Too many companies are failing to respond to environmental transparency requests, non-profit platform CDP said on Tuesday, after only 1.3% of over 900 firms scored an “A” based on their climate change, forests and water security disclosures.
CDP, the world’s biggest repository of environmental data submitted on a voluntary basis by companies, provides a snapshot of corporations’ disclosure and environmental performance by scoring them from “A” to “F.”
More than 29,500 firms worth at least $24.5 trillion received an “F” for failing to respond to disclosure requests from investors and clients or for providing insufficient information in their responses, CDP found, while just over 330 made the “A” list.
“A-List companies should be commended for the level of transparency,” Global Director of Corporations and Supply Chains at CDP Dexter Galvin said. “But we cannot ignore that these companies are in the minority.”
“Most are still not managing all environmental issues holistically, and far too many are remaining complacent or failing to respond at all,” he added in a statement.
More and more climate experts, investors and regulators agree on the need to improve corporate transparency to aid the fight against climate change. But many also accuse corporations of “greenwashing” with splashy announcements while doing little to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.
CDP showed that more than 680 investors and 280 large purchasers had requested thousands of firms to disclose through its platform this year. This resulted in over 18,700 corporate disclosures, up 233% since 2015.
“Since there is no route to 1.5°C without nature, (companies) must speed and scale up their progress in addressing deforestation and water impacts, dependencies and risks, too,” Galvin said, as CDP flagged slow progress on those targets.
Scientists say it is necessary to cap temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement, to avoid the most severe impacts of global warming.
For Justin Steinberg, portfolio manager for Sargasso Environmental Strategy at Steinberg Asset Management, firms integrating such issues are expected to be “better positioned to capitalize on new opportunities as the environmental megatrend takes hold.”
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