric vehicle transition but has only been publishing annual sustainability reports since 2019, and they tend to be light on data.

Beyond emissions

Around three-quarters of the corporates receiving letters will be asked to disclose their climate impacts. But the campaign will also press corporates disclosing on climate through CDP to use its other tools relating to water and forests.

For example, BP, BMW and Amazon disclose emissions through CDP but did not disclose forest and water impacts in 2022.

Some 18,600 companies disclosed data on climate to CDP last year – a 42% year-on-year increase. Yet less than half of this amount disclosed on biodiversity, and only 1,000 disclosed information on forests.

Corporates are being asked to disclose impacts by 26 July.

CDP’s Claire Elsdon said the fact that this year’s non-disclosure campaign has unprecedented support from investors “signals recognition that robust transition plans necessitate higher rates of transparency across all segments of the environment, and a holistic understanding of financial risks”.

Businesses are not yet being pressed, through this annual campaign, to use CDP’s new plastics disclosures platform. This function launched in April and, at that point, CDP urged some 7,000 companies in the plastics value chain to use it.

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