Largest global companies failing to report on greenhouse gas emissions

The level of public disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions among the world's 800 largest companies is "unacceptably poor", according to research published today by the Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO).

The climate change and finance think tank found that only 37% of companies are reporting complete data and correctly adopting the basic principles of greenhouse gas emissions reporting.

In addition, the last in a series of rankings and reports launched this week by the EIO, reveals that just 21% of companies had their data externally verified.

EIO chief executive Sam Gill said: “As the world shifts towards a low carbon model it’s extremely important that we have access to a reliable, consistent and cross-comparable greenhouse gas emissions database on the world’s largest companies.”

According to the Environmental Tracking Carbon Ranking series, which includes companies based on their market size irrespective of their green credentials, only one firm out of the 800 – BASF – reported emissions across its entire value chain.

Gill said: “This ought to be a wakeup call for companies. Since the majority of total corporate emissions often come from Scope 3 sources, large quantities of emissions are not being accounted for.

“Not only could this be a source of unmeasured risk for companies but it also means we are not getting the full picture in terms of corporate emissions. This is precisely why the carbon rankings are designed to encourage Scope 3 disclosure.”

The German chemical company BASF came top of the ranking, having disclosed all 15 scope 3 categories, according to the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Reporting Standard, with a combined scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions intensity of 932.74 tonnes of CO2e/$1m of turnover.

US-based First Energy came last, with no public data and an inferred combined scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions intensity of 10,342.03 tonnes of CO2e/$1m of turnover.

Geographically, Italy and Spain ranked joint highest in terms of disclosure and verification, with 62% of companies reporting complete data and a further 54% having their data verified.

Overall, Europe leads the world on all disclosure metrics with 35% of companies reporting complete and independently verified data.

Conor McGlone

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